Two months from the start of the US Women’s Open, the USGA announced that fans will not be allowed on-site at Champions Golf Club in Houston for the championship.
The decision falls in line with the USGA holding the US Open at Winged Foot in September with no spectators. Additionally, the LPGA has yet to play any event where fans have been permitted since resuming its schedule on July 31.
“Following extensive consultation with health officials, we have decided that hosting the US Women’s Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved,” John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of championships, said in a press release. “While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to welcome fans and their unmatched energy at Champions Golf Club, we know this is the right decision for the community and players.”
The USGA announcement comes just days after the PGA Tour revealed that a limited number of fans will be allowed at the Vivent Houston Open in two weeks. Two thousand daily tickets are being sold for that tournament, marking the first PGA Tour event in the United States that will allow general admission fans onsite since the tour resumed play in June.
The US Women’s Open was originally scheduled for June, but in April as professional golf remained paused due to the spreading of COVID-19, the USGA announced that the US Women’s Open would be moved to December 10-13. The switch comes with some logistical challenges – among them being limited daylight. To ensure the first two rounds will be completed on time, they’ll be played on two courses: Jackrabbit and Cypress. Spreading the field out will make it easier to get the first 36 holes of the championship completed on time before cutting the field for the final 36 holes played on the Cypress course.
The USGA noted that those who purchased tickets for the championship through the USGA will be automatically refunded.