Possible hints at the Masters in October?


Let the speculation begin — or continue.

It has been only a few days since Augusta National announced it would be postponing the 2020 Masters because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the club is in the process of shutting down its operations this week.

So how far the leaders of the Masters have proceeded in trying to figure out when to play the tournament in 2020 is unclear. And obviously, how the pandemic plays out will also have a big impact on whether the tournament is rescheduled.

But LPGA Tour player Marina Alex went to Twitter on Tuesday to complain about a room reservation she had in Augusta being canceled for what she said was no reason. And she figured it’s due to a rescheduling of the Masters for that time in October.

The October date conflicts with the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the PGA Tour, won last year by Kevin Na. Although the 2019-20 schedule has yet to be announced, tournaments typically know their dates a year in advance, and the Shriners event has it listed on its website.

It is also the week that the European Tour’s Italian Open is scheduled.

The Masters would undoubtedly work with the tours in order to make a new date happen. In the case of the Shriners event, it could be staged as an opposite-field event for players who do not qualify for the Masters — and given the layoff, players will be looking for opportunities. Or perhaps it could be moved to another date.

The week happens to be two weeks following the scheduled Ryder Cup.

October works well for Augusta National, too, in these extraordinary circumstances.

Postponing the tournament into the summer months is not ideal, given that is when the club is usually closed. A September date has been broached, although the typical rye overseed that you see for an April Masters would not be likely, with Bermuda fairways offering a much different look.

October gives the club the opportunity to present the Masters as close to what you will see in April, while also giving itself the opportunity to turn around for another Masters in April 2021.

The Masters was scheduled for April 9-12. It has been played in April in 81 of its 83 years, with the other two held in March. And it has been played consecutively in April dating back to 1946, when the Masters returned from a three-year break due to World War II.

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