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Golf 'lends itself more to social distancing,' says PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan

While sport around the globe has been canceled, the spread-out nature of the golf means that returning on the week of June 8 to 14 -- which has been proposed -- is a realistic option for Jay Monahan.

Posted: Apr 19, 2020 7:31 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2020 7:31 PM

Besides a few pockets across the globe, sport has been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And golf is no different, with three of the majors postponed, and The Open canceled. At the time of writing, the only event unaffected is the Ryder Cup which remains set to go ahead as planned from September 25-27 in Wisconsin.

With guidelines instructing people to not congregate in groups to slow the spread of Covid-19 becoming commonplace, sport has looked some way from returning.

But for golf, the spread-out nature of the sport means that returning on the week of June 8 to 14 -- which has been proposed -- is a realistic option for PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

"And for us to return with no spectators, our sport lends itself more so than any other sport to social distancing," Monahan told CNN Sport's Andy Scholes.

"If you think about what happens inside the field of play, our players are very rarely within six feet of each other. And so to come back in that environment and to think about every single facet of the competition and how we create a safe environment.

"And I think that's what puts us in a spot where we feel like we can return at that point in time. Golf is inherently unique in that regard."

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Help from the commander in chief

In an attempt to being to reopen the USA, President Donald Trump put together a council of leading experts from various sectors to provide their expertise on how best to do so.

Monahan was named on that council -- something he calls an "honor" -- alongside LGPA commissioner Mike Whan.

And during his brief time spent in the company of other leading individuals from different industries, Monahan says the "collective power of an industry" has been made evident to him.

"Whether it's testing protocols, social distancing, fans or no fans. Being able to get those insights from other leagues to share our own," he explained.

"At a time when the President has come out and said that he sees sports as a critical element to the reemergence and revitalization of our country is very powerful.

"There are very few instances, or certainly have been over the last several years, where we all come together and have that kind of conversation. I think in having that conversation you realize the important role that sport plays in our society, and that's incredibly inspiring."

Trump is a keen golfer himself and has "offered to provide a lot of help and resources" to Monahan and the PGA Tour.

"He's been pretty clear in his comments that he sees sport as an important part of our revitalization and reemergence.

"He's made that clear publicly and he's made that clear to all of us and has offered to provide a lot of help and resources."

READ: Donald Trump wants sports back, but some governors are less keen on the idea

Changing plans

The majority of the men's major golf calendar has been moved to the second half of the year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The PGA Championship and the US Open have been moved from May and June to August 6-9 and September 17-20 respectively, while The Masters will be staged from November 12-15.

But the absence of golf is not something that just effects the players and fans.

"There are over 3,000 charities that benefit from PGA Tour golf over the course of the year. So we have an enormous impact market-to-market, week-to-week, a lot of health care related charities and organizations," Monahan explained.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

"Seeing the best players in the world competing, competing again and also seeing the impact of what we do week in and week out. That's the inspiration that I feel, I know so many people feel as we, as we prepare for our return. But sport is the ultimate unifier. Sport is the ultimate source of inspiration."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
St. Joseph26766371
Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
Porter14399160
Hendricks13870241
Madison10561212
Vigo10483171
Clark10240130
Monroe9076108
Delaware8836132
LaPorte8771155
Howard7897138
Kosciusko787277
Warrick643890
Hancock638797
Bartholomew626694
Floyd6150105
Wayne5933157
Grant5818110
Dubois544372
Boone534367
Morgan516291
Marshall494184
Henry493664
Cass471760
Noble460557
Dearborn458444
Jackson414745
Shelby402179
Lawrence380575
Clinton364539
Gibson356556
DeKalb337363
Montgomery334851
Harrison328542
Knox327839
Miami309843
Steuben306340
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 826754

Reported Deaths: 10200
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97493705
Cuyahoga821781012
Hamilton61350439
Montgomery41700399
Summit33399726
Lucas30111597
Butler29721228
Stark24811400
Warren18917139
Lorain18086212
Mahoning16758335
Lake15365135
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Delaware1382177
Licking12679132
Trumbull12401302
Fairfield1218480
Greene11631133
Medina11128165
Clark10608264
Wood9964154
Allen9511126
Portage8867105
Miami886573
Richland8790116
Marion7319113
Tuscarawas7142174
Columbiana7085124
Pickaway702850
Wayne6781164
Muskingum671242
Erie5886118
Hancock537890
Ross530287
Scioto519662
Geauga483555
Darke457589
Ashtabula439068
Lawrence432651
Union430628
Mercer424287
Sandusky421862
Seneca413555
Auglaize412759
Huron410338
Shelby410221
Jefferson403366
Belmont395640
Washington372040
Putnam364672
Athens36369
Madison339329
Knox336522
Ashland331738
Fulton325943
Defiance319278
Crawford313268
Preble311534
Brown296619
Logan292729
Ottawa282134
Clinton279043
Williams270166
Highland262418
Jackson256943
Guernsey241725
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Morrow22294
Perry221318
Holmes218662
Henry210247
Hardin204133
Coshocton197420
Van Wert196644
Gallia190926
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Adams165615
Pike164116
Hocking163423
Carroll149516
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Meigs103221
Monroe95629
Harrison8568
Morgan79128
Vinton67113
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