PHOENIX — "The Greatest Show on Grass" is going to look a lot different this year. Of course, the coronavirus is to blame.
"From the standpoint of a normal Saturday during an open week is 200,000 people plus. Having 8,000 people max on this golf course, it’s going to look different," said Scott Jenkins, the tournament's chair.
Gone will be the 4 a.m. lines to snag a spot at the raucous par-three sixteen. Instead, fans will find a much more tamed version.
"Normally, it’s a three-story structure, quite a scene as far as the coliseum, but this year is going to be one story with a lower deck called the loge," Jenkins said.
Gone too will be the droves of fans that head to The Birds Nest to catch music’s stars.
"No one loves The Birds Nest more than I do. But it wasn’t in the cards this year. And again, we’re doing this for charity," Jenkins said.
That’s the good news. Thunderbirds, the tournament’s host, will still be able to write a check to local charities. Plus, some on-course fans, who will be required to wear masks, and countless viewers will still get to see great golf.
"We have 18 in the top thirty in the FedEx standings committed to play our open. So, we’re absolutely thrilled," Jenkins said.
General admission tickets are sold out. However, more may be made available following talks with local officials and the PGA tour, according to Jenkins.