SYLVANIA — A plan to have spectators at the Marathon LPGA Classic next month has been scrapped.
After discussions with the Lucas County Health Department, state officials and the LPGA, the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana has made the difficult but necessary decision to proceed without spectators for the 2020 tournament, according to a Thursday news release. The safety of spectators, volunteers, staff and the LPGA athletes remains the top priority, the release stated.
The LPGA Tour has been idle since February and is set to resume in Toledo with the LPGA Drive On Championship held at Inverness Club the week of July 30-Aug. 2. The Marathon LPGA Classic will be played the following week, Aug. 3-9 at Highland Meadows Golf Club.
“I applaud Marathon Petroleum, Dana and the entire tournament team for working so hard to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in their event and the northwest Ohio community,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “This was a difficult decision as fans have always been a big part of the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana. I hope our fans will watch all four rounds of the Marathon LPGA Classic on The Golf Channel this year, but also rejoin us for an epic year in 2021, where we’ll not only be back in Toledo for the Marathon LPGA Classic but also for the 2021 Solheim Cup.”
Despite the tournament’s efforts, the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to negatively affect the sports industry, the release stated. The Marathon LPGA Classic team has worked diligently to create the best possible community-focused event that the current climate will allow.
“The organizers of the Marathon Classic and the LPGA have made the right decision in not allowing fans to attend this year,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. “I know it was a difficult decision, but they have made the right call to put the health and safety of players and fans first.”
It was the tournament’s plan to honor and offer free admission to frontline healthcare workers and grocery store employees this year in addition to military, police, fire and EMS. The Marathon LPGA Classic will be extending this offer for these groups to receive free admission for next year’s tournament scheduled for July 5-11 at Highland Meadows Golf Club.
“While we are extremely sad that spectators won’t be able to attend this year’s tournament we know it is the right thing to do for the safety of the community, our sponsors, volunteers, and LPGA players,” said Executive Director Judd Silverman. “The good news is that all four rounds of the tournament will be nationally televised live on the Golf Channel and we still have the opportunity to raise money for the 25 northwest Ohio children’s charities that will benefit from this year’s tournament.“
Anyone interested in donating to the 2020 Marathon LPGA Classic charities can do so by texting KIDSWIN to 74121. A list of the benefiting 25 local children’s charities can be found at MarathonClassic.com/Charities.