Detroit's Rocket Mortgage Classic taking crisis 'extremely seriously,' but plans on event happening
Detroit — Rocket Mortgage Classic officials considered it a blessing to be moved up on the PGA Tour's schedule this year.
Now, it could be a curse.
The PGA Tour has cancelled all events through mid-April, with the Masters also off. That's just the start. Everyone in sports acknowledges the situation is "fluid," as the world deals with the coronavirus outbreak.
"At the Rocket Mortgage Classic the health and safety of our players, fans and community are paramount. We are taking the ongoing coronavirus situation extremely seriously," the RMC said in a statement Friday afternoon. "We are monitoring developments daily with the PGA Tour, while remaining in constant contact with local, state and national health officials."
The RMC is schedule for May 28-31, up a month from last year's inaugural PGA Tour stop at Detroit Golf Club, as the PGA Tour had to make room on its schedule this year for the still-planned Olympics in Tokyo.
The RMC has expected the earlier date to land it an even stronger field.
Now, it's a question if the event even will be played. Most sporting events and concerts in the country have been cancelled well into April, with plans to re-evaluate at that point.
"The Rocket Mortgage Classic is more than two months away and this being a very fluid situation, we are moving forward as planned to make the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic a terrific event," the RMC's statement continued. "We are committed to being responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process, and will make further announcements as appropriate. We appreciate the support and understanding of our title sponsor Rocket Mortgage and our fans, partners and community members who have made this such a great event and will continue to make it great in the future."
Tickets remain on sale at RocketMortgageClassic.com, with passes available for non-competition days (Monday through Wedndesday), as well as the four days of tournament play.
Last year's RMC was the first PGA Tour event ever played in the City of Detroit, and it was won by Nate Lashley for his first career victroy.
Brian Stuard, a Jackson native and Oakland alum, finished tied for fifth last year at the tournament, which turned into a big homecoming for him, with dozens of family and friends in attendance.
He told The News on Thursday night, shortly after the PGA Tour announced its cancellation through next month's Texas Open, that it would "suck" if the RMC had to cancel.