Sanderson Farms Championship tournament officials announced today that the 2020 event will be played without spectators. Image: Friends of Children’s Hospital

Sanderson Farms Championship tournament officials, in collaboration with the PGA TOUR, announced today that the 2020 event will be played without spectators. The 53rd Sanderson Farms Championship is set for September 28-October 4, 2020 at The Country Club of Jackson, MS. All four rounds of the event will be broadcast live as planned on the Golf Channel, October 1-4.

As the well-being of Metro Jackson remains of utmost importance, Century Club Charities, the tournament’s host organization, will continue to work with the PGA TOUR and local and state government agencies to ensure the health and safety of the volunteers, players, caddies, and essential personnel allowed onsite to operate the tournament.

“As we have said from the start, our No. 1 priority remains the health and safety of everyone in the communities where we are invited guests each week,” said PGA TOUR Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer Andy Pazder. “We appreciate the cooperation of the Sanderson Farms Corporate staff, the Sanderson Farms Championship staff, the Century Club Charities organization, The Country Club of Jackson, and – of course – the fans of central Mississippi for understanding why collectively we had to make this decision. We remain very excited to present the Sanderson Farms Championship to a global audience as one of the first events of the 2020-21 FedExCup Season. 

“While everyone involved is disappointed this is the direction we have to go, our team is still upbeat about the opportunity to host an outstanding tournament for the world’s best golf professionals, while showcasing the Sanderson Farms Championship and the beautiful course at The Country Club of Jackson to the rest of the world through the Golf Channel broadcast,” said Sanderson Farms Championship Executive Director Steve Jent. “This decision to play without spectators is the right call, given the circumstances, for the protection of everyone involved. I am extremely proud of our tournament staff and volunteers, and appreciate the way Sanderson Farms, the PGA TOUR, The Country Club of Jackson, the City of Jackson, and the State of Mississippi have worked with us during these unprecedented times.”

The ability to move forward with the John Soules Foods Pro-Am on Monday, September 28 and the Allen Exploration Pro-Am on Wednesday, September 30 remains undecided as of today.

“We are still hoping to have our Pro-Ams, but it is a fluid situation based on the COVID-19 environment,” said Jent. “If we do get the go-ahead, the Pro-Ams will not be open to the public, and full health and safety precautions will be in place for players and amateurs alike.” Virtually, all other tournament-related events have been postponed until 2021, including all onsite hospitality, luncheons, parties, and fan events. 

“Despite the difficult decisions necessitated by the COVID-19-related precautions, Century Club Charities remains committed to helping the Mississippi charities that depend on the tournament to support their annual operations,” said Pat Busby, Century Club Charities President. “Charitable organizations nationwide are experiencing unprecedented demand on their services as the pandemic takes an economic and emotional toll on individuals and families. Mississippi is no different. We sincerely appreciate the support of Sanderson Farms, tournament sponsors, fans, volunteers, vendors, players, caddies, The Country Club of Jackson, and Century Club members throughout this process. We still hope to have a very positive impact on Friends of Children’s Hospital and other Mississippi charities in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“The Sanderson Farms Championship is able to provide tremendous charitable impact because of the caring people who support it through giving their time, talent, and resources,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., Sanderson Farms CEO and Chairman of the Board. “While there will be no spectators this year, we know our community will continue to rally around this tournament in new ways. Everyone has been impacted by this pandemic; however, Mississippians know about resiliency and how to come together to support one another. While this may be different, it certainly will not define us or the incredible things we can do together.”

An extensive health and safety plan for screening and testing will be in place including a mandatory health questionnaire and temperature readings for everyone onsite each day, as well as COVID-19 testing for players, caddies, and personnel working in specific areas. In addition, the tournament will implement enhanced cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting practices in all areas of tournament operations in accordance with state and local guidelines.