LPGA's Marathon Classic will be allowed to have fans, will go on as scheduled
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LPGA’s Marathon Classic will be allowed to have fans, will go on as scheduled

The LPGA Tour will resume on July 23, with the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio, now confirmed to be the first event on the revised schedule.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on June 5 that various businesses, including casinos and amusement parks, can open on June 21. In addition, he approved a plan by organizers of the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament to allow some fans in attendance.

The Toledo Blade reported the LPGA event, which would be staged a week later at Highland Meadows Golf Club, will also be allowed to have a to-be-determined number of fans.

When the LPGA originally announced a revised 2020 schedule to pick up the season in mid-July, the first event was to be the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. The second-year team event, however, was cancelled when it was clear the tournament would not be able to have fans in attendance.

The LPGA's business model relies on fan attendance and in-person gate and sales compared to the PGA Tour, whose large television rights contracts with CBS and NBC Sports Group somewhat shields them from local restrictions that may bar fans.

While the PGA Tour is prepared to play events through the remainder of the season without fans, including a guarantee of no fans at the first five tournaments of the resumption, the LPGA is not necessarily in that position. There may be a start-and-stop nature to the schedule, depending on conditions in each state and what's allowed by governors in states hosting the remaining tournaments this season. Currently, the LPGA is scheduled to have three consecutive tournaments in Europe after the Marathon Classic.

The next LPGA event scheduled to be played in the United States is the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Classic from Aug. 28-30.

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