Play resumed in early June following a three-month absence. There have been five events held thus far without fans, with seven more scheduled – including two weeks of the playoffs – before the Tour Championship. Justin Thomas this weekend assumed the lead in the FedEx Cup points standings.
The loss of ticket revenue is a substantial blow to the Tour Championship, which reported a $3.5 million donation to its charities built around a long-standing neighborhood revival project. Fillmore said the tournament would be looking for alternate sources of income – including direct fan donation – to try to bridge the gap for its chosen charities: The East Lake Foundation, the Grove Park Foundation, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta and First Tee of Metro Atlanta. Fans can contribute directly through PGA Tour Charities Inc.
“It has been a trying time, definitely one of the toughest in my career. Ultimately if we can get through this tournament and be able to provide some type of charitable impact for the charities we serve, that’s so important right now,” Fillmore said. “I would hate to miss a year, hate to not be able to provide support for these awesome charities. We’re going to be really pushing the Atlanta community to help.”
There is no way, however, to make up for the disappointment of not being able to stage the tournament before a live, vibrant audience.
“The most exciting thing for my job is to see the fans and our partners and their excitement when they see their favorite player coming down the fairway or on the green. Yes, it is a bummer,” Fillmore said.
Her job now, Fillmore said, is “more about focusing on the relationships with our valued (sponsorship) partners and volunteers, making sure that they understand what is going on, what is happening moving forward. And then focusing on 2021. Our partners have been really, really great. They have been patient with us, and we’re asking them to be a little more patient with us as we get through all this.”
The Tour Championship announced that online ticket purchasers for this year’s event would receive automatic refunds. Additional refund information is available at tourchampionship.com.