This week’s San Luis Potosi Open in Mexico is one time the Canadian Tour doesn’t mind fans not being at the golf course. As a matter of fact, the tour endorses the idea.
“We’re going to operate the tournament without caddies. We’re not going to allow any spectators on to the golf course. It’s a very, very secure facility,” said tour commissioner Rick Janes.
The absence of fans at the Nicklaus La Loma course in San Luis Potosi is in response to the recent outbreak of swine flu first detected in Mexico that has since spread into the United States, Canada and other parts of the world, sparking fears of a pandemic.
Janes admitted that about 15 players had elected not to play in San Luis Potosi, including a few Canadians, adding that he respects their decisions based on their own well-being.
“At the same time, we’ve got players e-mailing, calling and texting that, `Don’t worry, I’m still on my way and I’m anxious to play.’ We’re not telling players to do one thing or the other,” he said.
“The guys are there right now. If they choose to come home, that’s entirely their prerogative,” said Janes, adding that he continues to monitor the situation through staff members, health agencies and travel advisories.
He said the event will be played as it stands, but added the decision could change at any time, depending on the situation. “Is it day-to-day? It could be minute to minute,” said Janes, adding that other measures are being taken as well to safeguard staff and players.
“We can only be guided by common sense,” said Janes, adding that a greater emphasis would be put on people drinking from their own individual water bottles.
“We’ve bought all the hand sanitizers you can buy. We’ll make sure that that’s on all the tees. We’re certainly encouraging the player not to go outside the hotel property or the golf course,” he added.
“What the players are going to do is they’re going to take their meals at the golf course and the hotel and they’re going to be shuttled between the golf course and the hotels as a precaution,” said Janes.