McIlroy says Masters should go behind closed doors. Oisin Keniry/INPHO
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Rory McIlroy says Masters should go behind closed doors

Irishman’s stance backed up fellow players.

RORY MCILROY BELIEVES this year’s Masters should be held without any fans.

The sport’s first major of the year is still scheduled to go ahead after the PGA took the decision last night to cancel the remainder of the Players Championship at Sawgrass after the first round had been played. A decision is expected by the organisers at Augusta National today. The first round of the Masters is scheduled to get underway on 9 April – in just under four weeks.

“I don’t see how they can let spectators in if they do play it at this point,” McIlroy said. “Everyone needs to get tested.”

The 2015 champion, Jordan Spieth, added: “It would be very unusual without hearing the roars echoing through the valley.

“You can feed off a crowd anywhere and it can also a add a bit of pressure as well, in certain situations. This isn’t ideal for anyone but I think if you polled the players we would rather have the Masters go on without spectators than not go on at all. I think you would probably get a unanimous vote on that one. But it’s a shame.”

Stronger words came from Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’ former coach. “When one domino falls they’re all going to fall, and the sports world is going to shut down,” Taney said. “Playing the opening round of the Players Championship was one of the stupidest decisions ever.”

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