Coronavirus: Players Championship abandoned after one round

PGA Tour has also stopped all play until the Texas Open in April

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The PGA Tour's Players Championship at Sawgrass was cancelled after the first round owing to the coronavirus.

While organisers had planned to play the last three rounds without spectators, a decision was later taken to abandon the tournament, as well as the next three weeks of PGA Tour events until the Valero Texas Open on April 2. The Masters - the first major of 2020 - is due to begin a week later.

"We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavouring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate," the PGA Tour said in a statement.

"But at this point - and as the situation continues to rapidly change - the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause." The event, held at TPC Sawgrass, is not a major championship but is often referenced as 'the fifth major' given its status in the golfing calendar.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama was the first-round leader after a superb nine-under 63, which put him two shots in front of a three-way tie for second.

Graeme McDowell shot a four-under-par 68, while fellow Northern Irishman and defending champion Rory McIlroy carded a 72.

In women's golf, the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the year, is among five tournaments to be cancelled.