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DeWine: Marathon Classic to take place with fans as long as safety plans are in place and followed

The governor said he's 'optimistic' that all golf tournaments can take place, including the Marathon Classic. The event at Highland Meadows is set for July 20-26.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine had some good news for golf fans during his news conference on Friday: As long as a plan is filed and social distancing is properly followed, he is "optimistic" that all golf tournaments can take place. He specifically said that the Memorial Classic in Columbus will take place and it already has filed an action plan. 

When asked if LPGA's Marathon Classic can take place this summer at Highland Meadows, DeWine said the expects that as long as those safety measures are in place, tournaments can have fans as long as an action plan is filed and observed.  

The Marathon Classic tournament is taking place July 20-26 in Sylvania.

Earlier in the spring, the LPGA stop in northwest Ohio for the Marathon Classic was delayed by two weeks during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. 

At that time, Tournament Director Judd Silverman believed they won’t hold the tournament unless the governor allowed spectators to be in attendance. Commissioner Mike Whan gave each tournament the freedom to make those choices on their own.

On Friday, Silverman said the Marathon Classic is prepared to implement safety protocols: They will take temperatures of all spectators each day, there will be no grandstands, they will enforce social distancing. 

The Marathon Classic, founded in 1984 and played yearly, except in 1986 and 2011 in Sylvania, is one of the longest-running events on the LPGA tour and a big economic driver for the area. 

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