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Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly 'thrilled' with safe plan for fans in 2021

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Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly 'thrilled' with safe plan for fans in 2021 (WPEC)

The Honda Classic was the second to last 'normal' PGA Tour event late last February before the pandemic hit.

As lucky as tournament organizers feel for that, a lot of work has gone into making sure that this year's event goes on with fans in the safest possible way.

"I never thought I'd say we're thrilled having about 20 percent capacity, than what we've had," Honda Classic Tournament Director Ken Kennerly said. "But we're thrilled."

The Honda Classic announced on Monday that fans will be allowed to attend all four rounds of the event at a limited capacity, with exact numbers to be determined at a later date. With fan capacity expected to be at about 20 percent, the party atmosphere that we're used to at the Honda Classic will be more controlled this year, with mandatory use of facial coverings, social distancing, and other health and safety measures.

"We took over this event in 2007, and we were lucky to have 50,000 fans per day," Kennerly recalled. " On of my board members reminded me the other day that our last year at Mirasol, we didn't have more than 40,000 fans. That's kind of the number that we're looking at in this (COVID-19) pandemic era. It's not 200 plus thousand fans roaming the fairways and enjoying themselves, but we can't so that right now."

"The Bear Trap," which usually has seating structures and party tents winding around the 16th and 17th hole, is being re-imagined into three sections with limited seating in socially distanced blocks of two and four seats. There will also be limited fans overlooking the 18th green.

No fans will be allowed for the practice rounds or the Pro-Am this year from Wednesday through Sunday, rather only at the actual event from March 18 through 21. All interactions from start to finish, including ticketing, admissions, merchandise, and concessions will be completely without contact.

"Let's hope in 2022 and beyond we'll be able to revert back to the event that we all have come to know and love," Kennerly said.

Advance reservations for The Bear Trap and other shared and private hospitality areas are now being taken through email at sales@thehondaclassic.com or by phone at 561-799-4638. General admission ticket sales will begin at a later date.

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