The Masters, which brings together the world's best golfers in April for the year's first major, has been postponed because of concerns about the coronavirus, Augusta National Golf Club said on Friday.

The tournament which annually attracts large crowds from around the world at Augusta National was for 9-12 April.

But in a statement, tournament organisers confirmed that the 2020 event will be postponed, adding that they hope to reschedule it for later this year.

"We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date," Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement. 

"On Wednesday, March 4, we issued a memo stating that our plans to host the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women's Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals had not changed. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread Coronavirus COVID-19 have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances.

"Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.

"Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision." 

It follows the PGA's decision to cancel the Players Championship at Sawgrass after Thursday's first round and the postponement of subsequent events.