The PGA Tour spread out a goal-oriented arrangement Thursday to continue its season the second week of June and fend fans off for at least a month, yielding that any arrival to golf relies upon whether it very well may be played securely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, was pushed back to June 11-14. Accepting golf gets the green light from government and health authorities, the PGA tour at that point would have an official competition every week through Dec. 6 aside from a Thanksgiving break.
“We hope to play a role — responsibly — in the world’s return to enjoying the things we love,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. “But as we’ve stressed on several occasions, we will resume competition only when … it is considered safe to do so under the guidance of the leading public health authorities.”
Golf is the first sport to declare plans for a restart, even though its fields are far not quite the same as different sports since it is played over somewhere in the range of 400 acres. It was the second noteworthy step to attempt to rescue the year, following a week ago’s declaration of three majors — remembering the Masters for November — going later in the year.
Indeed, even as it declared a shortened timetable, a few key subtleties were all the while being examined, for example, testing for COVID-19 at competitions.
“We have a level of confidence that is based upon … changes and developments being made in the world of testing, available tests,” said Andy Pazder, the PGA tour’s chief officer of tournaments and competition. “We’re following very closely, through the assistance of our expert medical advisers, the development of more large-scale testing capabilities. … It gives us confidence that we will be able to develop a strong testing protocol that will mitigate risk as much as we possibly can.”
The RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, previously canceled for the current week, was taken back to be played after Colonial on June 18-21. Those dates previously had a place with the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, which intends to move to September.
That would be trailed by the Travelers Championship in Connecticut and the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.
The PGA tour said its invitation-based competitions — Colonial, Hilton Head, and the Memorial — would have their fields extended to 144 players. Memorial, with Jack Nicklaus as the host, takes the July 16-19 week that had a place with the British Open before it was canceled. The World Golf Championship in Memphis, Tennessee, presently has the dates (July 30-Aug. 2) when the Olympics were to be played.
On the off chance that all works out as expected, the season would end on Sept. 7 at the Tour Championship with a FedEx Cup champion getting the $15 million bonus. That would be a 36-competition plan, down from 48 competitions on the original timetable.
Three additional competitions were canceled, one permanently. The Canadian Open, the third-oldest on the PGA Tour plan, said it would not be played for the current year. Likewise canceled was the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky, normally held a similar week as the British Open. The Greenbrier competition in West Virginia was canceled for good.
The PGA tour had just 40 events in 2013, a short season to plan for the beginning of its wraparound season that currently starts in the fall.
All things considered, it could prompt an impossible to miss two seasons. The current season could have just one significant championship; the PGA Championship is scheduled for Aug. 6-9 at Harding Park in San Francisco. The following season could have two Masters, two U.S. Opens, the PGA Championship and the British Open.
Different subtleties the PGA tour despite everything needs to sift through was who fell under the “essential” category that would be permitted at competitions past players, caddies, scoring officials, rules authorities and support staff.
Pazder said at least 25 players are outside the U.S., alongside at least 35 caddies, all subject to international travel restrictions.
“We are playing very close attention to if and when those restrictions are changed,” he said.
Tyler Dennis, the PGA tour’s chief of operations, said authorities likewise were thinking about the movement of everybody who might be at a golf competition. Social distancing in golf isn’t troublesome; a few people keep on playing golf in states where courses stay open. Still to be resolved is how to keep different territories, even the flagstick, sanitized.