Wednesday, September 30, 2020

COVID-19: PGA Tour to resume in June ‘behind closed doors’

The PGA Tour has announced plans to resume tournament golf in June but without spectators.

The Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas is set to be the first tournament back from June 11 to 14.

The tour was suspended on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic which has brought the world to a standstill.

The Memorial, which was to have been played in mid-June, has now been switched to July 16 to 19 which is the week that was originally occupied by the 149th Open until it was cancelled last week.

In a statement released by the PGA, Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said: “The health and safety of all associated with the PGA Tour and our global community continues to be our number one priority and our hope is to play a role – responsibly – in the world’s return to enjoying the things we love.

“Today’s announcement is another positive step for our fans and players as we look toward the future.

“But as we’ve stressed on several occsaions, we will resume competition only when […] it is considered safe to do so under the guidance of the leading public health authorities.”

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The sporting world has been severely disrupted since the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year and the golfing calendar was no different.

The Open Championship was cancelled earlier this month with the three other men’s majors rescheduled for later in the year.

The RBC Heritage is due to be the second tournament back from June 18 to 21 which was the original dates for the US Open before it was moved to September.

That will be followed by the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands between June 25 and 28 before the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit GC from July 2 to July 5.

The PGA Tour statement added: “At this time, the Tour plans to resume play with the first four events closed to the general public but will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations of local and state authorities in order to determine the most appropriate on-site access in each market.

“As such, the Tour will continually review available Covid-19-related protocols that could be implemented at PGA Tour events to ensure the health and well-being for all involved.”

The remaining schedule which was announced last week will then take place behind closed doors with the 2020/21 season beginning just three days after the Tour Championship in September.

READ MORE: Tour de France will go ahead in August

Safeway Open organisers confirmed their tournament will kick off the next season on September 10 after the 36-event 2019/20 campaign concludes in Atlanta.

PGA Tour chief tournaments and competitions officer, Andy Pazder, said: “This portion of our 2020-21 schedule is possible only because of the many partners who have worked tirelessly to grow their events and impact the lives of those in need in their respective communities, and our players, who have embraced the expanded fall schedule in recent years.

“We’d like to express our appreciation to the leadership of the Safeway Open, Houston Open and Mayakoba Golf Classic – which will conclude our calendar year schedule in Riviera Maya, Mexico – for their flexibility, which allowed for the US Open and Masters Tournament to be played in the fall.

“The accommodations will help the global golf community maximise the 2020 calendar, which will be incredibly impactful for our fans and put us in a strong position heading into 2021.”

While the adjustments to the golfing calendar may seem confusing, you can find the amended tour schedule on the PGA website.

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Katie Feehan
Born in Yorkshire, Katie is a freelance journalist currently based in York. As a keen sports writer, Katie has a diploma in Multimedia Journalism from the Press Association and has worked on the busy Newcastle Chronicle sports desk. She has also written for Gateshead FC and contributed to various websites including HITC and Give Me Sport.

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