PGA Tour announces plans to resume revised schedule beginning in June
WASHINGTON – The PGA tour announced Thursday that it plans to return to action in mid-June, which is the first declared resumption of major pro sports in the United States following the coronavirus outbreak.
The tour will resume with the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas from June 11-14 - provided there is permission from government and health officials. The event would be played without spectators.
"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 occasions, we will resume competition only when - working closely with our tournaments, partners and communities - it is considered safe to do so under the guidance of the leading public health authorities," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
The Schwab Challenge, originally scheduled for May, would be the first of 24 consecutive weekly events running to Thanksgiving on November 26. At least the first four events will be played with no spectators.
In March, the spread of the coronavirus forced the cancellation of the prestigious Players Championship after one round, and the tour also cancelled three other events.
The new slate has rescheduled all of the major events. The PGA Championship, originally scheduled for May, will be at Harding Park in San Francisco from August 6-9. The U.S. Open, normally in June, will be at Winged Foot in New York from September 17-20. And the Masters, usually in April in Augusta, Georgia, will be from November 12-15.
The Open Championship scheduled for July at Royal St George's in England was cancelled last week by the R&A and will be played at the same site next year.
A new golf calendar for 2020.https://t.co/JKA5gYh3A9— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 16, 2020
On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with leaders of several industries, including sports, and said, "We want to have our sports leagues opened. You want to watch sports. It's important. We miss sports."
The San Francisco and New York areas are considered "hot spots" for the coronavirus, which has over 600,000 cases and nearly 27,000 deaths in the U.S. through Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
Monahan emphasized that the tour's first goal is safety.
"The health and safety of all associated with the PGA Tour and our global community continues to be our No. 1 priority, and our hope is to play a role - responsibly - in the world's return to enjoying the things we love," he said.DPA