PGA Tour set to restart this week


  • Golf
  • Sunday, 07 Jun 2020

Byeong Hun An hoping to do well in Texas this week.

THE Charles Schwab Challenge will get the US PGA Tour restarted after the Covid-19 lock-down when the event begins at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday.

It will be the first of four tournaments that the PGA Tour has lined up on a revised schedule that will be marked with each of those events played without the fans.

The Tour will be carrying out a list of safety procedures before and during the events, testing the players, caddies and support personnel for the coronavirus. Further to this, the movement of the players during events is also expected to be curbed.

The Tour expects about 400 people at each event, these being the players, caddies and select tournament employees and staff.

The field is expected to be top-class, spearheaded by world number one Rory McIlroy.

But from an Asian perspective, the fortunes of South Korea’s Byeong Hun An will be followed closely.

A PGA Tour statement quoted the lad as saying: “I can’t wait to get back out (on Tour). After a three-month break, I just want to get back at it, that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.

“I don’t need the motivation. I’ve played long enough and I want to win as much anyone else on Tour.

“I would also like to see more Koreans winning on Tour, which would be nice and I hope it will be me next. But it’s hard to win out here.” added An, who is 23rd on the FedExCup points list.

The good news for fans across the globe is that the tournaments will be screened live on television.

And following the comeback of the Korean Ladies professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Championship in Seoul three weeks ago and the charity events that feature the likes of Tiger Woods and McIlroy, there will still be folks watching out if the PGA Tour doesn’t slip up.

Some have it that with the United States the worst hit of all nations by the Covid-19 pandemic, the PGA Tour might be rushing back to soon and maybe doing so to appease some others.

The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada has cancelled its 2020 season due to border restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The European Tour will only resume their schedule next month. The British Masters from July 22 will be the first event and begin a six-event stint in the UK.

The British Masters at Close House Golf Club will be followed by the English Open from July 30 to Aug 2 at the Marriott Forest of Arden and the English Championship from Aug 6-9 at Marriott Hanbury Manor.

The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport will host back-to-back tournaments – the Celtic Classic from Aug 13 to 16 and the Wales Open from Aug 20 to 23, before the UK Championship at the Belfry from Aug 27 to 30.

In a statement, European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “We have consistently said that safety is our priority and that is why we are announcing our resumption (next month). Initially, based on the expert guidance we received, playing in clusters, in one territory, is the best option in terms of testing, travel and accommodation.”

The dates for the four Rolex Series events have also been announced, beginning with the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club from Oct 8 to 11 and ending with the World Tour Championship in Dubai from Dec 10 to 13. The PGA Championship will take place from Oct 15 to 18 at England’s Wentworth Club.

The US LPGA Tour has also yet to get started and there is no timetable laid out at the moment.

According to their schedule, the season will likely start with the Marathon Classic in Ohio from July 23 to 26, followed by the Evian Championship in France from Aug 6 to 9 and the Ladies Scottish Open from Aug 13 to 16. The AIG Women’s British Open at Troon, Scotland is scheduled for Aug 20 to 23.

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