This is one of those situations where every shot makes somebody happy. And at this juncture, ANY golf shot will make golfers happy. When could the Masters, among others, be scheduled in the fall?
When you look at the PGA Tour schedule on their website, the column on the left side for March, April (the Masters included) and half of May has, in red, either canceled or postponed under the date. That’s 10 weeks of no tournaments, almost a quarter of the year. Events on the other side of that hiatus now begin with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial CC in Fort Worth, Texas, where the statue of Ben Hogan greets tournament goers.
The Charles Schwab has always been an invitational, and it will be sure to have a packed house of both players and fans. Despite what some doom and gloomers are saying, people are darn near starved for entertainment, particularly sports. The margarita bar at Colonial CC will be back in business. And while no one knows whether margaritas are a cure for COVID19, locals are sure to embrace the old college idea that the alcohol in them is at least a germ killer.
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Two of those no tournament weeks are where the Masters and PGA Championship should fall, and those have been postponed, rather than canceled. They are hoping to play them this year. The U.S. Open is still listed as possible, although the location makes it a problem because it’s in Westchester County, New York, site of one of the largest COVID19 problems.
The good news is, this is where the every shot makes somebody happy motto comes in, that because of the locations of the Masters and PGA Championship, they could both actually be played later on in 2020. The PGA Championship is in San Francisco and the Masters in in Augusta, Georgia.
We have already detailed how the Masters could be played in October after the fall overseed has been done at Augusta National, and many publications are scrambling to find “Augusta with fall color” photos to show what it would look like as a leaf-peeper event instead of an azalea event.
San Francisco, where the PGA was to have been played in May has the same weather no matter what month it is, which is great if you like something in the 50s-60s temperature-wise. People don’t believe that before they go, but the famous line incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco,” pretty much describes the situation, whoever said it.
Now to play in the fall of 2020, the PGA Tour has to release a portion of the 2021 schedule. They seldom do that until mid-summer, but they have so much juggling going on now, what with Commissioner Jay Monahan taking no salary and the top executives taking a 25 percent pay cut, and figuring out how and when they will actually restart their season, that figuring out the season for next year is probably not their biggest problem.
There are other things that will affect it. For instance, The WGC-HSBC, won by Rory McIlroy, will likely not be played in the fall of 2020. Whether or not the Japanese and Korean tournaments happen or whether players will want to travel to those areas is unknown. That includes the ZOZO Championship where Tiger Woods would be the defending champ.
If no Asian events are played in the fall, that opens up three weeks in the calendar leaving holes in these dates:
October 17-20 ( CJ Nine Bridges)
October 24-27 ( ZOZO)
October 31-November 3 ( WGC-HSBC)
There are three postponed tournaments:
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship
The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, which was the opposite-field event scheduled at the same time as the Dell Match Play, was postponed. It, too, can be played any time during the year, although late fall, after hurricane season, is probably better than early fall for them.
Now, there is another slot also open, and that’s the one where the Olympics fell, July 20- August 3. It will not work for the Masters, but it could work for the PGA Championship.
And while the Ryder Cup was originally supposed to be played in September of this year, the talk now is about postponing it until 2021. No decision has been made on that, however. The teams would certainly look a little different than if a full season and all the major events had been played before it. But, using the line Tiger Woods made famous, it is what it is.
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Finally, while we await the decision on the U.S. Open, if they decide to hold it and most of the players decline to come, maybe that really opens it up for Phil Mickelson. In which case it might be a real win-win for him.