The top level of men’s professional golf isn’t isolated from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. There are several PGA Tour changes to assist with slowing the spread of the virus.
The affected events comprise much of the remaining original calendar, including majors like the Masters. Although new plans for the events are tentative and dependent on health and safety recommendations, they do exist.
The latest PGA Tour changes for the Masters, PGA Championship, etc.
So far, the PGA has canceled or postponed 13 events. Among the canceled events was The Open Championship, which represented the first time the PGA canceled a major since World War II.
On Monday, April 6, the PGA announced more situational changes. Those included the postponements of the following events:
- Wyndham Championship
- BMW Championship, the Northern Trust and the Tour Championship (the PGA’s three playoff events)
- PGA Championship
The PGA Championship will now take place on Aug. 6-9, with the Wyndham Championship taking place just a few days later on Aug. 13-16. The first two playoff events, the BMW Championship and the Northern Trust, will fill up the rest of the calendar in August.
September will open with the Tour Championship then see both the Ryder Cup and the US Open. That should set up the most action-packed September in PGA history.
The PGA will then take a break until Nov. 12-15, when Augusta National plans to host the 2020 Masters. Golf bettors may not have to wait until August to see any action, however.
The earliest that the PGA plans to resume play for minor events is May 21-24, which is the new date for the Charles Schwab Challenge. All of these dates are tentative, however, and could change again at any moment.
As a matter of fact, the PGA stated, “more changes will be announced in the coming weeks, which will include more reshuffling.” That’s not only because guidance from governmental agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could change, but also because of several other considerations the PGA has to take into account.
Why the new plan for the rest of the 2020 season could change anytime
PGA events are not only at the mercy of federal governmental bodies but local and state authorities, as well. Additionally, it would require the voluntary participation of many companies and people to resume play.
Getting broadcast partners, members of the media, players and support staff all on board even if all governmental figures assent to the safety of the events could prove difficult. There’s also no guarantee that all levels of government will be in concert with one another.
It only takes one prominent voice of dissent to derail these plans. That isn’t even taking into account whether it would be safe for spectators to attend the competitions, which would represent a whole other level of considerations.
Expect the PGA to consider all alternatives like different courses, more alternate dates and resuming play without spectators. Bettors should not count even the latest announcements as set in stone, but at the same time, shouldn’t yet give up hope on golf in 2020.