Golf Takes a Do-Over as the Masters Moves to November

Written by on April 6, 2020

Aggressive golf’s governing our bodies boldly remade the schedule of the boys’s main championships and different skilled occasions on Monday with the Masters tournament, a signature occasion of the American sporting calendar, shifting to November due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Masters, a ritual of spring that was scheduled to be performed this week at Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership in Augusta, Ga., will now be contested from Nov. 12 to 15.

The occasion, one of the crucial watched sporting occasions yearly, has by no means been performed within the fall, the place it may conceivably be vying for consideration with a weekend full {of professional} and faculty soccer video games, if the N.F.L. and the N.C.A.A resume their common schedules. Fred Ridley, the chairman of Augusta Nationwide, conceded on Monday that his membership’s plans had been “incumbent upon favorable counsel and route from well being officers.”

Comparable cautionary statements had been issued by officers for the US Open, which was rescheduled for mid-September at a course within the suburbs of New York Metropolis, and the P.G.A. Championship, which is scheduled to start in San Francisco on Aug. 6. The British Open, the fourth males’s main, was canceled and can subsequent be performed in July 2021.

The P.G.A. Championship’s early August begin date appeared to battle with latest feedback from Gov. Gavin Newsom of California about when large-scale sporting occasions would resume in his state. On Saturday, in response to President Trump’s assertion that the 2020 N.F.L. season may open as scheduled in early September, Newsom mentioned, “I’m not anticipating that occuring on this state.”

Seth Waugh, the chief government of the P.G.A. of America, which conducts the P.G.A. Championship, mentioned in an announcement on Monday that his group would “proceed to comply with the steering of public well being officers, however are hopeful that it is going to be secure and accountable to conduct the P.G.A. Championship in August.”

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The event, to be contested at T.P.C. Harding Park, was initially scheduled to start Might 14.

The U.S. Open, which was set to start June 18, will now be performed from Sept. 17 to 20 at Winged Foot Golf Membership in Westchester County, N.Y., though officers for the US Golf Affiliation, which hosts the event, appeared keen to concede that one other postponement was a risk.

“We’re hopeful that suspending the championship will provide us the chance to mitigate well being and questions of safety whereas nonetheless offering us with the very best alternative to conduct the U.S. Open this yr,” Mike Davis, the usG.A. chief government, mentioned.

The group has weighed contingency plans that will transfer the occasion to a location that usually has heat climate later within the yr.

Officers at Augusta Nationwide, a moneyed membership with an autonomous pedigree, had been cautious, however they sounded probably the most optimistic. If well being and authorities officers give their assent to the event’s going down, Ridley mentioned, “we intend to ask these professionals and amateurs who would have certified for our unique April date and welcome all present ticket holders to benefit from the pleasure of Masters week.”

The membership, nevertheless, canceled the Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Beginner occasion that was scheduled for final weekend.

The dates proposed for the Masters and the U.S. Open will put the occasions’ tv broadcasting companions within the awkward scenario of discovering room of their schedules for the ultimate spherical of a golf main and a Sunday stuffed with N.F.L. video games — offering both sport is internet hosting competitions within the fall. CBS has broadcast the Masters for many years, but additionally depends on televising a full slate of N.F.L. video games. The identical is true for Fox Sports activities, which has the printed rights to the U.S. Open. There had been recommendations that the golf majors would possibly think about altering their customary Thursday-to-Sunday event format in order that an occasion may conclude on a Friday or a Saturday as an alternative. It was not an end result talked about in Monday’s bulletins.

The 149th taking part in of the British Open, golf’s oldest main championship, was scheduled to start July 16 this yr. It has been rescheduled for July 15 to 18, 2021, and return to the southeastern coast of England at Royal St. George’s, the course that had been set to host this yr’s event.

The championship is the one one among golf’s 4 2020 males’s main tournaments to be canceled. The R&A mentioned the occasion, first contested in 1860, was delayed till 2021 based mostly on steering from authorities officers and well being authorities in Britain. It’s the first time since World Warfare II within the 1940s that the event is not going to been held.

“I can guarantee everybody that we’ve explored each choice for taking part in the Open this yr, however it isn’t going to be attainable,” Martin Slumbers, the chief government of the R&A, mentioned. “There are a lot of completely different concerns that go into organizing a significant sporting occasion of this scale. We depend on the help of the emergency companies, native authorities and a variety of different organizations to stage the championship, and it will be unreasonable to put any extra calls for on them after they have way more pressing priorities to take care of.”

The 150th Open will likely be performed at St. Andrews from July 14 to 17, 2022.

The PGA Tour, which usually hosts a virtually weekly schedule of tournaments spaced across the main championships, mentioned it will attempt to reschedule a few of its occasions into the calendar spots vacated by the U.S. Open, the British Open and the Tokyo Olympics in June and July. The tour additionally moved a number of August occasions again per week, with the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., and the three FedExCup Playoff occasions now scheduled from Aug. 13 to Sept. 7.

Final week, the L.P.G.A. Tour announced that it had moved two of its ladies’s main championships, with the ANA Inspiration shifting to Sept. 10 and the U.S. Ladies’s Open now slated to start Dec. 10.

Lastly, the Ryder Cup, the biennial worldwide competitors between skilled golfers from the US and Europe, remains to be set to happen because it was initially scheduled, from Sept. 24 to 27 in Wisconsin.


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