The sports world as we know it has changed completely, with major leagues – golf included – grinding to a halt in an effort to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. A month ago, cancellation notices for major golf tournaments began to roll in, leaving professional golf quiet for the next several weeks.
At some point, professional golf – and competitive golf on every other level, from state associations to junior to college and amateur – will return.
Below is a running list of the current status of the major tours, and various other organizations, with updates on when each might resume play.
The last completed tournament on the PGA Tour’s wrap-around 2019-20 schedule was the Arnold Palmer Invitational, played in Orlando, Florida on March 5-8. The last actual round, however, was the first round of the Players Championship, which went off March 12 before the remainder of the tournament was canceled the next day. The Tour has now been dark five weeks. Next week’s Masters has been postponed with the next four events – through the (already postponed) PGA Championship – outright canceled.
With events still jostling around on the schedule, our Eamon Lynch presented a picture of how the rest of the season might unfold. As Lynch reports, “While any refreshed schedule would obviously be subject to change — and complete cancellation, given the rapidly expanding coronavirus crisis — the timeframe targeted to resume the PGA Tour season is mid-June.”
Korn Ferry Tour
The developmental tour has been dark since March 1, the final round of the El Bosque Mexico Championship. The next eight weeks of events have come off the calendar with only two being postponed as opposed to canceled: the Visit Knoxville Open and Savannah Golf Championship. The earliest play could resume would be May 21, which would be the first round of the Evans Scholars Invitational.
The Champions Tour is in a very similar position, having been dark since March 8. Two of the tour’s seven disrupted events – the Regions Tradition slotted for May 7-10 and the Principal Charity Classic scheduled for May 29-31 – have been rescheduled for September. The Champions Tour could return as early as June 5, which would be the American Family Insurance Championship. The next event after that? The U.S. Senior Open Championship.
An April 3 announcement from the LPGA moved a season re-start back to at least mid-June. The tour continues to be heavily impacted by the coronavirus, especially considering that it lost three Asia Swing events in February and early March before most tours felt the impact in their domestic events. A revised schedule shows the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship as a possible returning point June 19-21 with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a major, slotted for the next week.
As it stands now, the developmental tour could return in a similar time-frame to the LPGA. Play is on hold through the end of May, with the Island Resort Championship on June 19-21 being the first possible return date.
The European Tour schedule is on hiatus at least through the end of May. The Trophee Hassan II, which would be played June 4-7 in Rabat, Morocco, is the next standing event on the calendar. Like the PGA Tour, the last completed tournament on the European circuit was the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on March 5-8.
When it comes to sanctioned NCAA college events, the 2019-20 season was officially kaput on March 12 when the NCAA announced it was canceling all spring sports. Many conferences had already made such declarations.
While we’re on hold until September and the start of the 2020-21 college golf season, some collegians may see some action at the Arnold Palmer Cup at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland, scheduled for July 3-5. When the teams were revealed for the annual event, the GCAA also announced that “in these unprecedented times we do not know if the matches will be held as scheduled, postponed, or canceled.”
As the largest junior golf organization in the country, the American Junior Golf Association is a leader in the up-and-coming sector of golf. The AJGA runs events year-round, but is on hiatus until at least Memorial Day weekend. The organization announced March 16 that it would suspend all events until that date, and then would run seven events per week “to maximize playing opportunities” through the end of the year.
A decision will likely be made soon regarding the U.S. Open, which is still scheduled for June 18-21 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York (the U.S. Women’s Open has already been moved from June to December). The U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Senior Women’s Open would be the next events after that, scheduled for late June and early July, respectively.
The big question here surrounds the USGA’s amateur events. The organization has canceled the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, and moved the Curtis Cup, scheduled for June, to 2021. Registration has been delayed for four major amateur events: U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Junior and U.S. Girls’ Junior. Those four events account for most of the USGA’s July and August lineup.