Officials Hope To Reschedule PGA Championship For Later This Year
The PGA Championship at S.F.'s TPC Harding Park "will be postponed," and the PGA of America "hopes to reschedule the event for later this summer," according to Scott Ostler of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The PGA said keeping the tournament in S.F. is "absolutely a priority." PGA CEO Seth Waugh said, "The city's going to get the option (of hosting the tourney this summer), and if doesn't work for them, we understand and we'll have to make other plans. ... It isn't about money, but it is about delivering into the city something we promised, and that's obviously Plan A. We don't have a Plan B" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/18). GOLF DIGEST's Brian Wacker cites a source as saying that it is expected that the start of the PGA Tour's FedExCup Playoffs, currently scheduled for The Northern Trust on Aug. 13-16 at TPC Boston, "will be pushed back a week, which would open the door for the PGA Championship to be played in open slot" (GOLF DIGEST, 3/18). Meanwhile, GOLFCHANNEL.com's Ryan Lavner noted the USGA yesterday announced that it was "canceling local qualifiers for the U.S. Open but will 'look to redesign qualifying' in the coming months." The USGA as of now is "continuing to 'hold the dates' for both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open." The U.S. Open is scheduled for June 18-21 at Winged Foot in New York (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 3/17).
TOUGH DECISION: GOLFWEEK's Adam Schupak noted the PGA Tour is "canceling all tournaments through the PGA Championship," meaning the following tournaments now have been called off: the RBC Heritage; Zurich Classic of New Orleans; Wells Fargo Championship; and AT&T Byron Nelson Championship. The PGA Tour's announcement "comes five days after it scrapped the Players Championship after one round" and also said that the Valspar Championship, WGC Dell Technologies Matchplay and Valero Texas Open "would be canceled." Meanwhile, the RBC Heritage and AT&T Byron Nelson said that they "will refund tickets" (GOLFWEEK.com, 3/17). In Dallas, Brad Townsend notes this is the first year since 1965 that a PGA Tour event will not be played in Dallas County (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/18). Meanwhile, GOLF DIGEST's Wacker noted members of the PGA Tour's Player Advisory Committee yesterday afternoon "were on a phone call ... in which tour officials outlined the tour's move." Players "were notified shortly afterward" (GOLF DIGEST, 3/18).
RYDER CUP: GOLFWEEK's Steve DiMeglio noted the PGA of America denied reports of a possible Ryder Cup postponement, saying that they were "inaccurate." The biennial contest between the U.S. and Europe is "still on the schedule for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin" (GOLFWEEK.com, 3/17). The London Telegraph's James Corrigan in the initial report noted the Ryder Cup is "expected to be postponed until next year, with golf authorities rapidly reaching the decision that their most lucrative spectacle should not be jammed into a schedule that is contracting by the week." But with the suspension of all of the major tours, the European Tour and PGA of America -- the bodies that run the Ryder Cup -- are "ready to replicate the decision of 19 years ago" when the '01 Ryder Cup at The Belfry was "delayed for a year following the 9/11 terrorist attacks" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/17). European team captain Padraig Harrington this morning on an Irish radio show said, “September is a long way off, so there’s no change to the situation at all at this stage. ... I’m on the inside of these things. Normally you’re looking at ‘anonymous source says this,' but now that I’m on the inside, you go, ‘Wow, that really is made-up stuff’” ("Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show," Today FM, 3/18).
ASTERISK YEAR: GOLFCHANNEL.com's Randall Mell noted LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan is "studying the possibility of some creative rescheduling," as six of his events are already canceled or postponed this season and "more likely to meet the same fate." One possibility includes "doubling up postponed events." Whan "did not lay out any specifically planned pairing of sponsors." He said, "I don't think you could expect to see a heavy dose of that, but I think you can expect to see at least one. This is going to be the year of an asterisk. There's no getting around that." Whan: "Everything is on the table" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 3/17).