New Major Championship Dates Confirmed
Beginning what was scheduled to be the week of The Masters, it's been a significant day of news in golf, as the various governing bodies and organisations have revealed a newly revised plan of dates for this season's men's majors.
Earlier, The R&A had announced that The 149th Open Championship at Royal St George's had been pushed back a year to 2021, meaning that the Claret Jug won't be awarded in 2020. However, in the space of widespread turmoil in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the status of The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Ryder Cup had remained unclear.
Now, fresh dates for those events have been revealed, potentially setting up a thrilling autumn for golf viewing.
- PGA Championship: Aug 6th-9th
- U.S. Open: Sept 17th-20th
- Ryder Cup: Sept 25th-27th
- The Masters: Nov 12th-15th
Releasing a statement, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, Fred Ridley revealed that The Masters would uniquely become the final major of the year, played in mid-November, a far cry from those quintessential springtime images that we know.
"In collaboration with the leading organisations in golf, Augusta National Golf Club has identified November 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters. While more details will be shared in the weeks and months to come, we, like all of you, will continue to focus on all mandated precautions and guidelines to fight against the Coronavirus. Along the way, we hope the anticipation of staging the Masters Tournament in the fall brings a moment of joy to the Augusta community and all those who love the sport."
The USGA's Mike Davis has also confirmed the new date for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, originally set for June.
“We are hopeful that postponing the championship will offer us the opportunity to mitigate health and safety issues while still providing us with the best opportunity to conduct the U.S. Open this year. We are incredibly thankful to the membership and staff at Winged Foot for their flexibility and support. We are also grateful for the wonderful collaboration among the professional tours and other majors in working through a complicated schedule.”
Finally, the PGA of America has pushed the PGA Championship back to August - reflecting its longtime date - and stated that the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits remains on the schedule as planned.
"Sports, and particularly the game of golf, are important vehicles for healing and hope,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “With the help of the City and County of San Francisco, our friends at the PGA TOUR, and our partners CBS Sports and ESPN, we are holding August 3-9 as dates for a rescheduled 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park.
"We will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials, but are hopeful that it will be safe and responsible to conduct the PGA Championship in August and the Ryder Cup as planned from September 22-27 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin with our NBC Sports partners. With our country going through extremely difficult times, it will be an honour for all of us at the PGA of America to hopefully help turn a page in August with the PGA Championship and September with the Ryder Cup."
The PGA Tour has re-worked much of its season to accommodate these major changes, making a statement on its website:
"While collaborating with the PGA of America to find a viable date for the PGA Championship in August, the PGA TOUR worked with its host organisations and title sponsors to move the Regular Season finale – the Wyndham Championship – and all three FedExCup Playoffs events one week later, starting the week of August 10 and concluding with a Monday, September 7, Labor Day finish for the TOUR Championship.
"The TOUR will seek to reschedule tournaments into the weeks formerly occupied by the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the Men’s Olympic golf competition in June and July. The TOUR will make further announcements about this potential, as well as its fall schedule, in the coming weeks."
However, as it stands, the European Tour remains in limbo, with more details to come, while the LPGA Tour season is scheduled to resume in June, with two majors, the ANA Inspiration and the U.S. Women’s Open moving to September and December respectively.
The game has shown a significant degree of unity and collaboration in unveiling this newly revised schedule. While there is no guarantee that events will proceed as planned during these extraordinary times, following the news of The Open's extended postponement, golf fans will welcome this positive sign of something tangible to look forward to later in the year.
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