Apr 7th, 2020
New schedule for the majors
USGA and Augusta announce new dates
Following the understandable cancellation of the Open, the proposed new dates for the remaining three majors are known. The PGA Championship will take place between the 6th and 9th of August at TPC Harding Park, the U.S. Open remains at Winged Foot and has been moved back to the 18th to 21st September and the Masters, usually the first major of the year will now come last between 12th and 15th of November.
The new schedule means that if things stay as they are the U.S. Open will take place one week before the Ryder Cup which is scheduled to be played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from 25th to 27th September.
“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,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “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.”
The USGA is currently evaluating how the postponement will affect exemption categories, and definitive changes will be communicated as soon as possible. As previously announced, the USGA will strive to conduct qualifying that fits health and safety guidelines while accommodating the rescheduled championship dates.
In a statement, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said, “We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favourable counsel and direction from health officials. Provided that occurs and we can conduct the 2020 Masters, we intend to invite those professionals and amateurs who would have qualified for our original April date and welcome all existing ticket holders.”
Given the current state of the Coronavirus, it is a gutsy call to look to stage the PGA Championship in early August and it would not be a surprise if this changes in the coming weeks. Construction of the stands and other infrastructure commences typically at least 10 weeks ahead of an event so there will not be much time to change tack.
And another thing...