Despite delay, organizers planning for successful BMW Championship
The tournament schedules of the pro golf tours have turned into a mess, the result of the coronavirus pandemic. Chicago's premier tournament, the BMW Championship, won't undergo much of an adjustment, however.
The FedEx Cup Playoff event was moved only one week as part of a schedule revamping announced Monday by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. It'll remain at Olympia Fields Country Club, but the dates will be Aug. 27-30 for the tournament rounds.
"We've been working closely with the PGA Tour, BMW and our host club to ensure a smooth transition to our new dates while focusing on the healthy and safety of all involved," said Vince Pellegrino, senior vice president of tournaments for the Western Golf Association.
As part of Monahan's announcement the last regular season PGA Tour event will be the Wyndham Championship, in Greensboro, N.C., from Aug. 10-16. The next week the playoffs begin with The Northern Trust Aug. 17-23, followed by The BMW and The Tour Championship will be held from Sept. 1-7 at East Lake in Atlanta.
Some bigger, more attractive events will be played after that.
"It's a complex situation, and we want to balance the commitments to our various partners with playing opportunities for the world's best players while providing compelling competition to our fans," Monahan said. "But all that must be done while safely navigating the unprecedented global crisis impacting every single one of us."
Tickets already purchased for the BMW Championship will be honored at Olympia Fields on the days of the week noted on the tickets. The tournament will again raise funds for its sole beneficiary, the Evans Scholars Foundation. Last year's event at Medinah Country Club drew 130,000 fans and raised $4.4 million for the charity.
"We're committed to hosting a safe and entertaining event," Pellegrino said, "while also continuing to provide the Evans Scholars Foundation with vital funding for college scholarships for deserving caddies. As we navigate this challenging time we remain committed to fulfilling our mission to help young men and women build better lives for themselves while building stronger communities."
The PGA Tour plans to resume its tournament schedule May 21 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas. Eight tournaments have already been canceled but Illinois' other PGA stop -- the 50th anniversary staging of the John Deere Classic -- remains on tap July 9-12 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
The WGA will conduct five of its six tournaments in the Chicago area this year, the next being the Evans Scholars Invitational, also May 21-24 at The Glen Club in Glenview. That tournament, part of the PGA's developmental Korn Ferry Tour, is the planned return of competition on that circuit. Six Korn Ferry tournaments have already been canceled and two others postponed.
New dates have been announced for three of golf's major championships. The PGA Championship, planned for May at Harding Park in San Francisco, is now Aug. 3-9. The U.S. Open had June dates at Winged Foot in New York, and will be played Sept. 17-20. The Masters moves from this week to Nov. 12-15 at Augusta National.
The British Open at Royal St. George's in England has been canceled and the Olympic Games golf competition July 30-Aug. 2 in Japan has been postponed with no new date set. The Ryder Cup matches remain at Wisconsin's Whistling Straits from Sept. 25-27.
More changes are possible, as the PGA Tour listed three vacant weeks -- June 18-21, July 16-19 and July 30-Aug. 2 -- as "potential'' tournament dates.
The U.S. Golf Association, meanwhile, canceled two of its national championships -- the U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Senior Women's Open. The USGA had canceled its first two championships -- the U.S. Senior Amateur Four-Ball and the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball -- last month.
On the Ladies PGA Tour the next scheduled tournament is the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship July 19-21. The LPGA has rescheduled two of its major tournaments. The ANA Inspiration is now on tap Sept. 10-13 at Mission Hills in California, and the U.S. Women's Open has been given Dec. 10-13 dates at Champions Golf Club in Houston.