PGA's revamped schedule targets JDC as first event to re-allow spectators

  • Steve Stricker hits on the ninth fairway during the final round of the John Deere Classic golf tournament at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill in 2018. The JDC will still go on as scheduled from July 6-12. It is also being targeted as the first PGA stop to allow spectators since the coronavirus pandemic forced a series of postponements and cancellations on both circuits.

    Steve Stricker hits on the ninth fairway during the final round of the John Deere Classic golf tournament at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill in 2018. The JDC will still go on as scheduled from July 6-12. It is also being targeted as the first PGA stop to allow spectators since the coronavirus pandemic forced a series of postponements and cancellations on both circuits. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/17/2020 6:38 AM

While the PGA Tour schedule remained in a state of flux Thursday, there were some noteworthy developments. Two involved Illinois tournaments.

The Evans Scholars Invitational, scheduled as the next event on the PGA's alternate Korn Ferry Tour, won't be played in late May at The Glen Club, in Glenview. It's not being canceled, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

And the John Deere Classic will still go on as scheduled from July 6-12 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. It is also being targeted as the first PGA stop to allow spectators since the coronavirus pandemic forced a series of postponements and cancellations on both circuits.

It's a big year for the JDC. The tournament will be celebrating its 50th anniversary and its volunteer staff was alerted Thursday that it should be prepared to welcome spectators.

According to the PGA Tour's revamped schedule, released on Thursday, the first four tournaments will be closed to the general public. That policy could change, though, based on recommendations of local and state authorities in each market.

The latest schedule has the PGA Tour resuming play at the Charles Schwab Challenge, at Colonial in Ft. Worth, Texas, the week of June 8-14. That event was to be played May 18-24 -- the same dates as the Korn Ferry event at The Glen Club -- but was pushed back as other dates opened up.

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The RBC Heritage, at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina, is getting a second chance at playing. The tournament was to be played this week and it's now scheduled June 15-21 -- the dates originally planned for the U.S. Open.

Before the JDC are the Travelers Championship in Connecticut from June 22-28, and the Rocket Mortgage Classic July 2-5 in Detroit.

The John Deere Classic is traditionally held the week before the British Open, but the British is canceled. Taking over the British dates is Jack Nicklaus' Memorial tournament July 13-19 in Ohio. It had originally been scheduled in May.

There will be only three major championships this year instead of the usual four. The PGA Championship is Aug. 3-9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco and PGA officials say it will go on without spectators if conditions demand it. The PGA of America, adamant about using those dates, said the tourney could also be moved if conditions require it.

The U.S. Open, at New York's Winged Foot, is Sept. 14-20, a week before the Ryder Cup matches between the U.S. and Europe at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The Masters has been rescheduled for Nov. 9-15 in Georgia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

With 22 events having been played through the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, the adjusted season-long schedule -- again subject to change -- will consist of 36 events including three Fed Ex Cup Playoff events. The second of those is the BMW Championship. It was previously moved back a week, to Aug. 24-30, and will remain at Olympia Fields.

Thursday's announcements also revealed that the Canadian Open and Barbasol Championship on the PGA Tour have been canceled and the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic has been moved to Sept. 21-27. It'll be played opposite the Ryder Cup matches.

In addition, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier won't be on the PGA Tour's fall schedule. It's ending its 10-year run by mutual agreement with the Tour. It was under contract through 2026 at the West Virginia resort owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

As for the Evans Scholars Invitational, which made its debut on the Korn Ferry circuit last year, the Western Golf Association is working with the PGA Tour on finding dates later in the year. Three other Korn Ferry tournaments were canceled Thursday.

"We conduct the Evans Scholars Invitational to raise funds and greater awareness for the Evans Scholars Foundation's scholarship programs for caddies, and we're looking forward to the opportunity to hold the invitational at a later date," said Vince Pellegrino, the WGA's senior vice president for tournaments. "We're disappointed that we won't be able to conduct the Evans Scholars Invitational in May. However, our first priority remains the health and safety of the players, fans, sponsors, volunteers and everyone in the local community."

The Korn Ferry is scheduled to return to competition with a new tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the week of June 8 without fans in attendance.

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