PGA Tour Unveils Joint Events with European Tour, WGC Reduction in 2021-22 Calendar | Golf News and Tour Information

The expansion on the European front and the contraction of the World Golf Championships seem to signal an imminent change in the dynamics of the PGA Tour calendar.

The tour released its 2021-2022 schedule of 48 events on Tuesday, and as expected it includes the first of what could be several steps to incorporate European tour events into the lineup as both tours rely more on the “strategic alliance” they announced. in November 2020. The most significant development is the designation of three tournaments, including the Genesis Scottish Open, as co-sanctioned events that award points for both the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai.

Meanwhile, the World Golf Championship series, introduced in 1999, has been reduced to a pair of tournaments: the WGC-HSBC Champions in China (October 28-31) and the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship (23- March 27).

There have been four WGCs on the program since 2009: Champions, Championship, Match Play and Invitational. The Championship has changed locations often, but has been known as the WGC-Mexico Championship in recent years. It has been moved from Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City to Concession Golf Club in Florida for 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. There is a “Mexican Championship” in preparation for the end of April, location to be determined, but it is becoming a full event and does not carry a WGC award.

“This is a natural evolution of the men’s professional game as it becomes more global, as evidenced by today’s announcement which involves three co-sanctioned events,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay. Monahan by email. “That said, we are fully invested in the two events of the World Golf Championships this season, and we will continue to work with our partners as the global game continues to evolve.”

The Invitational was held at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio from 1999 to 2018, with the exception of the 2002 edition at the Sahalee Country Club near Seattle, before moving to TPC Southwind in Memphis, where he was known. under the name of WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. This event, which will be called the FedEx St. Jude Championship, becomes the first FedEx Cup qualifying event (August 11-14), replacing the Northern Trust. The BMW Championship retains its place in the second qualifying round and moves to the Wilmington Country Club in Delaware in 2022. The Tour Championship at East Lake will close the season on August 28.

The future of the WGC Series could be complicated by the recent investment by a Saudi-backed group in the Asian Tour, widely seen as the next step in an attempt to shake up the professional golf landscape that includes a circuit. potential rival.

The WGCs are organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, and the PGA Tour has taken a strong stand against cooperation with groups seeking to challenge its position at the top of professional golf. In a related move, the tour, according to a report last week, said it would not grant any event release to players for next year’s Saudi international after the European tour ceased to be. sanction him according to his schedule.

Note also the change of the Puerto Rico Open, which has been played against a WGC since its creation in 2008. The event will be held from March 3 to 6 against the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. It’s unclear if this suggests potential changes to the three invitations to the program – the API, Genesis Invitational, and Memorial Tournament – towards higher status. There is no opposite field event lined up for any of the other two invitations for 2021-2022.

Monahan said Puerto Rico was scheduled across from Bay Hill “for logistical reasons,” namely convenience for players competing the week before at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The CJ Cup (October 14-17) will be played in Las Vegas for the second year in a row, with the Summit Club taking over from Shadow Creek. The event plans to return to South Korea in the future as the first leg of Asian swing in three tournaments. The Zozo Championship, played at Sherwood Country Club in California last year, will return to Narashino Golf Club outside Tokyo, where Tiger Woods won the inaugural event in 2019. The WGC-HSBC champions are set to be played the following week, although rapidly evolving COVID situations could impact the status of these international events.

The Scottish Open, a Rolex series that earns a new title sponsor in Genesis, will feature a field divided between members of the PGA Tour and the European Tour. The event took place at the Renaissance Golf Club the week leading up to the Open Championship each of the past three years, and the 2021 edition has attracted a particularly strong field. In addition, the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship in the United States become co-sponsored events. Organized in Kentucky, the Barbasol championship will be played against the Scottish Open (July 7-10). The Barracuda Championship in California is opposed to the 150th of the Open Championship in St. Andrews the following week.

In addition, the PGA Tour strengthens the Irish Open by contributing to a near-doubling of its cash prize to $ 6 million in 2022, although this event has yet to establish its dates or location, and is nor is it co-sanctioned.

“Today’s announcement shows not only the growth of the game, but also how professional golf is working together like never before,” said Monahan. “The strategic alliance between the PGA Tour and the European Tour has been an important and positive step forward in these efforts. … We continue to work diligently with stakeholders in global professional golf and look forward to further announcements on this front.

The tour’s nine-year media deal with CBS Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN comes into effect in early 2022. The deal, valued at $ 680 million per year, marks an increase of more than 40% from the previous agreement. CBS and NBC will continue to broadcast the PGA Tour weekend events, but ESPN will take over the direct-to-consumer broadcast rights and broadcast PGA Tour Live through its ESPN + offering.

Multiple sources tell Golf Digest that more changes could come in 2023, including a review of the tour’s wrap-up schedule that has been in place since 2013-14.

“The PGA Tour is constantly evaluating how to strengthen its schedule and pro golf in the United States and around the world,” Monahan said when asked if it was possible to revert to a schedule-based schedule. “As we continue to work with key stakeholders and game stewards, we also look forward to announcements in the near future on how our product will continue to evolve and best serve our members and fans around the world. whole. “

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