With the success of the TaylorMade Relief Charity match featuring Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, a successful return to PGA action is looking promising. We look at the events scheduled for next month’s PGA return.
Charles Schwab Challenge
Where: Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
When: June 11-14
The field for this first non-major event and first PGA Tour event back could be tremendous. We now know that World Number 1. Rory McIlroy wants to play in all three June events. Joining him for this Texas showdown includes Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed. Another entry is lefty Phil Mickelson, a two-time champion on the Fort Worth course in 2000 and 2008 and a sound record of top 10 finishes.
Defending Champion: Kevin Na (USA)
McIlroy has never played at this course, and the record for first-timers is not in his favour. No player has won at this course on their first attempt since Sergio Garcia all the way back in 2001. Defending champion Kevin Na comes into this tournament with two top 10 and a tournament win in Vegas this season. He secured the Shriners Hospital for Children Open for a second time in October, shooting -23. The South Korean born American finished the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge event with -13, four shots ahead of Tony Finau in second place.
The governor of Texas gave the go-ahead for sport to return ahead of the tournament. For the tournament to go ahead, the PGA Tour will help provide around 400 coronavirus tests for everyone involved. Any player that tests positive must self isolate for at least 10 days. By following social distancing rules both on and off the course, and staying away from the public, the PGA are hoping for a healthy first tournament back.
Where: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA
When: June 18-21
A lot of top guys miss out on this well known post-Masters event over the years, but now some will most likely play. Just like in Fort Worth, it sets the Hilton Head Island event up to attract its biggest and best field. McIlory will likely be alongside the likes of Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau and many more top players. Other players expected to make up the extended field include Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, and South Carolinian’s Wesley Bryan and Kevin Kisner.
Defending Champion: C. T. Pan (Taiwan)
Simpson has made the most appearances at Harbour Town of all top 10 players with 10 appearances and finished second in 2013. The defending champion in this one is another Asian player in C. T. Pan. The short Taiwanese golfer, just 5ft 6in, held off Matt Kuchar in the 2019 RBC Heritage to win his first PGA Tour event. He shot -12 for the tournament, thanks to an excellent 65 score in Round 2.
Pan was the first player to withdraw from The Players Championship back in March and used social media to voice his concerns about health and safety. Already understanding the severity of the situation, Pan’s early exit cost him a chance at a payout. That tournament only lasted one round before being cancelled, and Pan still shares concerns about the upcoming events in June. However, he is one of many golfers ready and waiting for a return to competing.
Where: TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut, USA
When: June 25-28
The last event set to make up a historic month of PGA action comes from TPC River Highlands in Connecticut. The Travelers Championship is the first tournament to return without its dates needing to change. One of the most memorable victories on this course came from rising start Jordan Spieth, who hit an incredible bunker shot in front of an immense crowd to win a play-off against Daniel Berger.
Defending Champion: Chez Reavie (USA)
The thousands of miles required to travel from event-to-event will take its toll on Scotsman Russell Knox. Defending champion Chez Reavie finishing with -17 for the tournament, four shots ahead of Zack Sucher and Keegan Bradley. The Arizona resident secured his second PGA win, and the first for over a decade. Reavie had his best year last year, ranking as high as 26 and securing a T3 at the US Open behind Brooks Koepka and Gary Woodland.
Similarly to Texas and many other states across America, the Connecticut governor’s plan should be in its second phase by the time the tournament comes around. The championship is the third of four proposed tournaments in which the PGA plan on having no crowd, however this could change. The following tournament after the Travelers Championship, providing these three events go ahead as scheduled, is the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan on July 2-5.
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