European Tour announces plans to resume 2020 season from JULY

European Tour announces plans to resume 2020 season behind closed doors from JULY… as they launch six-week ‘UK Swing’ series to whet golf fans’ appetites

  • European Tour golf is set to resume from July, with play through until December
  • A six-tournament ‘UK Swing’ series in July and August launches reshaped season
  • Rescheduled dates have also been announced for four Rolex Series events 
  • Tour says tournaments ‘will be subject to stringent safety and testing protocols’
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Golf looks set to be the latest major sport to return to action in the UK after the European Tour confirmed plans to restart the 2020 season in July.

The global coronavirus pandemic caused the season to be suspended on March 8, but it will return behind closed doors in July and run through until December.

A new six-tournament ‘UK Swing’ series in July and August has been announced to whet the appetites of British golf fans, beginning with the Betfred British Masters – hosted by Lee Westwood – at Close House from July 22 to July 25. 

Lee Westwood will host the Betfred British Masters, the first of the ‘UK Swing’ series in July

The other ‘UK Swing’ tournaments will be the English Open at Marriott Forest of Arden from July 30- Aug 2, the English Championship at Marriott Hanbury Manor from August 6-9, the Celtic Classic from August 13-16 and the Wales Open from August 20-23, with the latter two both held at Celtic Manor. The final tournament of the swing will be the UK Championship at The Belfry from August 27-30.

In a statement released by the European Tour, it was noted that ‘all tournaments will be subject to stringent safety and testing protocols set out in the Tour’s comprehensive Health Strategy’, as the sport looks to deal with the ever-evolving coronavirus pandemic.

Rescheduled dates have also been announced for four Rolex Series events; the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club which now takes place from October 8-11 and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club which moves to the following week, October 15-18.

There are also new dates for the final two tournaments of the year. The Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player is now scheduled for December 3-6 at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, with the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, now due to take place from December 10-13 at Jumeirah Golf Estates, where the 2020 Race to Dubai Champion will be crowned.

Fans will get to see the likes of Rory McIlroy back in action on TV from July to December

UK SWING SCHEDULE

Jul 22-25: Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood, Close House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England

July 30- Aug 2: English Open, Marriott Forest of Arden, Birmingham, England

Aug 6-9: English Championship, Marriott Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire, England

Aug 13-16: Celtic Classic, The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, Wales

Aug 20-23: Wales Open, The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, Wales

Aug 27-30: UK Championship, The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England

All European Tour events that take place after the resumption of the sport in July will also be part of a new ‘Golf for Good’ initiative.

It will be launched at the new ‘UK Swing’ in July, and will culminate in £500,000 from the European Tour being distributed equally between charities local to the tournament venues and chosen by the 10 leading players at the end of the series. 

Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said: ‘Since the suspension of our 2020 season in early March, we have taken a measured approach in reassessing our schedule, informed every step of the way by our medical advisers and government guidance. 

‘We have consistently said that safety is our absolute priority and that is why today we are announcing our resumption in two months’ time supported by a comprehensive health strategy which has been led by our medical team.

European Tour professional Oliver Fisher plays a practice round last week at Centurion Club

‘Without question we have had to think differently about the remainder of our 2020 season which is reflected in today’s announcement. 

‘As golf’s global Tour, diversity is ordinarily one of our biggest strengths, but in this instance it has become one of our biggest challenges.

‘Initially, therefore, based on the expert guidance we received, playing in clusters, in one territory, is the best option in terms of testing, travel and accommodation.’ 

Golf in the United States will return even earlier, on June 11, as the rival PGA Tour resumes following the shutdown.

The action will begin at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, from June 11 to 14. At least that event, plus the three following tournaments, will be played without fans in attendance. 




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