A tentative plan for a revised professional golf calendar calls for the Masters to be held in November, and the U.S. Open possibly could get moved to California, Golfweek reported Thursday.
The report indicated that the release of the new schedule is on hold pending a decision about the fate of The Open Championship. The Open’s organizers, the Royal & Ancient, earlier Thursday refuted a report that the event will be canceled.
The major golf tours all shut down last month amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving event organizers scrambled to determine whether events can or will be rescheduled or whether they will be canceled for the year.
The revised schedule would have the PGA Championship serve as the year’s first major, Aug. 6-9. The event would be held at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, where it had been scheduled for May 14-17 before a postponement was announced last month.
The Open Championship, currently scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, would be held at that venue Sept. 17-20 under the reported new slate. However, should the R&A decide to cancel The Open Championship, the U.S. Open reportedly could fill the Sept. 17-20 slot.
The week of Nov. 9 is being floated as the new date for the Masters.
The Ryder Cup remains scheduled for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis.
The U.S. Open has yet to announce a postponement for the event scheduled for June 18-21 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
USGA chief brand officer Craig Annis told Golfweek, “At this point we are not in a position to confirm any specific dates. While we are hopeful that we will be able to conduct the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in June, it is increasingly likely that we will need to postpone.
“We have been working with our broadcast partner Fox Sports, the PGA Tour, and other golf organizations to determine what a viable postponement date could be should we need to make that decision. We are currently considering a number of options and expect to be in a position to announce a decision by next week.”
Golfweek reported that the USGA has had talks about moving the U.S. Open to Torrey Pines in San Diego or Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.
Annis told Golfweek, “Depending on how far out we might have to go it could mean that we need to find a new location. If we get beyond September we would need to find a U.S. Open-ready course in a place with the right climate and agronomics, with consideration to available daylight hours.
“We are fortunate to have a number of USGA host site partners who we are engaging with to determine viability.”
The fact that Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach are both home to multiple courses works in their favor.
“Certainly if we had to postpone and if we moved to a slot in the late fall, we would potentially need two courses if the size of the field remains the same,” Annis told Golfweek. “The traditional timing of the U.S. Open allows us to work with maximum daylight hours. Any move away from that would provide daylight challenges for us that we would need to address and playing on two courses could be a way to resolve that challenge.”
Torrey Pines’ South Course is scheduled to host the 2021 U.S. Open, and Pebble Beach is set to host the event in 2027. – Reuters