“A dream season,” Commissioner Jay Monahan said.
Concluding a season shut down for three months by the coronavirus, the tour announced a 2020-21 schedule Wednesday that includes two Masters in a span of five months, two U.S. Opens on opposite ends of the country and a tournament in the Dominican Republic that will be played twice in the same season.
It starts Sept. 10 in Napa, California. It ends Sept. 4 in Atlanta.
And those 50 events offering official money do not include the Olympics, which were postponed until 2021 in Tokyo and will be held two weeks after the British Open and the week before a World Golf Championship.
None of this would have happened if not for golf going dark from March 13 until June 11 when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports around the world and led to three tournaments — including the Masters and the U.S. Open — being rescheduled in the fall after the FedEx Cup season ends.
The other was a tournament in the Dominican Republic. It originally was canceled, and then rescheduled until Sept. 24-27, the same weekend of the Ryder Cup, which subsequently was postponed.
The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship then will return to its regular spot on the schedule in March, opposite the Dell Technologies Match Play. It will offer full FedEx Cup points — and presumably an invitation to the Masters to the winner — in September, and then reduced points and no Masters Invitation available in March.
Monahan also said the Bermuda Championship that ends Nov. 1 also will receive full FedEx Cup points because it is no longer the same week as the World Golf Championship in Shanghai, which was canceled this year.
“If you’re a golf fan, this is a dream season with more significant events than ever before, including the Olympic Games,” Monahan said. “What more can you ask for?”
Because of the pandemic, this season lost 13 tournaments (one was replaced by a temporary event at Muirfield Village).
The new season will have 12 events in the fall — the U.S. Open is Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot and the Masters is Nov. 12-15 — and then resume Jan. 7 at Kapalua for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Because so many tournaments were lost, the 30 players who reached the Tour Championship will be eligible for the winners-only field at Kapalua.
The U.S. Open will be at Torrey Pines next year, while the PGA Championship is at Kiawah Island. The British Open is at Royal St. George's in England, where it was scheduled to be in 2020 until it was canceled.
Still to be determined is when tournaments will allow spectators. Monahan said the Dominican Republic event in late September will have a pro-am. Monahan said all amateurs will be tested at tournaments that have pro-ams.
“When we feel like it’s safe to return fans out here, that’s when fans will return,” he said. “We owe that to them, to make sure that we’re supported locally in every market we play in.”
The 1962 schedule was seven years before the PGA Tour broke away from the PGA of America. That season began Jan. 8 with the Los Angeles Open — the pro debut of Jack Nicklaus — and ended Dec. 9 with the Coral Gables Open Invitational.