The PGA Tour is expanding the cancellation of its tournaments for another four weeks, extending through the AT&T Byron Nelson that is scheduled for May 7-10, multiple sources have confirmed to Golf Digest. Also, the PGA Championship, scheduled for May 14-17 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, has been postponed.
Members of the Tour’s Player Advisory Committee were on a phone call Tuesday afternoon in which tour officials outlined the plan moving forward. Players were to be notified shortly afterward.
An announcement from the tour is expected later on Tuesday. The PGA of America released its statement about the PGA Championship just before 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Throughout our evaluation process, we have been committed to following the guidance of public health authorities and given the coronavirus shelter-in-place order in effect in San Francisco, postponement is the best decision for all involved,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.
The decisions come as much of the United States continued with more cancellations, postponements, travel restrictions and closures due to the escalating COVID-19 crisis.
The new Tour tournaments to be canceled are the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town in South Carolina, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, and the Byron Nelson in Dallas.
Also, according to a source it’s expected that the start of the Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs, currently scheduled for The Northern Trust on Aug 13-16 at TPC Boston, will be pushed back a week, which would open the door for the PGA Championship to be played in the open slot.
Waugh did not specify when the PGA Championship might be rescheduled, but noted in the PGA of America release: “We are and have been working in concert with Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners and friends at the PGA Tour to find an alternative date that works for all. We are all very hopeful for a great outcome.
“We are also in dialogue with Mayor Breed and her team at the City of San Francisco and look forward to hopefully bringing the 2020 PGA Championship to TPC Harding Park at a date this summer when it is once again safe and responsible to do so.”
Meanwhile, the Official World Golf Ranking—one of the determinations for who qualifies for majors and other events such as the World Golf Championships—will be frozen until play across golf’s major tours resumes, according to a source.
Last week, the PGA Tour canceled the Players Championship in the hours after the first round at TPC Sawgrass and announced that it was canceling all tournaments through the Valero Texas Open, which was slated for April 2-5. The following morning, Augusta National followed suit, announcing the Masters, originally scheduled for the week after the Valero, would be postponed, and on Monday the club sent a letter to its members that it was closing the course this week. That brings the total of PGA Tour events canceled due to the coronavirus to nine.
The news comes after the CDC suggested on Sunday canceling or postponing events with 50 or more people throughout the country for the next eight weeks and a day after the PGA of America announced that it was postponing the PGA Professional Championship, which was scheduled for April 26-29 in Austin, Texas.