11 Jun 2020 | Professional golf |
Aussies seek to recapture hot streak
by Martin Blake
Australian professional golf was on an unprecedented run when the Covid-19 virus shut the sporting world down earlier this year. With the US PGA Tour about to resume tonight in Texas, we’re about to find out whether all the momentum was lost.
Six male Australian pros won tournaments in the first seven weeks of 2020 – Adam Scott, Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman in America, Wade Ormsby in Asia, Lucas Herbert in the Middle East and Min Woo Lee on the Bellarine Peninsula back at home.
Then the season suddenly stopped for three months, leaving the players in limbo.
When the US Tour resumes tonight Australian time in Fort Worth, Texas, there will be six Australians teeing it up –Leishman, Smith, Jason Day, Cameron Davis, Matt Jones and John Senden. The Charles Schwab Cup at Colonial Country Club has drawn an outstanding field that includes 16 of the top 20 players in the world, many of them craving some competition.
The big name missing is Tiger Woods, whose schedule is not yet clear.
Of the top-ranked Australians, world No. 6 Adam Scott is still at home and does not intend playing in America for a while yet.
Golf is the first big sport to return in America after the lockdown, and around the world, some of the other tours are still getting houses in order. The European Tour resumes in England in a month and the LPGA Tour has the same time frame in mind.
This weekend’s tournament will be closely-watched, and not only because golf fans have been so starved of action. There is the novelty of a golf tournament with no crowd (although next week at the Memorial, spectators will be allowed with some restrictions). There is the fact that caddies will wear masks and be required to clean flagstick sand bunker rakes after touching them.
It is a launch into a new world.
The only event scheduled on the Australasian tour calendar is the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland from 3-6 December.
While the Australian Open was due to be played at Kingston Heath later this year, that event has been thrown into doubt by the pandemic and surrounding travel restrictions for players.
Golf Australia has said a decision will be made soon, but it is possible the oldest tournament on our calendar may not be played in 2020 at all, and pushed back to February, 2021.
WORLD GOLF’S SIGNIFICANT DATES 2020
July 22 European Tour resumption, LPGA Tour resumption
August 6-9 US PGA Championship
August 20-23 Women’s British Open
September 4-7 US Tour Championship
September 10-13 ANA Inspiration (LPGA)
September 17-20 US Open
October 8-11 Women’s PGA Championship
November 12-15 The Masters
December 10-13 European Tour championship
December 10-13 US Women’s Open
December 17-20 LPGA Tour championship
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