European Tour Going Virtual
Golf’s European Tour has been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Tour has come up with a new plan. The European Tour announced on Tuesday that they will be hosting a five-week slate of Virtual Golf that begins on Saturday.
Martin Kaymer, Joost Luiten, Mike Lorenzo Vera, and Lee Westwood will compete on five different courses over the next five weeks to provide some entertainment to golf fans. The name of the event is being called the BMW Indoor Invitational, and it will feature five rounds of 18 holes to decide the champion.
The invitational will feature five of the most famous courses on the European Tour using technology from Trackman. The Old Course at St. Andrews will be the site of the first round set to take place this week.
The other four courses have also been announced, and they are Royal Portrush, Golfclub München Eichenried, Valderrama, and Wentworth. Fans that tune in to watch the event will see many of the same features that they see on the European Tour matches.
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The European Tour’s social media channels will stream each round, giving fans an inside look at the courses and the four competing golfers.
Korn Ferry Tour Changing Schedule
The Korn Ferry Tour is the developmental program of the PGA Tour, and they have been forced to change their schedule due to the pandemic. The Tour has decided to add some matches in the fall based on the fact that they will not be graduating players to the PGA Tour this year.
There will now be five events held after the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Four of these events were slated to take place before the championship, but have been rescheduled.
Players on the Korn Ferry Tour will now also be forced to compete in 2021 for the right to earn a promotion to the PGA Tour. The top 25 players after the 2021 regular season will earn a PGA Tour card, and 25 other cards will be handed out during the postseason.
The new schedule will force players to play back-to-back weeks at TPC San Antonio. Players will compete on the Canyons Course during the first week, and will play on the Oaks course the second week.
The Korn Ferry Tour has added provisions that will allow the top-10 players after the Tour Championship to compete in PGA Tour opposite-field events next year. The 2021 Korn Ferry Tour schedule has not been announced but will come out this fall.
Big Names Highlight Charity Match
Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Matthew Wolff are set to take part in a charity match to aid in the coronavirus relief efforts. This will be the first live golf event since the PGA Tour shut down in March.
The Seminole Golf Club in Juno, Fla., will host the TaylorMade Driving Relief event on May 17. McIlroy and Johnson will take on Fowler and Wolff in a skins game that will be broadcast on NBC-TV. The event will also be streamed for free.
Fowler and Wolff have agreed to play for the CDC Foundation. Johnson and McIlroy will be competing for the American Nurses Foundation.
Farmers Insurance has donated $1 million for a birdies and eagles pool, with the money going to help out Off Their Plate. UnitedHealth Group previously pledged $3 million in charity skins that will be awarded based on the results of each hole.
The PGA Tour announced last month that they are planning to resume their operations on June 11 at the Charles Schwab Cup. This event will take place without fans, as will the next three scheduled matches.