With additional time needed to ensure PGA TOUR tournaments are staged in the most safe and responsible manner possible given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the PGA TOUR is announcing further schedule modifications for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, as well as plans for the opening portion of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Regular Season, the restart of the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour season and updates regarding the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada schedule.
“The health and safety of all associated with the PGA TOUR and our global community continues to be our No. 1 priority, and our hope is to play a role – responsibly – in the world’s return to enjoying the things we love,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Today’s announcement is another positive step for our fans and players as we look toward the future, but as we’ve stressed on several occasions, we will resume competition only when – working closely with our tournaments, partners and communities – it is considered safe to do so under the guidance of the leading public health authorities.”
RELATED: Full schedule
The PGA TOUR had previously targeted the week of the Charles Schwab Challenge (May 18-24) as the restart of the TOUR season, which has been suspended since THE PLAYERS Championship was canceled on Thursday, March 12. For health and safety reasons due to COVID-19, today’s announcement delays that timeline three weeks – to June 8, starting with the Charles Schwab Challenge – with additional tournaments being repositioned between then and the season’s conclusion, which is the TOUR Championship, ending on Labor Day (September 7).
At this time, the TOUR plans to resume play with the first four events closed to the general public but will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations of local and state authorities in order to determine the most appropriate on-site access in each market. As such, the TOUR will continually review available COVID-19-related protocols that could be implemented at PGA TOUR events to ensure the health and well-being for all involved.
All three events that were previously scheduled between May 18 and June 8 – the Charles Schwab Challenge, Rocket Mortgage Classic and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide – have been moved to later dates in the calendar.
The RBC Heritage, originally slated for this week (April 13-19) but canceled on March 17, has been added back to the PGA TOUR schedule in the week formerly occupied by the U.S. Open, which – as previously announced – has been postponed to September.
The RBC Canadian Open, originally scheduled for the week of June 8, has been canceled. Click here for a statement from the RBC Canadian Open. The Barbasol Championship, originally scheduled for July 13-19 opposite The Open Championship, has been canceled. The Open Championship was canceled on April 6.
Three invitationals on the updated schedule, the Charles Schwab Challenge (120 players), RBC Heritage (132 players) and the Memorial Tournament (120 players), will see their respective field sizes increase to 144 to provide additional playing opportunities for PGA TOUR members.
Summary of PGA TOUR events from 2019-20 schedule affected by date changes or cancellations:
• RBC Canadian Open, originally scheduled for the week of June 8-14, has been canceled;
• Charles Schwab Challenge, originally scheduled for May 18-24, rescheduled to June 8-14 (former RBC Canadian Open dates);
• RBC Heritage, originally scheduled for April 13-19, rescheduled to June 15-21 (former U.S. Open dates);
• Rocket Mortgage Classic, originally scheduled for May 25-31, rescheduled to July 2-5 (former World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship dates);
• the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, originally scheduled for June 1-7, rescheduled to July 13-19 (former The Open Championship/Barbasol Championship dates);
• World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship, originally scheduled for June 29-July 5, rescheduled to July 27-August 2 (former Olympic Games men’s golf competition dates);
• Barbasol Championship, originally scheduled for July 13-19 opposite The Open Championship, has been canceled;
• Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, originally scheduled for March 23-29 and postponed on March 12, has been rescheduled as part of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Regular Season schedule, September 21-27 (opposite the Ryder Cup);
• The April 6 golf industry announcement outlined changes to the four major championships as well as the Wyndham Championship and the three FedExCup Playoffs events.
Revised 2019-20 PGA TOUR Season schedule
• June 8-14: Charles Schwab Challenge, Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas
• June 15-21: RBC Heritage, Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina
• June 22-28: Travelers Championship, TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut
• July 2-5: Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan
• July 6-12: John Deere Classic, TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois
• July 13-19: the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio
• July 20-26: 3M Open, TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota
• July 27-August 2: World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee
• July 27-August 2: Barracuda Championship, Tahoe Mountain Club (Old Greenwood), Truckee, California
• August 3-9: PGA Championship, TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California
• August 10-16: Wyndham Championship, Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina
• August 17-23: THE NORTHERN TRUST, TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts
• August 24-30: BMW Championship, Olympia Fields Country Club (North), Olympia Fields, Illinois
• August 31-September 7: TOUR Championship, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
With 22 events having been played through the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, the adjusted season-long schedule – subject to change – now consists of 36 events, including three FedExCup Playoffs events concluding with the TOUR Championship over Labor Day weekend, where the 2020 FedExCup Champion will be crowned.
With the health and safety of all associated with the PGA TOUR tournaments being of utmost importance, the TOUR will be working with its media partners on production plans upon the restart to the season. CBS is scheduled to televise the Charles Schwab Challenge through THE NORTHERN TRUST (11 consecutive events, inclusive of PGA Championship), and NBC is scheduled to televise the BMW Championship and TOUR Championship, culminating on Labor Day Monday.
2020-21 PGA TOUR Season
Additionally, the TOUR today introduced the season-opening weeks of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season, which now has 13 FedExCup events, including – as announced on April 6 by the USGA and Augusta National Golf Club, respectively – the U.S. Open and Masters Tournament.
“This portion of our 2020-21 schedule is possible only because of the many partners who have worked tirelessly to grow their events and impact the lives of those in need in their respective communities, and our players, who have embraced the expanded fall schedule in recent years,” said PGA TOUR Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer Andy Pazder. “We’d like to express our appreciation to the leadership of the Safeway Open, Houston Open and Mayakoba Golf Classic – which will conclude our calendar year schedule in Riviera Maya, Mexico – for their flexibility, which allowed for the U.S. Open and Masters Tournament to be played in the fall. The accommodations will help the global golf community maximize the 2020 calendar, which will be incredibly impactful for our fans and put us in a strong position heading into 2021.”
2020-21 PGA TOUR Season Schedule (fall portion):
• September 7-13: Safeway Open, Silverado Resort and Spa North, Napa, California
• September 14-20: U.S. Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
• # September 21-27: Ryder Cup, Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin
• September 21-27: Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, Corales Golf Club, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
• September 28-October 4: Sanderson Farms Championship, Country Club of Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi
• October 5-11: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada
• October 12-18: THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, Nine Bridges, Jeju Island, Korea
• October 19-25: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
• October 26-November 1: World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai, China
• October 26-November 1: Bermuda Championship, Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton, Bermuda
• November 2-8: Houston Open, Memorial Park Golf Course, Houston, Texas
• November 9-15: Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
• November 16-22: The RSM Classic, Sea Island Resort (Seaside and Plantation), Sea Island, Georgia
• November 23-29: Open week (Thanksgiving)
• November 30-December 6: Mayakoba Golf Classic, El Camaleón Golf Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
• # November 30-December 6: Hero World Challenge, Albany, New Providence, Bahamas
• # December 7-13: QBE Shootout, Tiburón GC, Naples, Florida
• # December 14-20: PNC Father-Son Challenge, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, Orlando, Florida
# indicates unofficial event
After 10 years, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier will no longer be on the PGA TOUR’s schedule, as per a mutual agreement by The Greenbrier and the PGA TOUR.
“We are very grateful to Governor Jim Justice and his Greenbrier Resort for a highly successful 10 years of partnership with the PGA TOUR,” said Pazder. “Governor Justice’s vision and leadership helped shine a light on the men and women that serve our country through the military and first responder programs he implemented through the tournament, and The Greenbrier Resort was an incredibly unique and world-class venue that our players will always remember and cherish.”
Please see link for statement from The Greenbrier
Korn Ferry Tour Schedule
In addition to the PGA TOUR’s schedule modifications, the Korn Ferry Tour announced the postponement of the Evans Scholars Invitational (May 18-24), as well as the cancellation of the REX Hospital Open (May 25-31), BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation (June 1-7) and Live + Work in Maine Open (June 8-14). The Tour will return to competition with a new tournament to be contested in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the week of June 8-14. The $600,000 event will be held at TPC Sawgrass (Dye’s Valley Course) and operated by the Korn Ferry Tour without fans in attendance. The Dye’s Valley Course served as host of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship from 2013 through 2015.
Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada
The Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada is postponing the first six scheduled events of its 2020 season. The tournaments affected are the Canada Life Open in Vancouver (May 28-31); the DCBank Open presented by Times Colonist in Victoria (June 4-7); the GolfBC Championship in Kelowna (June 11-14); the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open in Lethbridge (June 25-28); the Prince Edward Island Pro-Am in Cardigan (July 2-5); and the Osprey Valley Open presented by Votorantim Cimentos – CBM Aggregates outside Toronto, in Caledon (July 9-12). The Mackenzie Tour expects to make more announcements in the next couple weeks with additional information about the 2020 schedule, as well as Qualifying Tournament sites and dates.
PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Series-China
Information regarding PGA TOUR Champions and the PGA TOUR’s other two International Tours, in Latin America and China, will be announced in the coming weeks.
How the NBA’s restart plan impacts the Toronto Raptors – TSN
TORONTO – By Thursday afternoon, the NBA should have the framework in place to restart the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida later this summer.
With a conference call scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET, the board of governors is expected to vote on and approve the league’s proposed plan, according to multiple reports.
The details, as per ESPN and The Athletic, are as follows:
– 22 teams would be included: the 16 teams that occupied a playoff spot when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the season to be put on hold on March 11, as well as the six teams that were within six games of the eighth seed in their respective conferences – Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix in the West and Washington in the East.
– Each team would play eight regular-season games, with games targeted to begin on July 31.
– If the ninth-place team finishes the regular season within four games of the eighth seed in their conference, they will compete in a play-in tournament to decide which club qualifies for the playoffs. The team in ninth would have to eliminate the eighth seed twice in order to advance.
– Outside of a potential play-in tournament to decide eighth place, the playoff seeding and competition structure is expected to remain status quo: separate East and West brackets, seven-games series’ and no reseeding.
Of course, the health and safety protocols that will need to be implemented to mitigate risk and protect players, coaches and team personnel on site are far more important than these logistical or formatting particulars. While some of those details have already been reported – daily testing, social distancing guidelines off the court, no guests permitted on the Disney campus until the playoffs, etc. – many are still being negotiated between the league and the players association.
The virus is in charge, roadblocks remain and plans could still change. On a conference call with the NBA’s head coaches a few weeks ago, commissioner Adam Silver insisted that he’s not afraid to move the timeline of a return or even pull the plug on it altogether in a scenario where it’s deemed unsafe to move forward.
However, for the first time since the league closed its doors nearly three months ago, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Barring an unforeseen development, basketball is coming back.
What does that mean for the reigning champion Toronto Raptors? First and foremost, they’ll get a chance to defend their title. They’ll also have an opportunity to finish what they started back in October.
“It’s going to mean a lot,” said Raptors all-star Pascal Siakam, who spoke to the Toronto media via conference call on Wednesday afternoon. “Obviously, you don’t want your season to just go to waste. There’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into the whole season, working hard. I think particularly for us with injuries and everything that we’ve been through, trying to get healthy all season, working really hard as a team, and beating the odds each and every game, obviously we don’t want to see it end like that. So, we want to be able to play and continue to move forward and hopefully that can happen. We’re excited about attacking another title.”
When play resumes, Toronto will reclaim its record of 46-18 – which, as a refresher, ranks second in the Eastern Conference, 6.5 games behind first-place Milwaukee and 3.0 games ahead of third-place Boston. The Raptors are one of four teams to have already clinched a playoff spot, joining the aforementioned Bucks and Celtics, as well as the Lakers.
It’s expected that teams will reconvene in their home cities in early July before beginning training camp at Disney later in the month. The Raptors will almost certainly go straight to Orlando to simplify the process and maximize training time.
Roughly half the team is currently in Toronto, with the other half scattered throughout the United States. The NBA believes it has government support from both the U.S. and Canada and league officials have assured players they will be permitted to travel between countries when they need to, sources confirm.
They will need to follow quarantine protocol each time they cross the border, though. With that in mind, it makes more sense for the players and personnel that are in Toronto to meet the others in the U.S. and quarantine there for 14 days before camp than it would for those in the U.S. to come back to Canada and have to quarantine twice.
Teams are hoping to get at least two-to-three weeks of training camp in before playing meaningful games, knowing it’s going to take time for everybody to get back in shape.
It’s been more than 12 weeks since the Raptors last played a game. Until recently, many players hadn’t stepped foot in a gym. For most of that time they were limited to riding stationary bikes and lifting weights at home, going for runs outside or, in some cases, taking shots by themselves on a portable hoop. These are things that every team has had to deal with during the layoff.
Unlike some of the lower-seeded clubs, who will be jockeying for position in the standings once the regular season resumes, the Raptors have the luxury of easing their way back in. That could be critical, especially for a veteran group.
Making up a 6.5 game difference in eight contests to catch Milwaukee for first place is almost impossible, but holding off Boston and locking up second remains important. It’s still advantageous to face Brooklyn (currently a half game up on the Magic for seventh place) or Orlando in Round 1, as opposed to Indiana or Philadelphia (note: the Nets haven’t officially ruled their injured stars – Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant – out but their returns sound unlikely).
Still, as the ninth-oldest team in the NBA and one with aspirations of returning to The Finals, you have to imagine that the Raptors’ top priority will be getting everybody back up to speed, keeping their prominent players healthy and preparing for the playoffs. That was their approach well before a global pandemic forced them into a long layoff.
What could work in the team’s favour, even if it takes them some extra time to get those older bodies revved up again, are their chemistry, style of play and basketball IQ.
Their core has been together for years – they won a championship together – and they didn’t make any major changes at the trade deadline, so there’s a familiarity there that other teams might not have. As teams shake off rust, conventional wisdom suggests that offences could suffer, at least initially. Toronto’s strength is on the defensive end and it’s predicated on the vision and overall intellect of older players like Kyle Lowry or Marc Gasol.
It may take time to get your shot or your legs back, but your mind will still be ticking. As one of the smartest teams in the association, the Raptors should have that advantage.
“I think we have a great group of guys, people that actually genuinely care about each other,” Siakam said. “Most of the group, we [workout in] L.A. [during the off-season], we do different things. I feel like there’s chemistry there. We’ve been playing [together] for a while, we [won a] championship together, things you don’t really forget. And if anything was lost we’ll find it back.”
Another silver lining for the Raptors – one of the NBA’s most banged-up teams over the first 64 games of the regular season – is that they should be well rested. Gasol, who may have been overworked coming off a full year of basketball and was battling a lingering hamstring issue, has had several months to heal. Guys like Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell, who had accumulated a myriad of bumps and bruises over the course of a long regular season, will come in fresh.
That applies to every team, of course, but few dealt with the volume of injuries Toronto did. The Raptors only had their full roster available twice and not since their fifth game of the campaign, which was more than eight months ago. Theoretically, no team should benefit more from the hiatus, unless Irving and Durant are able to return for Brooklyn.
If the Raptors can go all the way again they’ll have to play until October. That would mean spending more than three months in the NBA’s bubble, or “campus-like” environment.
“It’s going to be tough. I’ve been [in one place] for so long, l lose track of time, I don’t even know what year it is,” Siakam said, speaking for most people these days. “I don’t know what’s going on, to be honest.”
For guys that are used to the travel of a busy NBA schedule, it’s going to be strange to be in one spot. If you’re lucky enough to be one of the teams that go deep into the playoffs, it will be weird to live in a singular hotel room for so long. It’s going to be hard to be away from home, to play in an arena without fans or to avoid giving your teammates high fives.
Whatever comes next will be bizarre, but assuming it can be done safely, the return of basketball is something to look forward to.
NFL players respond to Brees' remark that anthem protests are 'disrespecting' flag – theScore
Warning: Story contains coarse language
Drew Brees‘ comments on players kneeling in protest during the U.S. national anthem quickly drew criticism from other NFL players on Wednesday.
In 2016, the New Orleans Saints quarterback said he agreed with Colin Kaepernick’s message in protesting police brutality and racial injustice, but not his method. Asked in an interview Wednesday about the potential of players kneeling during the anthem when the NFL returns, Brees said, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
Stars from around the league, including Brees’ teammate Michael Thomas, weighed in via Twitter on the quarterback’s remarks.
Felicia Spencer reflects on fast track to UFC title fight: ‘I’ve earned my spot here’ – MMA Fighting
On Saturday, Felicia Spencer competes in her first pay-per-view main event. It won’t be the first time she’s squared off with a woman considered to be one of the greatest of all-time.
When Spencer fought Cris Cyborg this past summer, the Brazilian star was one fight removed from her first loss in 13 years. The bout carried considerable weight, not only because of the scrutiny Cyborg was facing following a stunning setback against Amanda Nunes, but because it would also provide insight into how far along Spencer was as a featherweight prospect.
Though Spencer lost a unanimous decision, she earned praise for going the distance with the more experienced Cyborg and bounced back from that loss with a first-round TKO of Zarah Fairn in February. That win moved Spencer to the top of the contender rankings and next for her is a shot at Nunes’s championship at UFC 250 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Spencer learned a lot from the 15 minutes she spent battling Cyborg and she’s bringing that to the octagon with her as she attempts to be more than just another name in the legendary run that Nunes is currently on.
“I definitely see the resemblance,” Spencer told MMA Fighting, in regards to the hype surrounding the Cyborg and Nunes fights. “[The Cyborg fight] did feel like a title fight and I think even some of the commentators made comments about it being a title fight or a five-round fight, something like that was said during the actual event. Media, even afterwards, were like, ‘losing to the champion’ or mentioned that it was five rounds and I had to remind them it wasn’t a championship fight, it was only three rounds.
“I think that the experience just adds to the repertoire. I’ve been through some of the buildup and now it’s actually a little bit less because of the restrictions with media and stuff. It’s less invasive, less stuff going on. I feel like I was so lucky and happy to be given the opportunity to have such a high placement on the card last summer with Cyborg, having the big stage, and now it’s kind of all happening again but this time in the main event, which was super unexpected at first because we were third down initially and then co-main and now we’re the main. I just kind of take the news and then move on. My number one focus is just beating Amanda and then everything that comes after will come after and I’ll enjoy it then.”
Spencer has had plenty to celebrate already. Aside from booking the Nunes fight, the 29-year-old was married in December. Her husband Todd Coppinger, also a fighter, competed for the first time as a pro in February after dealing with injuries for the past two years. He won by first-round knockout.
Coppinger wasn’t cornered by Spencer as she instead watched from the seats, describing herself as “jittery” and grateful to be in the background on fight night for once. Just five years ago, Spencer made her own pro debut with Invicta FC, rattling off six straight wins to start her career capped off by a submission of Pam Sorenson that won her a vacant featherweight title. Less than two years later, she’s fighting for UFC gold.
The rapid ascent is not lost on Spencer.
“Especially since I turned pro, but even before then, the opportunities just escalate quickly,” Spencer said. “My amateur career started off slow, it was really tough to get fights, then all of a sudden I had a few wins and I got called to Vegas to fight in the Tuff-N-Uff tournament, which was a huge deal and such a big thing back then. And then Invicta.
“Really, every year I look back it’s milestones. People are just saying the same thing, ‘Wow, it’s crazy, you’ve done this and this, it’s a crazy year.’ Yeah, every year I look back and it’s a crazy year so it’s kind of the same as usual. The opportunities are incredible and mind-blowing but I feel like this every year, so we’ll see what happens next year.”
Born in Montreal and raised in Florida, Spencer looks forward to taking the UFC belt on a tour of both Canada and the United States should she defeat Nunes. Spencer is the first Canadian to challenge for a UFC title since Georges St-Pierre returned from retirement and beat middleweight champion Michael Bisping in November 2017.
It’s an opportunity that Spencer was confident she would get after defeating Fairn, though she’s aware that the more established Megan Anderson — who knocked out Norma Dumont Viana the same night as Spencer’s win over Fairn — was in consideration as well. Spencer submitted Anderson in May 2019 and wouldn’t be surprised if they rematch somewhere down the road.
“It was definitely presented after like it could be [Anderson] too, that both were being considered,” Spencer said. “I honestly figured that I would get the first call and if they wanted to make it happen, it would happen. If I didn’t get the first call then so be it. Just the way that they positioned us [with Spencer in the co-main event] on the card also — not that they wanted me to win and not her — but in the situation that happened where we both had great performances, it seemed like I would be the first one. I know Megan and I will probably fight again in the future.”
Spencer is aware she’s still not a household name and that there are fans viewing her as little more than a mandatory challenger for Nunes. When she steps into the octagon at UFC 250, it will be just her 10th pro appearance. Add to that the fact that her fight with Nunes had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic throwing the UFC schedule into disarray and their hasn’t been much time to properly build up their bout.
Regardless of how many are watching and how some may choose to view her contender credentials, Spencer is proud of the hill she’s climbed to get here. And if she has to keep climbing to earn respect, she’s ready to dig in.
“I’ve earned my spot here,” Spencer said. “I understand where people come from especially if they’re not following the sport. I understand the division that I’m in is different and unique. All I stress about is what I can control, which is putting on a great performance and making people want to see me fight. That’s what I always try to do.
“Two out of the three fights I’ve had so far in the UFC have been first-round finishes. The other one was a decision that a lot of people were happy with as far as my performance, other people weren’t, but whatever. All I can do is put my best foot forward and hope the people want to see me again. If not, I’ll keep winning and take my spot.”
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