After 91 days of COVID-19-induced suspension the richest tour in world golf begins again with no crowds, new innovations and players itching to compete once again.
Each of the
top five players in the world are all playing at famed Colonial Country Club
along with Aussies Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Jason Day, Matt Jones, John
Senden and Cameron Davis along with Kiwi Danny Lee.
from the 10th tee, Leishman is the first of the Australians to kick-start their
season alongside major champions Graeme McDowell and Patrick Reed while Day
will play with Keegan Bradley and Si Woo Kim in the opening two rounds.
medical testing that makes the Tour’s resumption possible all players in the
field have tested negative to coronavirus but PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan
recognises that starting again is only one part of the process.
one thing you learn as you look back over the last 90 days and you go forward,
there’s steps that you take,” Monahan said.
passed some important hurdles. These are important steps. But now we get inside
the field of play.
think about all the things that we’re asking our players and caddies and
everybody that’s here in this small bubble to do, we need to execute on that.”
Australians have won at Colonial dating back to Bruce Crampton in 1965 but for
those in action this week it is a venue they have to reacquaint themselves
hasn’t played in the event since he was tied for 34th in 2017 while Day’s
absence stretches back to 2011, his best finish coming two years earlier when
he was tied for fourth.
It’s a debut
appearance for Cameron Davis but he will be able to lean on one of his playing
partners in the opening two rounds for insight having been drawn to play with
1997 champion David Frost.
to the PGA TOUR season restarting the Korn Ferry Tour is also back this week
with seven Australians to play in the inaugural Korn Ferry Challenge on the
Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.
promotion of the top 25 on the moneylist to the PGA TOUR the following year has
been scrapped for 2020 yet there will be performance benefits made available to
those inside the top 10 at the end of the year.
Florida, Ryan Ruffels logged two top-15 finishes in his first three events on
the Korn Ferry Tour to start the year and is excited by where his game is
“I feel like
everything is building,” Ruffels told PGATOUR.com’s Adam Stanley.
going to make a huge jump from where I am now to being the No.1 player in the
world in six months but I feel like everything is gradually building and moving
in the right direction and that’s what’s pretty exciting for me.
“I can keep
working on what I’m working on now and that will keep moving me forward.”
Charles Schwab Challenge
Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas
10.34pm* Marc Leishman, Patrick Reed, Graeme McDowell
11.51pm Danny Lee, Mackenzie Hughes, Brian Gay
3.33am Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Adam Long
4.17am* Jason Day, Keegan Bradley, Si Woo Kim
4.28am* Matt Jones, Scott McCarron, Byeong Hun An
4.50am* John Senden, Nick Watney, Erik van Rooyen
5.12am Cameron Davis, David Frost, Franklin Corpening
TV times: 6am Friday; 6am Saturday; 3am Sunday; 3am Monday on Fox Sports 503
Past Australian champions: Bruce Crampton (1965), Bruce Devlin (1966), Ian Baker-Finch (1989), Adam Scott (2014)
Top Aussie prediction: Matt Jones
Korn Ferry Tour
Korn Ferry Challenge
TPC Sawgrass (Valley Course), Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
9pm* Tim Wilkinson, Adam Svensson, Kyle Reifers
9.44pm* Curtis Luck, David Kocher, Braden Thornberry
10.17pm Robert Allenby, Anders Albertson, Tyson Alexander
11.12pm Harrison Endycott, Sebastián Vázquez, Brent Grant
2.41am Ryan Ruffels, Mark Anderson, Greyson Sigg
2.52am Brett Drewitt, Jamie Lovemark, Drew Weaver
3.25am Jamie Arnold, Tommy Gainey, Rob Oppenheim
3.36am Steven Alker, Dan McCarthy, Austin Smotherman
3.58am Brett Coletta, Robert Streb, Grant Hirschman
Australian champions: Inaugural event
Top Aussie prediction: Ryan Ruffels