2016 PGA Tour schedule will feature busy summer stretch
We’re not even through the summer of ’15, but you’ll excuse us for drifting forward to the summer of ’16. Hey, it’s golf. It’s all about course-management and planning the next shot, right?
Anyway, you probably have heard that next summer will be a jam-packed slate thanks to accommodations made by golf’s return to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1904, and one look will show how fast-paced it will be. In a seven-week stretch starting June 16, the PGA Tour landscape will feature eight tournaments, including three majors and a World Golf Championship.
For marquee names who like to have three weeks off between starts, well, the summer of ’16 won’t be for you, that’s for sure. (The biggest move comes from the PGA of America, shifting its PGA Championship to late July, up from mid-August.)
And if you’re a major star and likely Olympics-bound (think Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy), you’re looking at five tournaments in nine weeks (U.S. Open, WGC-Bridgestone, British Open, PGA, Olympics) and maybe more if you favor regular PGA Tour stops such as the Quicken Loans or Travelers.
The schedule, expected to be released officially today by the Tour, again will be a “wraparound,” with the 2015 portion kicking off Oct. 15-18 at the Frys.com Open. The fall will consist of seven tournaments over six weeks before the 2016 phase tees off Jan. 7-10 with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions (which will return to the traditional Thursday-Sunday schedule).
Some other highlights:
-- March 24-27 will mark the debut of Austin, Texas, as host city to the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship.
-- The major championships will be held at Augusta National (Masters), Oakmont (U.S. Open), Royal Troon (British Open) and Baltusrol (PGA Championship). The mention of Troon is particularly encouraging for red, white and blue loyalists, because Americans have won each of the past six British Opens there.
-- For just the second time since it moved to May in 2007, The Players Championship will not end on Mother’s Day. Instead, that final-round date will go to the Wells Fargo Championship (May 5-8). The Players Championship will be held the following week, May 12-15.
-- The switching of dates to accommodate the Olympics cost the Travelers and the John Deere Classic dates to which they had become accustomed. From right after the U.S. Open, the Travelers will push back to Aug. 4-7, behind the PGA Championship. And from right ahead of the British Open, the Deere will move to Aug. 11-14, opposite the Olympics. The biggest downside for the Deere is that Spieth likely will be at the Olympics and not defending at TPC Deere Run.
-- One scenario worth watching: If a player happens to be qualified for the Olympics, he should hope that he is all set on FedEx Cup points, because he’ll likely miss the Travelers and John Deere Classic and then have just one tournament, the Wyndham Championship, to make up ground.
-- Same tournament, different name. What is affectionately called “The Hope” by nearly everyone had for the last few years been called the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. A mouthful, yes. But so is the new name: The CareerBuilder Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
-- No surprise that an off week is built into the FedEx Cup playoffs, but strange that it went before the Tour Championship and not between the Deutsche Bank Championship, which ends on a Monday, and the BMW Championship.
Oct. 15-18: Frys.com Open
Oct. 22-25: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Oct. 29-1: CIMB Classic
Nov. 5-8: WGC-HSBC Champions
Nov. 5-8: Sanderson Farms Championship
Nov. 12-15: OHL Classic at Mayakoba
Nov. 19-22: The McGladrey Classic
Jan. 7-10: Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Jan. 14-17: Sony Open in Hawaii
Jan. 21-24: CareerBuilder Challenge
Jan. 28-31: Farmers Insurance Open
Feb. 4-7: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Feb. 11-14: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Feb. 18-21: Northern Trust Open
Feb. 25-28: Honda Classic
March 3-6: WGC-Cadillac Championship
March 10-13: Valspar Championship
March 17-20: Arnold Palmer Invitational
March 24-27: WGC-Dell Match Play Championship
March 24-27: Puerto Rico Open
March 31-April 3: Shell Houston Open
April 7-10: Masters
April 14-17: RBC Heritage
April 21-24: Valero Texas Open
April 28-May 1: Zurich Classic of New Orleans
May 5-8: Wells Fargo Championship
May 12-15: The Players Championship
May 19-22: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship
May 26-29: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
June 2-5: Memorial Tournament
June 9-12: FedEx St. Jude Classic
June 16-19: U.S. Open
June 23-26: Quicken Loans National
June 30-July 3: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
June 30-July 3: Barracuda Championhip
July 7-10: Greenbrier Classic
July 14-17: British Open
July 14-17: Barbasol Championship
July 21-24: RBC Canadian Open
July 28-31: PGA Championship
Aug. 4-7: Travelers Championship
Aug. 11-14: Men’s Olympic Golf
Aug. 11-14: John Deere Classic
Aug. 18-21: Wyndham Championship
Aug. 25-28: The Barclays
Sept. 2-5: Deutsche Bank Championship
Sept. 5-11: BMW Championship
Sept. 15-18: OFF
Sept. 22-25: Tour Championship