PGA Tour deals Turning Stone a hot hand

The 18th hole at Atunyote Golf Club for the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

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As if the combination of bone-chilling wind and snow showers in 2008 weren’t enough of a hint, the bitter cold and freezing rain – coupled with a Monday finish – in 2009 seemed to do the trick.

Early October is no time to run a tournament in Verona, N.Y., a consensus all parties agreed to – once they thawed out, that is.

Thus in 2010, the Turning Stone Resort Championship will get a more favorable date, weather-wise, albeit as an opposite-field event. It will be played Aug. 5-8, at the same time most of the elite players will be involved in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Maybe it’s not the optimum choice for Turning Stone officials, but it sure beats watching players in ski hats and rain suits.

“This is a shining example of how parties can work together to make great things happen,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises.

That shift is just one of a few changes to the FedEx Cup portion of the 2010 PGA Tour schedule that was released earlier today. There weren’t any major surprises to the 41-event, 37-week lineup. (The Fall Series will be announced at a later date.)

The season tees off Jan. 7 at Kapalua on the island of Maui as a new sponsor, SBS, takes over the winner’s-only opener. From there, players will embark upon six more weeks in Hawaii, California, Arizona and Mexico before the PGA Tour starts the four-week Florida Swing with the Honda Classic.

For the most part, the 2010 edition looks very much like those from past years, but probing a little deeper here are some observations:

BMW Championship officials had the players on their side, for the little good it did. The well-run tournament at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club outside of Chicago will remain directly behind the Deutsche Bank Championship in the playoffs lineup, a situation that was bothersome to players and officials.

Nothing against the DBC, but because that ends on Labor Day Monday, and the BMW begins Thursday, there was strong sentiment to incorporate the “off week” at that juncture.

Stewart Cink was among those who lobbied for the off week after Boston, as did BMW officials whose golf course is pretty much a ghost town on Tuesday as players do their traveling.

But players will again go from Boston to Chicago, then have an off week before heading to Atlanta for the Tour Championship (Sept. 23-26).

From The Tour Championship, a handful of players will go directly to the Ryder Cup in Wales (Oct. 1-3). There won’t be a week of rest for marquee names, but that just might be the secret for the Americans.

Since the introduction of the FedEx Cup playoffs in 2007, when big-name players were forced to play more in the post-PGA Championship period, the Americans are 3-0 in these international team events.

“I like everyone playing right before the Ryder Cup,’’ Cink said. “I said it (in 2008): One of the reasons we were competitive in the Ryder Cup was because we were playing a lot (going in).”

RBC Canadian Open officials probably aren’t smiling. They have voiced their objections to being placed behind the British Open, a precarious slot that has gravely hurt their field. Commissioner Tim Finchem actually made a visit to Canada last summer, but if he was moved to give RBC a break, it won’t happen in 2010.

The tournament remains the week after the British.

The warm-ups to the season’s four majors will remain as they have been for a few years now. The Shell Houston Open will precede the Masters, the St. Jude Classic in Memphis will lead into the U.S. Open, the John Deere Classic will come before the British Open, and many will warm up for the PGA Championship by first taking on Firestone CC and the Bridgestone.

Greenbrier will make its much-heralded debut as a PGA Tour destination when July 29-Aug. 1 rolls around. It remains to be seen how deep the field will be, given that it would require some to play three straight weeks (Greenbrier, Bridgestone, PGA Championship) as an appetizer to the four-events-in-five-weeks stretch brought on by the FedEx Cup playoffs.

To move Turning Stone into the opposite-field slot with Bridgestone, the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open moved. Well, sort of.

Instead of being opposite Bridgestone, Reno-Tahoe will be held the same weekend as the British Open (July 15-18).

As for what Turning Stone’s move to August does for the Fall Series, look for that long talked-about tournament in Sea Island, Ga., to come to fruition. If so, it will give players five fall events (Frys.com Open, Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, the Viking Classic in Mississippi and the Children’s Miracle Network Classic at DisneyWorld being the others).


 
2010 PGA Tour Schedule

Date Tournament Location
Jan. 7-10 SBS Championship Kapalua, Hawaii
Jan. 14-17 Sony Open in Hawaii Honolulu
Jan. 20-24 Bob Hope Classic La Quinta, Calif.
Jan. 25-31 Century Club of San Diego Invitational La Jolla, Calif.
Feb. 4-7 Northern Trust Open Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Feb. 11-14 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Pebble Beach, Calif.
Feb. 18-21 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship Marana, Ariz.
Feb. 18-21 Mayakoba Golf Classic Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Feb. 25-28 FBR Open Scottsdale, Ariz.
March 4-7 Honda Classic Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
March 11-14 WGC-CA Championship Doral, Fla.
March 11-14 Puerto Rico Open Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
March 18-21 Transitions Championship Palm Harbor, Fla.
March 25-28 Arnold Palmer Invitational Orlando, Fla.
April 1-4 Shell Houston Open Humble, Texas
April 8-11 The Masters Augusta, Ga.
April 15-18 Verizon Heritage Hilton Head Island, S.C.
April 22-25 Zurich Classic of New Orleans Avondale, La.
April 29-May 2 Quail Hollow Championship Charlotte, N.C.
May 6-9 The Players Championship Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
May 13-16 Valero Texas Open San Antonio
May 20-23 HP Byron Nelson Championship Irving, Texas
May 27-30 Crowne Plaza Invitational Fort Worth, Texas
June 3-6 The Memorial Tournament Dublin, Ohio
June 10-13 St. Jude Classic Memphis, Tenn.
June 17-20 U.S. Open Pebble Beach, Calif.
June 24-27 Travelers Championship Cromwell, Conn.
July 1-4 AT&T National Newton Square, Pa.
July 8-11 John Deere Classic Silvis, Ill.
July 15-18 British Open St. Andrews, Scotland
July 15-18 Legends Reno-Tahoe Open Reno, Nev.
July 22-25 RBC Canadian Open Etobicoke, Ontario
July 29-Aug. 1 Greenbrier Classic White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Aug. 5-8 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Akron, Ohio
Aug. 5-8 Turning Stone Resort Championship Verona, N.Y.
Aug. 12-15 PGA Championship Kohler, Wis.
Aug. 19-22 Wyndham Championship Greensboro, N.C.
Aug. 26-29 The Barclays Paramus, N.J.
Sept. 3-6 Deutsche Bank Championship Norton, Mass.
Sept. 9-12 BMW Championship Lemont, Ill.
Sept. 23-26 The Tour Championship Atlanta
Oct. 1-3 Ryder Cup Newport, South Wales
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