PGA Tour schedule for 2013 reflects year of change

Steve Stricker at the 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua.

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Give the PGA Tour credit for pulling off something for which tens of millions would love to know the secret. It has taken on a slimmer and trimmer appearance without actually losing anything.

Whereas the Tour’s 2012 schedule included 47 tournaments, the official announcement of what’s ahead in 2013 shows 40.

But hold off on that economic doomsday rhetoric, because there hasn’t been a mass defection of sponsors. All the parts are in place; there’s simply been a new way to allocate things because of the Tour’s commitment to a change. What sits at the bottom of the 2012 schedule – the Fall Series and overseas co-sanctioned tournaments – aren’t reflected on the 2013 plan. That’s because they will sit at the top of the 2014 schedule, to tee off in October of 2013.

Confusing? Not really, although it will be interesting to see if players adjust their 2013 schedule knowing that the 2014 season will commence just three weeks after the Tour Championship closes out the 2013 schedule.

The 2013 schedule will get under way Jan. 4-7 with the annual Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Kapaula Resort on the island of Maui. Some of the highlights of what will follow on the 36-tournament FedEx Cup portion of the schedule:

• Missing from the 2013 schedule is the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Cancun, which for the past five seasons has been opposite the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship. But Mayakoba hasn’t gone away; instead, it will be pushed to the fall, presumably Nov. 21-24, and be the sixth or seventh tournament on the 2014 schedule.

• Opposite-field events are still in place for the Puerto Rico Open (March 7-10), True South Classic (July 18-21) and Reno-Tahoe Open (Aug. 1-4). Winners of these tournaments will receive 300 FedEx Cup points, up from 250.

• The Farmers Insurance Classic at Torrey Pines will be held Jan. 24-27, but it will not be opposite the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which for a second year in a row will feature headliners Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. (Woods has won six times at Torrey Pines, but skipped it a year ago to play Abu Dhabi.) This year, Abu Dhabi will be opposite the Humana Challenge (Jan. 17-20).

• The Farmers will be up against the European stop in Qatar, however.

• The final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (Jan. 31-Feb. 3) will again fall on the same day as the Super Bowl, though miles apart. (The Super Bowl will be in New Orleans.) The European Tour that week will be in Dubai, the last of three strong events in the Middle East.

• One would have to think that March 7-10 will be a celebratory occasion for one Donald John Trump Sr. Not only will the Puerto Rico Open be played at Trump International, but the WGC Cadillac Championship will again be staged at the famed Doral Golf Resort & Spa, which is now owned by “The Donald.” (It is expected that within days of the final putt, the Blue Monster will be shut down and re-done by Gil Hanse.)

• Though there is not yet an official sponsor, the Tampa Bay Championship (March 14-17) is still a go, to be played again at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla.

• As reported months ago by Golfweek, the Shell Houston Open gets a bit of a jolt by losing its spot right before the Masters. Tournament officials in Houston creatively had made that an inviting week for players who wanted to tune up for Augusta National on a similarly-conditioned golf course. The depth of the field and rich international flavor showed that Houston had hit a home run, but a conflict popped up for 2013: Easter. It will fall on March 31, two weeks before the Masters, normally the spot for the Valero Texas Open. But Valero officials have it in their contract that the San Antonio event can’t be played Easter weekend, so Houston moves into that spot (March 28-31) and Valero gets the week before Augusta (April 4-7). What remains to be seen is how much it impacts Houston and whether players will embrace TPC at San Antonio for an Augusta tune-up as they had Houston’s Redstone Golf Club.

• For a second consecutive year, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial draws the less-than-desired May date (May 23-26) that is opposite the European PGA Tour’s BMW PGA. That European major surely will attract Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and many other top-ranked Europeans.

• The guess is, things will be a bit more comfortable for officials at the Travelers Championship (June 20-23). Sitting in the annual week-after-the-U.S. Open slot, Travelers never gets an assist when that major is on the West Coast (a la this past June in San Francisco), but Merion Golf Club outside of Philadelphia offers a far more gentle commute to Cromwell, Conn.

• Again, the AT&T National will be away from the July 4 date that organizers thought hindered its strength of field and attendance in each of the event’s first five editions. It will be held June 27-30, again at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. (The Greenbrier Classic, July 4-7, gets the holiday date again this year.)

• Keep an eye on the RBC Canadian Open (July 25-28), which will once again follow the Open Championship. The date hardly pleases some of the marquee names who have corporate deals with RBC, and they would love to see the Tour offer a more desirable date.

• In 2012, if a player was in the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup, he was looking at five tournaments in six weeks. A similar situation in 2013 gives such a player seven weeks for five. That’s because the Tour will play two playoff tournaments (Barclays and Deutsche Bank), then take a week off before playing two more (BMW and Tour Championship), and then another week off before the Presidents Cup (Oct. 3-6 at Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio).

• As it has the past few seasons, the Wyndham Championship (Aug. 15-18) will be the final event on the FedEx Cup portion of the schedule. The playoffs will begin the very next week with The Barclays (Aug. 22-25 at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.) However, unlike in past years, if a plaer doesn’t make the playoffs, his season is done, with no Fall Series to look forward to. Instead, the Fall Series will be the start of the 2014 schedule, with the Frys.com Open doing the honors Oct. 10-13, followed the next week by the Shriners Hospital for Children tournament in Las Vegas.

• When you factor in the tournaments that are officially committed to being on the 2014 schedule in October and November (Frys, Vegas, McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, Ga., Mayakoba, the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic and the HSBC Champions in China), you realize you’re talking 46 tournaments in the calendar year, just proportioned in a different manner.

• • •

Dec. 31-Jan. 7: Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Kapalua Resort (Plantation), Kapalua, Hawaii

• • •

Jan. 7-13: Sony Open in Hawaii

Waialae CC, Honolulu

• • •

Jan. 14-20: Humana Challenge

PGA West (Palmer, Nicklaus)/La Quinta CC, La Quinta, Calif.

• • •

Jan. 21-27: Farmers Insurance Open

Torrey Pines (South, North), San Diego

• • •

Jan. 28-Feb. 3: Waste Management Phoenix Open

TPC Scottsdale (Stadium), Scottsdale, Ariz.

• • •

Feb. 4-10: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Pebble Beach/Spyglass Hill/Monterey Peninsula (Shore), Pebble Beach, Calif.

• • •

Feb. 11-17: Northern Trust Open

Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

• • •

Feb. 18-24: WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship

Ritz-Carlton GC (Dove Mountain), Marana, Ariz.

• • •

Feb. 25-March 3: The Honda Classic

PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

• • •

March 4-10: WGC-Cadillac Championship

Doral Golf Resort (TPC Blue Monster), Doral, Fla.

• • •

March 4-10: Puerto Rico Open

Trump International Puerto Rico, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

• • •

March 11-17: Tampa Bay Championship

Innisbrook Resort & GC (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, Fla.

• • •

March 18-24: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Bay Hill GC and Lodge, Orlando, Fla.

• • •

March 25-31: Shell Houston Open

Redstone GC (Tournament), Houston

• • •

April 1-7: Valero Texas Open

TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks), San Antonio

• • •

April 8-14: Masters Tournament

Augusta National GC, Augusta, Ga.

• • •

April 15-21: RBC Heritage

Harbour Town GL, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

• • •

April 22-28: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

TPC Louisiana, New Orleans

• • •

April 29-May 5: Wells Fargo Championship

Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

• • •

May 6-12: The Players Championship

TPC Sawgrass (Stadium), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

• • •

May 13-19: HP Byron Nelson Championship

Four Seasons Las Colinas (TPC Four Seasons), Irving, Texas

• • •

May 20-26: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

Colonial CC, Fort Worth, Texas

• • •

May 27-June 2: The Memorial Tournament

Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, Ohio

• • •

June 3-9: FedEx St. Jude Classic

TPC Southwind, Memphis

• • •

June 10-16: U.S. Open

Merion GC, Ardmore, Pa.

• • •

June 17-23: Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Conn.

• • •

June 24-30: AT&T National

Congressional CC, Bethesda, Md.

• • •

July 1-7: The Greenbrier Classic

The Greenbrier (The Old White TPC), White Sulphur Springs, W.V.

• • •

July 8-14: John Deere Classic

TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill.

• • •

July 15-21: British Open

Muirfield, East Lothian, Scotland

• • •

July 15-21: True South Classic

Annandale GC, Madison, Miss.

• • •

July 22-28: RBC Canadian Open

Glen Abbey GC, Oakville, Ontario

• • •

July 29-Aug. 4: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Firestone CC (South), Akron, Ohio

• • •

July 29-Aug. 4: Reno-Tahoe Open

Montreux G&CC, Reno, Nev.

• • •

Aug. 5-11: PGA Championship

Oak Hill CC, Rochester, N.Y.

• • •

Aug. 12-18: Wyndham Championship

Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C.

• • •

Aug. 19-25: The Barclays

Liberty National GC, Jersey City, N.J.

• • •

Aug. 26-Sept. 2: Deutsche Bank Championship

TPC Boston, Norton, Mass.

• • •

Sept. 9-15: BMW Championship

Conway Farms GC, Lake Forest, Ill.

• • •

Sept. 16-22: Tour Championship

East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta

• • •

Sept. 30-Oct. 6: The Presidents Cup

Muirfield Village GC, Dublin Ohio

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