Mayday on Tour: Match Play squeezes schedule
Monday, July 14, 2014
There won’t be six weeks in May, but the PGA Tour’s projected 2014-15 schedule might make it seem as if the month has been expanded.
Already jampacked with marquee stops, May grew more crowded when officials confirmed that the WGC-Match Play Championship will be staged April 29-May 3 at a new home, Harding Park in San Francisco – with a new format, 16 four-man brackets of round-robin play for three days, followed by 16 winners advancing to single-elimination match play Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a fresh coast of paint on a foundation that might be shaky. The Match Play lacks a title sponsor, and the event could return to February in 2016.
For now, the trick for the Tour will be to make May 2015 work for all concerned, and that won’t be easy.
Consider that the Match Play will be followed by the Tour’s flagship event, The Players Championship, and then the glitzy Wells Fargo Championship. By yielding its slot to the Match Play and moving to May 14-17, Wells Fargo could be squeezed by the following week’s BMW PGA Championship, which attracts most of the marquee Europeans.
Consider Rory McIlroy and his choices for May. Will he play Match Play, Players, Wells Fargo (where he has won) and BMW (as defending champion) right in a row? Will many of his colleagues?
Or will an off week or two remind us once again that too much of a good thing doesn’t guarantee perfect attendance with PGA Tour members?
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Projected 2014-15 PGA Tour schedule
Oct. 9-12 . . . Frys.com Open
Oct. 16-19 . . . Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Oct. 23-26 . . . McGladrey Classic
Oct. 30-2 . . . CIMB Classic
Nov. 6-9 . . . WGC-HSBC Champions
Nov. 6-9 . . . Sanderson Farms Championship
Nov. 13-16 . . . OHL Classic at Mayakoba
Jan. 9-12 . . . Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Jan. 15-18 . . . Sony Open in Hawaii
Jan. 22-25 . . . Humana Challenge
Jan. 29-Feb. 1 . . . Waste Management Phoenix Open
Feb. 5-8 . . . Farmers Insurance Open
Feb. 12-15 . . . AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Feb. 19-22 . . . Northern Trust Open
Feb. 26-March 1 . . . Honda Classic
March 5-8 . . . WGC-Cadillac Championship
March 12-15 . . . Valspar Championship
March 19-22 . . . Arnold Palmer Invitational
March 26-29 . . . Valero Texas Open
April 2-5 . . . Shell Houston Open
April 9-12 . . . Masters
April 16-19 . . . RBC Heritage
April 23-26 . . . Zurich Classic of New Orleans
April 29-March 3 . . . WGC-Match Play Championship
May 7-10 . . . The Players Championship
May 14-17 . . . Wells Fargo Championship
May 21-24 . . . Crowne Plaza Invitational
May 28-31 . . . AT&T Byron Nelson Championship
June 4-7 . . . Memorial Tournament
June 11-14 . . . FedEx St. Jude Classic
June 18-21 . . . U.S. Open
June 25-28 . . . Travelers Championship
July 2-5 . . . Greenbrier Classic
July 9-12 . . . John Deere Classic
July 16-19 . . . Open Championship
July 23-26 . . . RBC Canadian Open
July 30-Aug. 2 . . . Quicken Loans National
Aug. 6-9 . . . WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
Aug. 13-16 . . . PGA Champioinship
Aug. 20-23 . . . Wyndham Championship
Aug. 27-30 . . . The Barclays
Sept. 4-7 . . . Deutsche Bank Championship
Sept. 10-13 . . . Off week
Sept. 17-20 . . . BMW Championship
Sept. 24-27 . . . Tour Championship
Oct. 8-11 . . . Presidents Cup (Incheon, South Korea)