The Forecaddie hears we’ll finally learn the 2018-19 PGA Tour schedule this week.
Normally, schedule releases are met with little fanfare given how little juggling traditionally occurs. But this is no ordinary schedule release, with the PGA Championship move to May creating new possibilities and issues. Throw in having had to deal with events struggling to land sponsors (Houston, Washington D.C.) with ambitious new events (Detroit, Minneapolis) and the Tour has had to work through numerous variables.
Here’s what The Man Out Front knows:
West to East via Mexico City
- The West Coast Swing is now a well-oiled machine, moving from Hawaii to a nice week-to-week variety of events, courses and formats. Even better, the WGC-Mexico City event will now serve as a bridge to the Florida swing instead of serving as an interruption.
Florida has its swing back.
- As The Forecaddie reported, a combination of moving pieces means the Players once again anchors a solid four-week run in the Sunshine State.
Preakness vs. PGA Championship
- The PGA Championship will be played in mid-May, on the traditional weekend of horse racing’s Preakness Stakes. That’s of interest should NBC look to land the PGA Championship television rights expiring after 2019 at Bethpage. Also of note will be which events get placed on either side of the PGA.
No more WGC-Bridgestone
- The WGC-Bridgestone is no more, replaced by a FedEx-sponsored World Golf Championship event in Memphis. It will be played either in a pre-U.S. Open slot or in August as a playoff tune-up. And the PGA Tour playoffs will end by Labor Day
Houston to the fall
- Houston’s stop, salvaged by Astros owner Jim Crane, will move to the fall as will, most likely, the Greenbrier stop.
The Forecaddie will be refreshing his email box this week waiting to find out how new and old pieces fall into place.
Just some of the events to keep an eye on:
- Where does the Tour place Minneapolis and Detroit? The July 4 date seems most logical for Minneapolis while the Quicken Loans-sponsored Motor City stop will likely continue in the last-week-of-June slot occupied by the D.C. event under the same sponsorship.
- What happens to Boston? TMOF is most intrigued to see if the Tour playoffs shrink to three weeks at the expense of Boston’s annual stop. Considering what a strong event it has become in a loyal fan market, saying goodbye to this stop has always been hard for The Forecaddie to envision. Especially since commissioner Jay Monahan would be axing an event where he was once the tournament director.
- With Houston and Greenbrier in the fall, how does the new season launch and how does the fall schedule function? Will there be a quick turnaround after the Tour Championship and, if so, why since golfers have said the Tour could use an offseason. Gwk