Changes to start, end of '12 PGA Tour schedule


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The 2012 PGA Tour schedule looks a lot like the 2011 version, which is good news for the circuit considering continued economic uncertainty and Tiger Woods’ prolonged slump.

The new schedule was released on Wednesday and features 47 events, the same as 2011, and, more importantly for the Tour, two new title sponsors in La Quinta, Calif., and Hilton Head Island, S.C.

View complete 2012 PGA Tour schedule

The most noticeable early-season change will be a Monday finish at the opener in Hawaii. The final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will be broadcast prior to the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9.

The former Bob Hope Classic will become the Humana Challenge to start the mainland portion of the schedule and the RBC Heritage will return to its traditional date following the Masters.

The Byron Nelson Championship and Colonial switch dates in 2012, with the Fort Worth stop following The Players Championship; and The Greenbrier Classic has moved into the Fourth of July slot previously held by AT&T National, which will be played a week earlier and will shift back to Congressional Country Club near Washington, D.C.

The “off” week during the FedEx Cup playoff run will slide back a week between the BMW Championship and Tour Championship, followed by the Ryder Cup Sept. 27-30 in Chicago.

The most drastic change, however, will occur during the Fall Series. Following the first three fall events (Las Vegas, California and Sea Island, Ga.) the Tour shifts to limited-field stops in Asia (CIMB Asia Pacific Classic and WGC-HSBC Champions). The season finale at Disney will be played Nov. 8-11, two weeks later than this year.