Professional golfers who compete on the PGA Tour’s international tours received good news Friday.
The Tour confirmed via email, which was obtained by GolfChannel.com, that it will conduct a series of eight tournaments, beginning in August, in order to provide playing opportunities to members of the Mackenzie Tour, PGA Tour Latinoamerica and PGA Tour China – all tours that had their seasons either canceled or altered because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 54-hole tournaments will feature 144-player fields, 36-hole cuts to the top 55 and ties, and minimum $100,000 purses with a winner’s share of $16,000. The entry fee per event is $675.
The fields will be filled with international tour exempt members, some Korn Ferry Tour players, sponsor exemptions and top performers from previous event. The series will rank exempt international tour members based on their respective tour eligibility.
A series sponsor is supposed to be announced soon, and the Tour is still discussing potential rewards, including potentially PGA Tour starts for the winner of the series.
“For those players who are able to play, we believe this series will be a great opportunity to play golf in a PGA Tour-sanctioned competition without taking away any of the performance benefits of your respective Tours,” wrote Scott Pritchard, executive director of the Mackenzie Tour.
The Tour sent out an email and accompanying questionnaire to players in early June to gauge interest and help determine locations. In creating the series, the Tour tried to develop a regional schedule, limit travel between tournaments and schedule events around KFT Monday qualifiers (the first three events are on weeks where there are no qualifiers and other events will be held near that week's qualifier).
The new tournament series begins with three events in Georgia, including an Aug. 5-7 opener at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta. The circuit continues Sept.1-3 in Auburn, Alabama, followed by three events in Florida, though two of them have dates and sites to be determined. The final event is set for the week of Oct. 26, though no details have been released aside from the Tour wanting to conduct the event at a “resort destination.”
The tournaments have several COVID-19 protocols in place, including daily temperature checks, a no-caddie rule and mandates that players avoid fitness gyms, bars and dine-in restaurants during tournament weeks.
Here is the current schedule:
- Aug. 4-7: Golf Club of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga.
- Aug. 10-13: Echelon Golf Club, Alpharetta, Ga.
- Aug. 25-28: Callaway Gardens Resort, Pine Mountain, Ga.
- Aug. 31-Sept. 3: Auburn University Club, Auburn, Ala.
- Week of Sept. 21: TBD, Targeting Northern Florida
- Week of Sept. 28: TBD, Targeting Northern or Central Florida
- Oct. 6-9: The Club at Weston Hills, Weston, Fla.
- Week of Oct. 26: Targeting resort destination