PGA Tour preview: Charles Schwab Challenge
The PGA Tour will resume play June 11, after a two-month hiatus, with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
The event will usher in the first Tour action since The Players Championship was cancelled mid-tournament March 13, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy will compete for his first win at the tournament and will face a difficult field, which features 15 of the top 20 golfers in the world. Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, 2018 runner-up Brooks Koepka, and 2017 second-place finisher Jon Rahm will contend for the top prize, which includes a $1,350,000 payout of the $7.5 million purse, plus the traditional Scottish plaid jacket.
The Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial CC in Fort Worth.— Ron Mintz (@MintzGolf) May 29, 2020
The top five players in the Official World Golf Ranking will tee it up in the return of the PGA Tour.
Rory McIlroy (1), Jon Rahm (2), Brooks Koepka (3), Justin Thomas (4) and Dustin Johnson (5).
Last year’s winner, Kevin Na, is back for another crack at the par-70, 7,209-yard course, as are recent champions Justin Rose (2018), Kevin Kisner (2017), Jordan Spieth (2016), and Chris Kirk (2015). Two-time titlists Phil Mickelson (2000, 2008) and Zach Johnson (2010, 2012) will participate, as well.
No. 10-ranked Tommy Fleetwood, who lives in England, backed out from the tournament because of travel concerns related to the pandemic. Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott (winner of the 2014 tournament), and 2013 runner-up Matt Kuchar have yet to commit to the event and have until June 5 to enter the 144-player field.
Typically, the Charles Schwab Challenge is limited to around 120 players, based on its “invitational” status, but tournament organizers expanded the field to make up for events cancelled during the pandemic.
As a precaution, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Charles Schwab Challenge will be held without fans in attendance, and players and caddies are subject to testing, before they travel to Fort Worth and once they arrive.
The buzz is building. “Colonial is going to feel like a major, even without spectators. I’m assuming it’s going to be a very strong field since all of us just want to get out and play and practice and just get back to normal life.” @XSchauffele on @Sport24news pic.twitter.com/3oCBFL3Hoz— Charles Schwab Challenge (@CSChallengeFW) May 6, 2020
The Tour event may not look exactly like the kind golf fans are used to seeing, but the Charles Schwab Challenge will provide a ton of intensity and excitement, as it ends a lengthy drought of live sports competition.
The Golf Channel and CBS will televise the Charles Schwab Challenge, held Thursday through Sunday, June 11-14.