No need to bite your fingernails in angst any longer! — the wait is finally over for next year’s PGA Tour schedule (such overachievers announcing it before the end of the Fall Series). So, it pretty much looks the same besides several date, name and venue changes. WUP hasn’t finalized our calendar yet, but I’m sure it’ll look similar to last year, which means a lot of travel again, but even better coverage (since we’re no longer rookies and know our way around a little bit now). Feel free to chime in on which events you’d suggest and/or the minor revisions.
Here’s the email blast from the Tour:
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – The PGA TOUR has released its 2012 schedule, which features 45 official money tournaments, the same number and configuration as 2011 with 37 during the Regular Season, four PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup tournaments and the four-tournament Fall Series.
There are some notable changes, however, including new dates or host sites for tournaments, plus an off week that shifts one week later during the Playoffs to precede the finale, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Additionally, two new title sponsors are represented on the schedule with the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation in La Quinta, CA and the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, SC.
“The 2012 schedule again demonstrates the strength of our sport with a very strong collection of tournaments, venues and sponsors that provide outstanding playing opportunities for our members and attractive viewing options for our fans,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “The FedExCup and the PGA TOUR Playoffs continue to generate interest and excitement through September, with the Fall Series focusing on the drama of players fighting for their playing privileges.”
The first change from 2011 occurs with the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, HI concluding on Monday, January 9, rather than Sunday. This, in part, will allow tournament promotion by NBC and Golf Channel during the NFL Playoff weekend and Golf Channel to televise the final round prior to the start of the BCS National Championship football game. As previously announced, another prominent early-season change occurs with the Humana Challenge, scheduled for January 16-22. The former Bob Hope Classic is revamping its pro-am format from five rounds to four and from pro-am teams to a single amateur being paired with a professional each round. Additionally, Humana, the Clinton Foundation and the PGA TOUR are using tournament week to promote individual health and well-being, including a first-ever national conference on Tuesday highlighted by a keynote address from former President William J. Clinton.
In addition to getting a new title sponsor, the RBC Heritage returns to its traditional week in April immediately following the Masters Tournament, with the Valero Texas Open moving back a week to follow the RBC Heritage, which is scheduled for April 9-15.
Other date changes include:
- Two Texas tournaments – the HP Byron Nelson Championship, May 14-20, and Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, May 21-27 – switching weeks with one another immediately following THE PLAYERS Championship;
- The Greenbrier Classic moving from the end of July to July 2-8, allowing the resort’s Independence Day activities to be showcased around the tournament; and
- The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, the last event of the Fall Series, moving from October to the week of November 5-11.
Four tournaments will be held at different courses than were used in 2011, including two Playoff tournaments – The Barclays opens the Playoffs August 20-26 at Bethpage State Park-Black Course on Long Island, NY; and the third Playoff event, the BMW Championship, will be held for the first time at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indianapolis, IN, September 3-9. The other two changes are the AT&T National returning to Congressional Country Club in Washington, DC the week of June 25-July 1 following a two-year absence, and the RBC Canadian Open moving east to Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario, July 23-29.
The structure of the schedule remains the same, with the PGA TOUR following its traditional two-week opening in Hawaii with a six-week West Coast swing, concluding with the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, February 20-26. The Mayakoba Golf Classic, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, will be held the same week.
The TOUR then moves through the Southeast, Puerto Rico and Texas over the next 13 weeks, beginning with four straight weeks in Florida and ending in Texas with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. The year’s first major championship, the Masters, is scheduled for April 2-8. THE PLAYERS will be held May 7-13.
The next 10 weeks are spent primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, beginning May 28-June 3 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance in Dublin, OH and ending with the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, OH, July 30-August 5. The exceptions are the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco, June 11-17; The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s Golf Club in England and the renamed True South Classic in Madison, MS, July 16-22; and the Reno-Tahoe Open, held the same week as the Bridgestone Invitational.
Following the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, SC August 6-12, the Wyndham Championship, set for August 13-19 in Greensboro, NC, provides players with the final shot at finishing among the top 125 in FedExCup points and qualifying for the Playoffs, which begin the following week at The Barclays. The Deutsche Bank Championship follows at TPC Boston with its traditional Labor Day Monday finish, and then the Playoffs move to the BMW Championship before taking a one-week break prior to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in Atlanta, scheduled for September 17-23. The Ryder Cup immediately follows the Playoffs at Medinah Country Club, IL.
The Fall Series, which finalizes the 125 exempt players for the following year based on final money standings, begins October 1-7 with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and is followed by the Frys.com Open, October 8-14, and The McGladrey Classic, October 15-21.
Play then shifts to Asia with the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia and World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China before returning for the Fall Series conclusion at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
Finally, the schedule (go here for a clearer, larger version — 2012 PGA TOUR Schedule):