As you probably know by now, the PGA Tour is changing from a calendar-year season to a wraparound season, so going forward, the Tour will kick off in the fall (right in the middle of football season). I have no real opposition to this change, except this year it doesn’t really give the average Tour player a break, but I’m glad the tournaments formerly known as “The Fall Series” will include full FedExCup points (though I still prefer money list format).
Here are the key highlights and changes:
*The 2013-14 season will kick off October 10-13, 2013, with the Frys.Com Open and end with the Tour Championship September 11-14, 2014.
*Following the season opener, there will be five more events, with three of them held overseas (Malaysia, China, Mexico).
*There will be about a six-week lull in the schedule for silly season events, like Tiger’s World Challenge and the Shark Shootout, and will also overlap with the holidays (I like this part…).
*Following the holidays, the season will re-commence with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui, which finishes on Monday, January 6th and resume with the Sony Open, the Humana Challenge, etc. Basically, no real significant changes.
*The Shell Houston Open will return to its normal place on the schedule, the week before The Masters, April 10-13 (Which means no complaining about not being ready for Augusta in 2014 for Phil).
*The FedExCup Playoffs will be held in four straight weeks, instead of a one-week bye, like in previous years. This was per the request of the PGA of America because the Ryder Cup will be held in Scotland and the PGA would like a week break between the Tour Championship and the biennial matches between the U.S. and Europe.
*Absent from the schedule is the Sanderson Farms Championship in Madison, MS, which was normally held the same week as the Open Championship. The event will move from July to the start of the 2014-2015 schedule, opposite the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China. The Tour will no longer have an opposite field event during the Open.
*The Masters will be at Augusta National as always. The other three majors with rotating venues are as follows: The U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 (June 12-15), The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool (July 17-20) in England, and the PGA Championship at Valhalla (Augusta 7-10) in Kentucky.
Here’s the full press release from the Tour:
PGA TOUR Releases 2013-2014 Season Schedule
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL (September 9, 2013) – The PGA TOUR has announced the full schedule for the 2013-2014 season, which features 45 FedExCup tournaments.
For the first time, the PGA TOUR season moves to a wraparound schedule bridging two calendar years. The 2013-2014 season opens with the Frys.com Open in San Martin, CA (October 10-13), and culminates September 11-14, 2014 with the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, the fourth and final FedExCup Playoff event.
“We have an exceptionally strong schedule as we transition to the new season structure,” said Andy Pazder, Chief of Operations for the PGA TOUR. “The season has a solid and interesting start with three domestic and three international tournaments, providing players with a great opportunity to get a jump in the FedExCup standings. The schedule then resumes in January with the traditional swing through Hawaii before moving to the West Coast. We are very pleased with the flow and stability of the new schedule.”
As previously announced, the season’s first six tournaments offer full FedExCup points in 2013-2014. In addition to the Frys.com Open, those are the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas (October 17-20); the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (October 24-27), which becomes an official PGA TOUR event for the first time; the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China (October 31-November 3), which also becomes an official event; The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, GA (November 7-10); and the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico (November 14-17). All six will be televised exclusively on Golf Channel in the U.S.
The season then breaks for approximately 1½ months, through December. Several unofficial tournaments are held during that span, including the biennial World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia (November 21-24).
The schedule resumes in January with the traditional two-week swing through Hawaii – the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui, which concludes on Monday January 6, and the Sony Open in Hawaii in Honolulu (January 9-12) – before starting a six-week stretch on the West Coast with the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation in La Quinta, CA (January 16-19). Golf Channel maintains exclusive four-round coverage of the PGA TOUR before CBS Sports begins five straight weeks of weekend coverage beginning with the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego (January 23-26). Golf Channel maintains early-round coverage through most of the remaining schedule, except for the major championships.
The West Coast schedule concludes with the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, AZ (February 19-23) on CBS, followed by six straight weeks of weekend television coverage by NBC Sports, which carries through Florida before moving to the Valero Texas Open and Shell Houston Open. New to the Florida Swing is Valspar as title sponsor of the Tampa Bay area’s tournament, now known as the Valspar Championship (March 13-16).
The TOUR remains in the Southeast and returns to Texas over the next seven weeks, beginning with the Masters (April 10-13) and ending with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth (May 22-25). CBS continues weekend coverage through most of this stretch, save for NBC’s coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (May 8-11).
Another seven-week block continues primarily through the Midwest and Northeast, starting with the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, OH (May 29-June 1), and through the John Deere Classic in Silvis, IL (July 10-13). CBS will have weekend coverage of six of these, with the exception being NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina (June 12-15).
Following The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, UK (July 17-20), the PGA TOUR begins the final four-week push to the FedExCup Playoffs, beginning with the RBC Canadian Open (July 24-27), which will be held at The Royal Montreal Golf Club, home of The Presidents Cup 2007. The next week features both the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, OH and Reno-Tahoe Open, followed by the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY (August 7-10), and then the Wyndham Championship, which again finalizes the 125-player field for the FedExCup Playoffs.
The Barclays leads off the Playoffs by returning to Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, NJ (August 21-24). That is followed by the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston with a Monday finish on Labor Day Weekend (September 1); the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club near Denver (September 4-7); and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola (September 11-14). CBS will broadcast the weekend of The Barclays, and then NBC takes over for the final three events.
As announced last week, the Sanderson Farms Championship in Madison, MS, will not be contested in 2013-2014 as it moves from July to the front end of the 2014-2015 schedule, opposite the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. With the move, the TOUR no longer will have a tournament the same week as The Open Championship.