On golf: after P.G.A. Schemaverschuiving, European Tour jumps in autumn

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Now that the PGA Tour has changed its schedule and will end its season before it fills the weekends in the United States, its European counterpart is more than happy to claim late summer and

The result was a huge shift in the European tour schedule of 2019 announced last week, with five of the high-profile events going from spring and summer to September and October, and of which the officials hope they will finish a more memorable one.

This cluster includes the flagship BMW PGA Championship, another Rolex Series event in the Italian Open and long-standing stops in Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.

"Fantastic strong European events", said Keith Pelley, the head of the European Tour executive who reconstructed the scheme after the PGA Tour carried out its own revision.

The new schedule of the PGA Tour, which was completed in July, moved the PGA Championship in May and created a shorter FedExCup play-off which is held exclusively in August. That allowed the crowning of a season champion from the shadow of the N.F.L. to come. and college football.

The European Tour announced last spring that the BMW P.G.A. Championship, one of the most important things in the Wentworth Club near London, would move to September. At that time no one had an idea of ​​what other changes could follow.

Now a dozen events, almost all on European soil, have shifted for at least five weeks compared to their dates in 2018. To make way for the party tent events that moved to September, the British Masters and Denmark Open moved to May. Others went to August, opposite the FedExCup playoffs.

"I think it's good for us that both tours will play," said Rafa Cabrera-Bello from Spain. "We will not have to give up so much later in the year to be able to play in Europe when the bigger events come up."

The European Tour will still have a strong presence in other parts of the world. years, particularly in what the "desert swing" in January is called by Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and a new event in Saudi Arabia. In July there will also be the Irish Open and Scottish Open, which draw a lot of pros for the British Open tunes.

Although the French Open is no longer played for the British Open – and the status of the Rolex series loses as a prominent event – the BMW International in Germany and Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Spain give players four solid European stops between the United States Open and the British Open.

But what really stands out is what happens after August. That is where many of the most established events of the tour have landed: a nine-week stretch with the BMW P.G.A. Championship as the center, followed by the popular Alfred Dunhill Left with the venerated St. Andrews of Scotland as hub.

The Spanish, Italian and French Opens then, covered by the Portugal Masters before they leave European soil for a grand finish of four weeks – a World Golf Championships event in China and the Turkish Airlines Open of the Rolex Series, Nedbank Challenge in South Africa and DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Five of the eight Rolex Series events, all with a minimum of $ 7 million, will now be contested after the FedExCup playoffs in the United States.

Danny Willett, a Masters champion, told reporters in Turkey last week that the earlier finish of the PGA Tour "sort of opening up the last three months before the European Tour."

Although the PGA Tour will still play fall events with well-established stops in Houston and West Virginia joining that segment, these will be early-season tournaments with a lower feast value.

The European scheme also succeeded in resuscitating the British masters, who were thought to have played the last edition of last month, but now hosted with Tommy Fleetwood on a May date his hometown Southport, England. Hillside Golf Club will be the location.

"To really be on the list of names that have been hosted is very special for me", said Fleetwood, noting that the British Masters 2008 where he was his first encounter with the European Tour competition at the age of 17.

In recent years, the British Masters have appointed some of the top players of the British Commonwealth to host. Justin Rose, the number one in the world, has had the honor this year, preceded by stars like Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter.

"It's nice to have your name at the tournament," said Fleetwood, "And the tournament is a very historic event."

The schedule also sets the Spanish Open – which dates from 1912, but was not played last year during sponsor business – on a more solid basis as part of September / October TROS. All in all, it was a major revision that took place in just a few months after the PGA Tour got stuck in its big changes.

There is also new flexibility in August to accommodate the absorption of golf in the Olympic Games; the 2020 men's event in Tokyo will be played from 30 July to 2 August. Two years ago, the return of the sport to the Olympic program in Rio de Janeiro required a huge reconfiguration of the PGA Tour.

But although the PGA Tour's major changes had been discussed for at least two years, Pelley and his assistants had to race on the clock.

"We know the challenges with the ever-changing global calendar," said Pelley. "We have studied it forensic, as you can imagine, when the move happened with the PGA Championship, that certainly changed things."

Perhaps the most annoying part of the new line-up is the losing status of the Rolex Series of the French Open. The event, first played in 1906, held a premium spot next to the Irish and Scottish Opens in the prelude of the British Open.

The French Open also gained an additional significance when the Ryder Cup approached this year – the first to be held on mainland Europe since Valderrama in 1997 and only the second in general – because Le Golf National also Organize the Ryder Cup and give golfers the opportunity to view the course early.

But even if the heroics of Rose, Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari have returned the cup to European hands, the French Open lost its sponsorship to the China-based HNA Group and nobody has taken over that baton completely.

"We had a very good partner in HNA and we were disappointed to lose them," said Pelley. "We have spoken with a number of other partners, but it was not feasible to to change quickly. "

The HSBC championship in Abu Dhabi was elevated to Rolex Series status, more than doubling the payout of $ 3 million to the required $ 7 million." Pelley also left the door a gap for the French Open to return to the Rolex selection, and noted that the series was always considered "eight to ten" events.

Pelley also noted that he was trying to balance the planning with a Rolex series event in the spring, but faced resistance from players.

"We watched two or three weeks where we had a Rolex Series event could stop, "he said." I went to each top member and they said, "I would do not; I would not do that; it is difficult for us to come back. & # 39; "

Given essentially an empty slate in the fall, the European Tour opted to set out its territory there instead of the path of least resistance, it seems the way of the greatest chance to be

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