After professional golf’s three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is coming back with major changes needing fans to get themselves ready. The waiting game is grueling and thrilling, and everyone is either anxious or excited about the return of professional golf on the field.
Nevertheless, PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab will set foot once more at the Colonial Country Club on June 11, and it will genuinely make a mark in the sport’s history. Let’s take a closer look at how the event will unfold, the settings, and everything involved in its historic comeback.
PGA Makes a Historic Return
The Colonial field will again record and host a historical event as the Professional Golf Association (PGA) will step foot on the field to open the tour after the three-month halt. Colonial had held many memorable events in the past that many fans still remember up until this day.
One example is Annika Sorenstam playing as the first woman in the PGA. Another memorable event is Phil Mickelson’s dramatic birdie, which happened during Michael Tothe’s first year as the PGA director.
This time, Colonial will once more become a memorable field with the PGA starting the tour amidst the pandemic. According to Tothe, this will be the first time the PGA Tour will be held without any spectators on the field.
This arrangement is set up to strictly follow the safety and precautionary orders to contain the spread of the virus. Social distancing practices are also maintained and carefully observed between players and caddies.
Elite Players to Attend the Event
Even though the PGA Tour will commence without live audiences, there’s still a lot of things that would interest fans to watch the event at home. This season is the first time PGA will only have 16 athletes participating out of the Top 20 players in the world, not to mention the event only having the Top Five.
Even without Tiger Woods in the scene, this is still a heavyweight lineup that can get fans excited. A loaded and impressive lineup awaits as Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, and last year’s champion, Kevin Na, will be present in the event.
This poses a high golf odds for any bettor who will play their luck during the game. There are still other elite players to look out for at the event, such as Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, and even Sung-jae Im.
PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Event is fully-loaded as the appearances of these elite players make it feel like championship week. The committee is hoping that this could interest fans to either tune in to their television or watch the event online.
Major Adjustments on Media Coverage
Since this is the very first season the PGA will be held without any on-field spectators, it has become a difficult challenge for CBS (as the primary media) to cover the four-day event. It is said that CBS will work together with the Golf Channel for the full coverage of the game.
According to CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, there will be significant changes the media will put in place to make the coverage more interactive. This includes:
McManus has been in talks for years with the PGA about having players gear up with microphones. This has been tested during the charity event attended by Mickelson, Woods, Brady, and Manning, which resulted in a buzz that made both fans and casual viewers tune in to the event.
However, not all players liked having a microphone, as this can deter privileged conversation with their caddies. Despite this disadvantage, others reportedly liked the idea. Players who will have mics during the game are yet to be announced.
Inside the Ropes
Inside the ropes is a new element CBS will integrate into covering the event. According to McManus, it is an excellent way to keep the players connected with their fans while following safety protocols and strict implementation of social distancing.
There will be no close contact with any media personnel. Instead, interested players will go into a tent to answer printed questions. This will take place in front of an unmanned camera where they can share their experience on how it feels to be back on the field after the three-month halt.
The presence of more cameras is highly expected since there will be less media personnel and staff present in the field. McManus mentioned utilizing more drones to cover the ground and have a closer look at what’s happening on the field.
Despite all the obstacles the PGA Tour faced, the event comes back stronger than ever, to the delight of the fans. Hopefully, everything that the committee and media prepared will be enough to secure the safety of the players and their team, while still giving fans the chance to witness a great event. The long wait is about to end, and the action on the field will commence once more.