New PGA Tour schedule still has a few moving parts

  • Charles Howell III follows his shot from the 16th tee, during the second round of The Players Championship golf tournament Friday, May 11, 2018, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Jay Monahan might have been overly ambitious when he said he hoped to have next year’s PGA Tour schedule ready to announce at The Players Championship. The commissioner is not in a big rush, and there remain a few moving parts.

And it goes beyond finding a title sponsor for the Houston Open.

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The Houston Open currently is slotted for the week before the U.S. Open next year, and tour officials remain confident it will be on the schedule. The final piece of the puzzle is the section between the U.S. Open and the British Open.

The John Deere Classic has been held the week before the British Open since 2004, except for in 2016 because of the Olympics.

“Our hope is to keep our traditional date,” tournament director Clair Peterson said.

The PGA Tour wants to wrap up the FedEx Cup playoffs before football season, and not just the start of the NFL. The plan is for the season to end before college football gets started, which means finishing a week before Labor Day.

The FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which becomes a World Golf Championship next year, would be played the week after the British Open. Players would have to get from Northern Ireland (Royal Portrush hosts the Open in 2019) straight to Memphis, Tennessee.

That would be followed by the Wyndham Championship, and then straight into three FedEx Cup playoff events with the Tour Championship ending on Aug. 25.

The Travelers Championship is likely to stay put the week after the U.S. Open. The other three weeks would be filled with the RBC Canadian Open, the John Deere Classic and a new tournament in Detroit. Details are being finalized for Quicken Loans to be the title sponsor, though it would not involve the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Two weeks before the British Open, the tournament dates next year would be July 4-7.

July Fourth has become problematic for some tournaments because family holidays make it difficult to secure volunteers, among other things.

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And that’s just next year.

Still to come is the next Olympic year in 2020 when the Summer Games go to Tokyo. Among the discussions is whether the PGA Tour will go dark during the Olympics. Last time, the John Deere Classic was played during the Olympics.