European Tour looking at four-week U.K. tournament bubble to restart the season: Report
European Tour

European Tour looking at four-week U.K. tournament bubble to restart the season: Report

The European Tour is putting together a plan to resume the 2020 European Tour schedule that, according to a Golf Digest report, would start with a four-week run of events in the United Kingdom.

Currently, the 2020 European Tour schedule lists the BetFred British Masters as the first event back, set to be played July 30 - Aug. 2. Lee Westwood is set to host at his home club, Close House. After that, the European Tour is apparently preparing to stage three consecutive 1 million events at Forest Arden, Hanbury Manor and Celtic Manor -- all sites with on-site lodging.

With the European Tour schedule already postponed or cancelled for most of August, these events will slot in mostly with issue. The only conflict would be with the PGA Championship, which is set to be played in San Francisco from Aug. 6-9. With overseas travel proving difficult or undesirable for many players, having a competing event the same week could be meaningful for even bigger-name players.

While the Tour is preparing to resume, players will come back to a new reality. European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has previously told players to expect fewer luxuries, like player lounges or courtesy cars. Observers have suggested the Tour could be looking at purses more akin to the 2000s, though that remains unclear for a variety of reasons.

Whatever form the remainder of the season takes, Pelley is committed to completing the schedule and fulfilling the Tour's TV and sponsor contracts to make sure they are paid for the season. This will also be true for players, with many having sponsor deals requiring a minimum number of appearances to earn payment.

However, Pelley recognizes some players may not feel comfortable or be able to travel to events. With that in mind, he is shedding the minimum tournament requirement to keep membership and will give players the same priority status in 2021 as they have in 2020.

In addition, the European Challenge Tour will not have graduates in 2020. Nevertheless, Pelley has committed to offering playing European Tour playing opportunities to leading players throughout the coming 18 months.

The European Tour is also cancelling Q-School this year, which generates nearly £2 million in fees for the Tour.

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