PGA Tour looking to expand fields, add opposite-field events when schedule resumes
PGA Tour

PGA Tour looking to expand fields, add opposite-field events when schedule resumes

The 2020 PGA Tour schedule has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the cancellation or postponement of 11 events so far.

Whenever the Tour resumes -- and the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in late May is the current candidate -- the Tour is hoping to make up for some of the lost playing opportunities in a couple of ways.

Golf Channel reports the Tour has informed players they will be expanding fields for tournaments, including invitationals, to get more players a chance to compete after the long break. Invitational tournaments like the Charles Schwab Challenge and Memorial Tournament typically have fields of 120 players, but they will reportedly be expanded to 144 players this year as a one-off.

With PGA Tour field sizes for full-field tournaments of 144 players, expect to see those expanded to 156 players. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Tour try to find a second course for some tournaments to given them the option of expanding full-field events even more dramatically.

While it's an unlikely model, the Sunshine Tour's South African Open, which is co-sanctioned with the European Tour, has an enormous field of 240 players competing on two courses in the opening rounds before a weekend cut. The US Amateur features 312 players completing a round on both host courses before settling into the top 64 for match play.

Golf Channel also reports the Tour is looking at presenting as many opposite-field events as possible, which is perhaps an opportunity for tournament sponsors to get their name on an event and still raise significant money for local charities. The Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship, which was to be played opposite the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, was one of the postponed events, so it could be rescheduled for later in the season.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

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