European Golf Tour Set to Resume with ‘UK Swing’

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The European Tour season is set to resume in July with a six-week ‘UK Swing’ tournament and run to December.

The British Masters in Newcastle from 22-25 Julyis the first of six events, two of which will be at Celtic Manor.

Later in the year, the Scottish Open is set to run from 8-11 Octoberwith the Tour’s flagship PGA Championship event the following week at Wentworth, while other tournaments are to be revealed.

The DP World Tour Championship ends the season in Dubai from 10-13 December.

The European Tour was suspended on 8 March because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, the Tour said the return of tournaments was subject to “stringent safety and testing protocols”.

Keith Pelley, European Tour chief executive, said: “We have taken a measured approach in reassessing our schedule, informed every step of the way by our medical advisers and government guidance.

“As golf’s global Tour, diversity is ordinarily one of our biggest strengths, but in this instance it has become one of our biggest challenges.

“Initially, therefore, playing in clusters, in one territory, is the best option in terms of testing, travel and accommodation.”

“Pelley also thanked sponsors and organisers for showing “flexibility and understanding of the current global situation”.

The English Championship in Hertfordshire is set to clash with the rescheduled first major of the year, the US PGA Championship, which has been moved to 6-9 Augustand is being held at Harding Park, San Francisco.

The six-week ‘UK Swing’ event will see £500,000 from the European Tour being distributed equally between local charities of tournament hosts and charities chosen by the leading 10 players in a mini Order of Merit run across those six tournaments.

Pelley added that the European Tour will preserve players’ exempt status for the 2021 season.

He said: “We do not want to put anyone in a position whereby they feel they have no choice other than to play in certain events in order to protect their livelihood.

“Similarly, the feeling was that it was not fair to disadvantage any member who might want to play in an event but who might not be able to due to ongoing travel restrictions.”