Associate Opinion Editor/Business Manager
The PGA Tour has the shortest offseason in all of sports. The professional golf season ended Monday, September 7th, 2020 and the new season begins Thursday, September 10th, 2020. Two and a half days of an offseason.
Unfortunately, this past season a handful of tournaments were either delayed or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is good news about this upcoming 2020-2021 PGA Tour schedule.
The PGA Tour has branded the upcoming schedule as a “super season.” A season that will include 6 Major titles (barring any setbacks seen in the previous season) and 50 tournaments stretched across the next 12 months. I have a strong inclination that the 2020-21 season maybe some of the best golf the world has ever seen.
The new season kicks off this Thursday at The Safeway Open in (where is it) but most importantly the following week; the best players in the world will be a contesting for The US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club for the first of six majors of the season. Fortunately for the avid golf fan, there are major tournaments happening all year round and not just in the Spring/Summer swing of the tour.
The US Open starts September 17th and the previously scheduled Master’s has a new date for 2020, starting on November 12th at Augusta National. Other than the 2 major tournaments being sprinkled throughout the Fall; the regular major schedule begins in the following Spring. Not only will there be six majors this season, due to the postponement of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan; the Olympic Golf competition will begin July 26th – August 1st of 2021.
It’s not the bevy of tournaments that are scheduled that makes me believe we are about to witness one of the best seasons of professional golf; it’s the golfers themselves that makes me most excited for the season. T
he depth of talent that currently resides on the PGA Tour might be the strongest it has ever been. For an example of the depth of strength on tour: The OWGR (Offical World Golf Ranking) #1 has changed three times in the last 30 days, between three different players, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Dustin Johnson or “DJ” as he is known in the golf world is the current world No. 1 and winner of the FedEx Cup playoff to finish off the 2019-2020 season and is sure to be the favorite to win The US Open at Winged Foot. Rahm, Thomas, and Johnson have all won a combined six tournaments since the PGA Tour’s restart back on June 14th.
The best thing that the PGA Tour offers is its’ cast of elite young players that are already established on tour. Players such as Collin Morikawa. Morikawa had a meteoric rise to stardom in the final months of the 2019-2020 season. Collin Morikawa achieved pro status in 2019 and started his career by making 22 consecutive cuts.
The only player ever to have more consecutive cuts made to start their career is the best player that’s ever lived, Tiger Woods with 25. Morikawa would soon go on to win The Workday Charity event after failing to make his first cut at Travelers Championship back on July 12th.
He followed that up by winning the PGA Championship at Harding Park, the first major tournament of the season, and arguably the first major sporting event the country had seen since the Super Bowl back in February. Morikawa at the point of winning the PGA Championship had as many major titles as missed cuts with 1. Something that is essentially unheard of. Other players to pay attention to this upcoming season:
Bryson DeChambeau: Bryson DeChambeau has been in the media spotlight since entering the pro circuit back in 2016. What makes Dechambeau so intriguing is that he plays and thinks golf in a way that has never been seen before. Bryson is a mathematician on the course. All of his equipment is the same length to ensure he says on the same consistent swing path, and when he is on the putting green he calculates the math on the slope of a putt and uses that math to determine the speed in which to hit his putts. For 99% of golfers, this is all boiled down to feel, but DeChambeau wants to take “feel” out of the equation. During the shutdown period of the season; Bryson DeChambeau gained 40+ pounds on purpose to gain maximum distance and ball speed off the tee. Another scientific approach of his that actually has had its success when he won back on July 5th at The Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Scottie Scheffler: Scottie Scheffler will likely be the recipient of the PGA Tour’s Rookie of The Year Award and well deserving. Unfortunately, Scottie Scheffler was unable to card a win in his rookie season he did however achieve six top 10’s this year. Including a top 5 at The PGA Championship and he finished in the top 5 in three of the seasons last four tournaments. In one of those tournaments, Scheffler made history by being the 12th person in PGA Tour history to card a round in the sub 60’s with a 59 on August 21st. Scheffler finishes the season as the 29th ranked player in the world. I expect Scottie Scheffler to continue to be on the rise.
Tiger Woods: It seems obvious to include Tiger in a list of players to pay attention to in the upcoming season. It is in my opinion that Tiger doesn’t really ever have to contend again for golf to really flourish, the game is in a great place right now with its stars. Yet Tiger is almost definitively the greatest the player that has ever walked among us on Earth. The reason to pay attention to Tiger now more than ever is that he is on the precipice of standing alone at the top of the all-time leaderboard in tournament wins. He is currently tied with Sam Snead with 82 and just needs one more win to be the winningest golfer of all time.
I look forward to watching golf’s “super season,” and see what I believe to be the best set of players on the PGA Tour has ever seen. Fortunately, we get to see the world’s best on one of golf’s biggest stages earlier than in previous seasons on the tour when a majority of the more noteworthy golf tournaments are held in the spring.
The PGA Tour is rewarding fans of the sport after having to miss out on a few months of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to having to be able to sit back and watch the world’s best golfers contest each other week in and week out for the next 12 months. The former slogan for the pro tour said it best about the current state of its players; “These Guys Are Good.”