British Masters set to restart European Tour
Golf’s European Tour is set to restart its season with the British Masters on 23 July, followed by more events in England and Wales as it seeks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports.
The tour has been forced into postponing or cancelling 21 events on its 2020 tournament schedule since March due to the pandemic.
The planned five-week 'British Swing' will be played behind-closed-doors and has been scheduled on courses with hotels on site so players arriving from overseas can fulfil the two-week quarantine period required by the UK government, according to The Telegraph newspaper.
The tour is scheduled to restart with the £2 million ($2.4 million) Betfred British Masters at Close House in Newcastle from 23 to 26 July.
It will be followed by events at Forest of Arden near Birmingham and Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire and culminate in two tournaments played at Celtic Manor, the Welsh course that staged the 2010 Ryder Cup.
If successful, it is thought the European Tour could replicate the model, with events at continental venues in Australia and Portugal and an autumn stretch in the British Isles and Ireland.
In a letter to players last week, Keith Pelley, European Tour chief executive, announced an intention to play as many as 22 events in the remainder of the year but warned players they would have to reduce their expectations in terms of prize money because of the limited commercial environment.
Other than the British Masters, all British Swing events will carry prize funds of £900,000 – a third less than the prize funds for events outside the tour’s lucrative Rolex Series.
The more lucrative PGA Tour has announced plans to return to action in mid-June but due to travel restrictions, an estimated 25 players that live outside the US will unlikely be able to join straight away.