Thursday, July 16, 2020 / by Ken Couture
A second PGA Tour event in Las Vegas in October is being floated as a possibility as officials scramble to replace the likely loss of three fall events in Asia later this year.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc with professional sports, The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the three Asian events scheduled directly after the Shiners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas will likely not happen this year.
One of the three events, the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, has unofficially been canceled following China’s announcement last week that all international sporting events other than Olympic qualifying have been halted.
AP reported that the Tour has begun exploring moving events slated for Japan, South Korea and China to West Coast courses instead. Among the possibilities is having the tour play in consecutive weeks at TPC Summerlin, which is set for the Shriners Open on Oct. 8-11 and could host the second tournament Oct. 15-18.
A PGA Tour official refused to confirm any news about a second event in Las Vegas. Because of the pandemic, they said, the schedule remains in flux but there is nothing to officially announce at this stage. AP described any potential move as being a long way off.
Shriners Executive Director Patrick Lindsey did not respond to a request for comment.
If Las Vegas were to land a second event, TPC Summerlin would be the logical choice to host. Although numerous Las Vegas courses have been used in PGA Tour events through the years, all the essentials to holding an event would already be in place at Summerlin.
This would duplicate the scenario playing out this week in Columbus, Ohio, where the Tour is playing for the second consecutive week at Muirfield Village. The regularly scheduled Memorial is being held this week following last week’s Workday Charity Open, a last-minute addition to the schedule to fill the opening left when the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois, was canceled because of the pandemic.
The Shriners is scheduled three weeks after the rescheduled U.S. Open and one month before the first-ever autumn The Masters. Having consecutive events in Las Vegas could be a perfect scenario for Tour players looking to stay sharp heading into Augusta, Georgia.
China’s decision last week also means the LPGA will likely lose its October event in Shanghai, the first of four Asian tournaments for the women. The LPGA has yet to restart its season, with its first event back scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2 in Toledo, Ohio.
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