A new October date has been announced for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open as part of the resumption of the European Tour schedule for 2020.
The European Tour has announced that following its suspension on March 8 due to the Covid-19 crisis, the schedule will restart in July with events initially played behind closed doors. All tournaments will be subject to stringent safety and testing protocols set out in the Tour’s comprehensive Health Strategy which will continue to evolve, aligned with international Government guidance and health guidelines.
The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open is one of four prestigious Rolex Series events planned from October onwards with the tournament at The Renaissance GC in East Lothian now scheduled to take place from 8-11 October, having been postponed from its traditional July date.
We would like to thank colleagues at the European Tour for their hard work and diligence in developing their comprehensive Health Strategy for the safe delivery of golf events through the Covid-19 pandemic. It is an evolving and complex landscape and we look forward to working with them and other partners in the coming months to successfully and safely host an event which meets stringent safety protocols and Government guidelines
The first tournament following the resumption of the schedule is the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood, which will be played at Close House, near Newcastle in the north east of England, from Wednesday July 22 to Saturday July 25.
It will be followed by the English Open at the Marriott Forest of Arden and the English Championship at Marriott Hanbury Manor, before The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport hosts back-to-back European Tour tournaments – the Celtic Classic and the Wales Open.
The initial schedule will then conclude with the UK Championship at The Belfry, another venue rich in Ryder Cup history, having played host to four contests with Europe triumphing in two (1985 and 2002), the US having won in 1993, with the 1989 match ending in a 14-14 tie.
Details of subsequent tournaments on the European Tour from September through to November will be announced in due course, with a variety of scheduling options currently under consideration as the global situation continues to evolve.
However, rescheduled dates have been announced for four Rolex Series events; the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club which now takes place from October 8-11 and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club which moves to the following week, October 15-18.
There are also new dates for the final two tournaments of the year. The Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player is now scheduled for December 3-6 at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, with the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, now due to take place from December 10-13 at Jumeirah Golf Estates, where the 2020 Race to Dubai Champion will be crowned.
All tournaments played in the reshaped 2020 season will be governed by the Tour’s comprehensive Health Strategy which has been developed by Dr Andrew Murray, the European Tour’s Chief Medical Officer, in consultation with health care specialists Cignpost, who will deliver the testing procedure, and advisers in many of the 30 countries the Tour plays. This strategy will continue to evolve, aligned with international Government guidance and health guidelines.
Since the suspension of our 2020 season in early March, we have taken a measured approach in reassessing our schedule, informed every step of the way by our medical advisers and government guidance.
We have consistently said that safety is our absolute priority and that is why today we are announcing our resumption in two months’ time supported by a comprehensive health strategy which has been led by our medical team.
Without question we have had to think differently about the remainder of our 2020 season which is reflected in today’s announcement. 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, based on the expert guidance we received, playing in clusters, in one territory, is the best option in terms of testing, travel and accommodation.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank Betfred, Close House, Marriott, The Forest of Arden, Hanbury Manor, The Celtic Manor Resort and The Belfry for sharing our vision for this ‘UK Swing’ and we look forward to returning to tournament play in July with this innovative stretch of six events.
As well as getting golf going again for our players, our broadcasters, our stakeholders and our millions of fans around the world, these new events will also enable us to give back during these unprecedented times, building on some of the community support already given by our players over the past few months.
I also want to pay tribute to Rolex, BMW, Aberdeen Standard Investments, the Scottish Government, Nedbank, Sun International and DP World, for their continued commitment to the European Tour which allowed us to move four hugely important tournaments on the European Tour into new dates later in the year.
Not only did they show flexibility, they also showed understanding of the current global situation and we are truly fortunate to have them as partners of the European Tour.