Rick Zamperin: PGA Tour sets the stage for the return of sports during COVID-19 crisis

Tiger Woods of the US competes in round one of the Genesis Invitational at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, USA, 13 February 2020. EPA/DAVID SWANSON

The PGA tour has given sports fans a glimmer of hope after announcing Thursday that it will resume its 2020 schedule in June, without any fans.

On the same day that organizers of the RBC Canadian Open cancelled the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PGA Tour said it will restart play with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas on June 11-14 — the original date of our country’s national golf championship.

The revised golf calendar lists the PGA Championship on Aug. 6-9, the Tour Championship on Sept. 4-7, the U.S. Open on Sept. 17-20, the Ryder Cup on Sept. 25-27 and The Masters on Nov. 12-15.

It is the first major North American professional sport to announce the resumption of its season after postponing events to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Golfers tee up while practicing physical distancing'
Coronavirus: Golfers tee up while practicing physical distancing

The key here, of course, is that there will not be any fans in attendance for at least the first four tournaments on the new schedule.

But aside from the PGA’s list of grand slam events and other high profile tournaments, will golfers even notice a difference in the quietness that already dominates their theatre of play?

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Golf is one of the few sports — tennis also comes to mind — that can be played while allowing athletes to adhere to physical distancing measures, however, it can’t be done in hockey, basketball, baseball, football or soccer.

So while it is great to hear that the PGA Tour is planning to restart its campaign, I don’t think that it will provide a template for how North America’s other sports leagues will wake up from the COVID-19 nightmare.

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