European Tour aiming to return with six-event UK Swing

October slot confirmed for Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open

The European Tour has outlined its initial plans to get back up and running after being in lockdown since early March. Picture: Getty Images
The European Tour has outlined its initial plans to get back up and running after being in lockdown since early March. Picture: Getty Images

A six-week 'UK Swing' behind closed doors in July and August has been earmarked to restart the European Tour season, which has been in lockdown since early March due to the coronavirus crisis.

The revamped 2020 schedule revealed today by the circuit's chief executive Keith Pelley also includes the Aberdeen Standard Investments Open in an October slot at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian.

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It is due to be held the week before the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, with the possibility of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns also being part of that second 'UK Swing'.

The only other events confirmed at the moment are the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City in South Africa and the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

They have both been moved to December and will bring down the curtain on the campaign, which could still see as many as 24 events played once the circuit restarts.

It is still hoped that the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open can be held, as well as the Italian Open and other tournaments in Spain and Portugal.

The circuit is scheduled to get back up and running with the Betfred British Masters, which will be hosted by Lee Westwood at Close House, near Newcastle, on 22-25 July - a week earlier than originally planned.

It will the be followed by the English Open at Forest of Arden, English Championship at Hanbury Manor, the Celtic Classic and Wales Open both at Celtic Manor Resort and then the UK Championship at The Belfry.

That run, of course, will involve the circuit returning to former Ryder Cup venues - Celtic Manor, where Colin Montgomerie led Europe to victory in 2010, and The Belfry, its long-time home on this side of the Atlantic.

All tournaments played in the reshaped 2020 season will be governed by the circuit's comprehensive health strategy, which is costing more than £2 million to implement.

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It has been developed by Dr Andrew Murray, the European Tour’s Chief Medical Officer, in consultation with health care specialists Cignpost.

Players will be tested before they leave any country to travel to the UK and daily checks will also be made at events.

“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," said Pelley.

“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."

TOURNAMENT DETAILS

UK Swing

Jul 22-25: Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood, Close House

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July 30- Aug 2: English Open, Marriott Forest of Arden

Aug 6-9: English Championship, Marriott Hanbury Manor

Aug 13-16: Celtic Classic, Celtic Manor Resort

Aug 20-23: Wales Open, Celtic Manor Resort

Aug 27-30: UK Championship, The Belfry

Rolex Series:

Oct 8-11: Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, The Renaissance Club

Oct 15-18: BMW PGA Championship, Wentworth

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Dec 3-6: Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, Sun City

Dec 10-13: DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates

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