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Though the new PGA Tour season began in September at The Greenbrier, the turn of the calendar brings a fresh beginning. Here’s what you need to know for 2020.
Sentry Tournament of Champions (Jan. 2-5)
To kick off the new year, the PGA Tour is recognizing those who found the winner’s circle in 2019. Though not all of last year’s winners are teeing it up at the scenic Plantation Course at Kapalua, a handful of big names are, including Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson. Come for the primetime coverage, but stay for the beautiful views.
The American Express (Jan. 16-19)
Formerly known as the Desert Classic, the PGA Tour returns to Palm Springs under a new title sponsor and with a new host. Two-time winner Phil Mickelson will expand his role to host at the new American Express, saying he wants to “bring back the vision of Bob Hope” who was a staple at the event that dates back to the 1960s.
Farmers Insurance Open (Jan. 23-26)
Following a historic 2019 season, Tiger Woods likely returns to Torrey Pines again to kick off his 2020 campaign. Woods has eight wins at Torrey, one of which coming on one leg at the 2008 U.S. Open. How will Woods look in his first competitive round since going 3-0-0 at the Presidents Cup last month?
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Feb. 6-9)
Mickelson returns to Pebble Beach, the site of his last win in 2019. Since then, Mickelson has struggled mightily, dropping out of the top 50 in the world for the first time since 1993. Lefty turns 50 in June and will be eligible for the PGA Tour Champions, but don’t think he’s ready to hang it up on the main circuit just because of a little slump.
The Genesis Invitational (Feb. 13-16)
Woods returns to Riviera, where he made his PGA Tour debut in 1992 as a 16-year-old amateur. Woods missed the cut, and his luck hasn’t gotten much better in the 28 years since, failing to find the winner’s circle. The 82-time PGA Tour winner is playing as well as he has in years, and as well as anyone in the world lately, so will 2020 be the year he breaks through at Riviera?
WGC-Mexico Championship (Feb. 20-23)
The first World Golf Championship of the year returns to Mexico City where Dustin Johnson claimed his lone victory in 2019. Hindered by injury, Johnson struggled for much of the second half of the season that ended with a tie for last at the Tour Championship. Now healthy, Johnson has a chance to regain his dominant form and defend his title.
Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 5-8)
Always one of the marquee stops on the PGA Tour, there’s something magical about Arnold Palmer’s home at Bay Hill. Francesco Molinari orchestrated a thrilling comeback win last season, capped off by a ferocious fist pump on the 18th. Aside from the Masters, the 2018 Open champion hasn’t contended much since slipping on the red cardigan here.
The Players Championship (March 12-15)
Now in Year 2 of the return to March, The Players comes on the second week of a marquee back-to-back following the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It may be tough to follow last year’s memorable win for Rory McIlroy who was tough as nails down the stretch, but if there’s any place that’s able to follow up a performance like that, it’s at TPC Sawgrass.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (March 25-29)
This event has Kevin Kisner written all over it. After finishing runner-up to Bubba Watson in 2018, Kisner did one better last season taking down Matt Kuchar, 3 and 2, in the finals at Austin Country Club. With no cut and double world-ranking points available at WGC events, these are always high-pressure tournaments, especially in match play.
The Masters (April 9-12)
For the first time since 2006, Woods returns to Augusta National as the reigning Masters champion. Usually the highest-profiled tournament of the year will get even bigger in 2020 with the now 15-time major champion returning to the hallowed grounds at Augusta National. With the way he’s playing now, paired with his knowledge of the course, Woods has a legitimate shot to repeat for major No. 16, and inch closer to Jack Nickalus’ record many thought was untouchable just a couple ago.
Wells Fargo Championship (April 30-May 3)
Woods opted not to play at Quail Hollow in 2019 with the new condensed schedule, and that could be the new normal moving forward. But make no mistake, this event is still one to circle on the calendar. Host of the 2020 Presidents Cup, Quail Hollow is a place where guys like McIlroy and Thomas have great success. Could one of them find the winner’s circle to start the decade?
PGA Championship (May 14-17)
After a chilly and wet week at Bethpage Black last year, the PGA Championship heads to the West Coast for the first time since Vijay Singh claimed the Wanamaker Trophy at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington in 1998. Brooks Koepka will be going for an unprecedented third straight PGA Championship, something that hasn’t been done since Walter Hagen won four in a row from 1924-27 when it was a match-play event.
The Memorial Tournament (June 4-7)
Like the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, the Memorial Tournament at Jack’s Place is one of the most revered stops on the PGA Tour, and will only get better with current renovations that are expected to be completed just before tournament week. Many big-name players use this as the final stop before the U.S. Open.
RBC Canadian Open (June 11-14)
It will be hard to top last year’s edition, where McIlroy stormed back with a final-round 61 to take the title for his second win of the season. Expect McIlroy to return to defend his title, and he could very well contend, if not win for the second straight year and head into the U.S. Open, which he captured in 2011.
U.S. Open (June 18-21)
For the first time in 14 years, the U.S. Open will return to Winged Foot where it will host its sixth Open. Only Oakmont and Baltrusol have hosted more. When it hosted the 2006 U.S. Open, it was a brutally tough test as Geoff Ogivly took home the title with a 5-over 285 winning score. A lot has changed since then, but expect a similar traditional U.S. Open set up.
WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (July 2-5)
The anniversary of last year’s epic Sunday duel, when Koepka outlasted McIlroy to claim his first WGC title. Pushed up a few weeks because of the Olympics, this will likely be some of the top players’ final event before heading across the pond to Royal St. George’s.
The Open (July 16-19)
From Royal Portrush’s second Open Championship last year to Royal St. George’s in 2020 that will host its 15th Open, second in the current Open rota to only St. Andrews and Muirfield. The last two years saw first-time major winners in Francesco Molinari and Shane Lowry, could a third be in store in 2020?
Kasumigaseki Country Club, Saitama, Japan (July 30-Aug. 2)
Following golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016, it’s back again for the 2020 installment in Tokyo. As it stands now, the U.S. team features Koepka, Thomas, Johnson and Woods. Not too shabby. McIlroy and Rahm will likely compete for their respective countries, and Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood lead the pack for England. Gear up for a thrilling week at the Games.
The Northern Trust (Aug. 13-16)
The second year of the shortened FedExCup Playoffs brings The Northern Trust back to player- and fan-favorite TPC Boston. Many were upset when this stop was pulled, which should make it a can’t-miss event to kick off the playoffs. It’s tough to predict who all will make the field, but it’s tough to see Patrick Reed missing out on a chance to defend his title.
BMW Championship (Aug. 20-23)
Medinah hosted the BMW Championship last year, and another world-class venue gets its shot in 2020 when the second playoff event heads to Olympia Fields. A win here significantly improves your starting position for the Tour Championship, evident with Thomas’ win that catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard to start Day 1 at East Lake last year.
Tour Championship (Aug. 27-30)
The last two winner’s of the Tour Championship? Woods and McIlroy. No pressure for the 2020 edition, but this is where legends are made. With a $15 million check on the line for the winner, it all comes down to four rounds. Whoever has the best and most consistent season will be rewarded with a head start to the PGA Tour’s ultimate prize. Who’s it going to be?
Whistling Straits Golf Course, Haven, Wisconsin (Sept. 25-27)
Ole, ole, ole, ole! The United States will get a chance for revenge when the Ryder Cup returns to home soil at Whistling Straits, which most recently hosted the 2015 PGA Championship. In 2018 at Le Golf National, Thomas Bjorn’s European team trounced Jim Furyk’s American team, 17.5 to 10.5. Steve Stricker will get his shot to bring the cup back to the U.S., while Padraig Harrington hopes to keep it with the Europeans. Buckle up.