If golf wasn't already considered a year-round sport, the PGA Tour is doing its best to ensure professionals have a chance to enter a tournament nearly every weekend over the next 12 months.
The 2013-14 PGA Tour schedule was released Monday, and it features 45 different FedEx Cup events. The season will officially begin in October with the Frys.com Open and will continue all the way through the 2014 Tour Championship.
As noted by Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel, the PGA Tour is clearly prioritizing quantity over quality when it comes to its newest schedule:
PGA Tour releases 2013-14 wraparound schedule. It includes 45 events. Forget a "less is more" philosophy. On PGA Tour, it's "more is more."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) September 9, 2013
ESPN's Bob Harig hit the nail on the head with this tweet:
PGA TOUR sched is out. It begins in 4 weeks; ends exactly a year from this week. #GolfNeverEnds— Bob Harig (@BobHarig) September 9, 2013
You can view the complete schedule at PGATour.com.
The Golf Channel will once again anchor television coverage at nearly every tournament during the 2013-14 season. CBS (Masters, PGA Championship), NBC (U.S. Open), ESPN (Open Championship) and TNT will also broadcast various events.
There's a short window between the crowning of this year's FedEx Cup champion and the start of the new schedule. We'll take a look at some key dates and break down the schedule below.
Key Dates and Tournaments
|Oct. 7-13||Frys.com Open||CordeValle Golf Club||San Martin, Calif.|
|April 7-13||Masters Tournament||Augusta National Golf Club||Augusta, Ga.|
|May 5-11||The PLAYERS Championship||TPC Sawgrass||Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.|
|June 9-15||U.S. Open||Pinehurst No.2||Pinehurst, N.C.|
|July 14-20||The Open Championship||Royal Liverpool||Hoylake, UK|
|Aug. 4-10||PGA Championship||Valhalla Golf Club||Louisville, Ky.|
|Aug. 18-24||The Barclays||Ridgewood Country Club||Paramus, N.J.|
|Aug. 25-Sept. 1||Deutsche Bank Championship||TPC Boston||Norton, Mass.|
|Sept. 1-7||BMW Championship||Cherry Hills Country Club||Cherry Hills Village, Colo.|
|Sept. 8-14||Tour Championship||East Lake Golf Club||Atlanta, Ga.|
Highlighted events are FedEx Cup playoffs tournaments.
*Schedule via PGATour.com.
Starting in October, a new chase for the FedEx Cup and the grand prize attached to it will begin.
Looking at the new schedule, Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson didn't see many noticeable changes:
There are seven tournaments before the calendar flips to 2014, most notably in November, when golfers will travel to China for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions tournament.
Ian Poulter is the reigning champion at the event. Phil Mickelson, who won the Open Championship earlier this year, is a two-time (2007, 2009) WGC-HSBC winner.
After the World Cup of Golf in Australia shortly before Thanksgiving, the biggest break in the season occurs. From Nov. 25 to Dec. 29, there are no scheduled tournaments on the PGA Tour.
The action will pick up again in Hawaii, where the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will take place to christen the new year. Tour professionals will actually get to stay on the island for two weeks, as the Sony Open is scheduled to take place the following week.
Moving down the list, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Feb. 3-9), WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (Feb. 17-23) and Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 17-23) should all be big-ticket events.
There are six tournaments listed for the month of March, one for each weekend and two for March 3-9, when the Puerto Rico Open will supplement the WGC-Cadillac Open as an alternative tournament.
The real fun begins April 7.
That's the first date listed for the 2014 Masters tournament, where reigning champion Adam Scott will put his green jacket on the line after winning his first career major championship title at Augusta earlier this year.
CBS Sports' Kyle Porter was astounded that the Masters will actually be the midway point of the season if you count the tournaments on the schedule:
Wow. RT @ToddABailey: New PGA TOUR schedule out. At the midway point of the season, the 23rd tournament is....the Masters.— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) September 9, 2013
The Players Championship (May 5-11), HP Byron Nelson Classic (May 12-18) and Crowne Plaza Invitational (May 19-25) make for a jam-packed fifth month of 2014, but the action doesn't stop there.
Which major championship is your favorite to watch?
The U.S. Open (June 9-16, Pinehurst), the Open Championship (July 14-20, Royal Liverpool) and the PGA Championship (Aug. 4-10, Valhalla) will close out what's sure to be another exciting set of battles on golf's biggest stages.
Like the schedule currently in use, a four-tournament playoff will determine the FedEx Cup champion.
This year, there was a bye week in the middle of the action, but the 2014 Ryder Cup has made it imperative to shift that bye week out past the Tour Championship, according to PGA president Ted Bishop, as reported by Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel: "Our captain (Tom Watson) felt like it was imperative that our players had a week off after to the Tour Championship and the beginning of the Ryder Cup...Obviously the week off prior to the Ryder Cup, hopefully, will be good for our players.”
We'll let the current schedule play itself out before getting giddy about the new year, but there's certainly potential for greatness at the select venues and dates the PGA Tour has pegged for its next installment.
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