The PGA Tour is currently suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the organization made an official announcement Thursday that it intends to resume play on a revised schedule beginning with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday, June 11.
However, that date is not set in stone, and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan explained to NBC Sports' Mike Tirico on Lunch Talk Live (h/t Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel) that the tour won't return unless there is "widespread, large-scale testing" in the United States:
"We need to have widespread, large-scale testing across our country. We're going to need to be able to test players, caddies and other constituents before we return, but we need to do so in a way that's not going to take away from the critical need that we're currently facing, and we feel confident, based on the advice that we're getting from medical experts, that we'll be in that position."
Per Robinson Meyer and Alexis C. Madrigal of The Atlantic, the United States had tested 3.2 million people (or roughly one percent of the country's population) as of Thursday.
Monahan explained his thoughts further:
"We're going to need rapid-response, large-scale testing. The continued emergence of testing and new testing protocols is very encouraging, and we, like other sports, are spending a lot of time relying on experts and identifying the resources that we need to come back in a safe and responsible way. This is as important as the schedule itself."
As Lavner wrote, Monahan's line of thinking aligns with thoughts relayed by Tour executives Andy Pazder and Tyler Dennis in a Thursday conference call with reporters, noting that players and caddies could possibly be tested in their temporary residence prior to arrival at the golf course, in the town where the event is being hosted and at the golf club itself.
There is no concrete timetable for when mass testing will be available in the United States, but Abbott Laboratories CEO Robert Ford told investors on Thursday that they hope to ship 20 million tests per month beginning in June, per Berkeley Lovelace Jr. of CNBC.