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Wednesday, May 20, 2020
No Qualifiers for US Open 2020

Bermuda Golfers hopes of playing in the US Open rides on exemptions and not a qualifying tournament as the United States Golf Association (USGA) has announced it will not hold any qualifying tournaments this year for the US Open, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Around half the field in each year's Open qualifies through local and regional tournaments, but for 2020 it will be filled "entirely through exemptions".

The USGA created a new slogan in March called "From Many, One", celebrating the thousands of golfers who attempt to qualify for the major before the field is whittled down to 156.

Despite this campaign, officials have said that the crisis left them with no other choice but to cancel qualification, technically meaning that the tournament will no longer be "open".

"Throughout this process, our primary focus has been the safety and well-being of everyone involved, including our players, volunteers, host club representatives and staff," said John Bodenhamer, the senior managing director of championships for USGA.

"We have not taken these decisions lightly and wish we had more options, but with a continued, keen interest in doing what is best for all involved, although we are extremely disappointed, this is the right decision."

This year's US Open, scheduled to be hosted at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck in New York, was postponed from June due to the crisis, and is now scheduled for September 17th to 20th.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has allowed live sports in the state to go ahead without spectators.

Both other golf majors in the US, the Masters and PGA Championship, have also moved dates because of COVID-19.

The PGA Championship is scheduled for between August 6th and 9th and the Masters is due to be held from November 12th to 15th.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
PGA Tour Announce Protocols for Tournaments Return

PGA Tour detail strict protocols for return to competition, the protocols will see players go through five stages of testing before being permitted to compete.

With the Bermuda Championship set for October 26th - November 1st at the Port Royal Golf Course, the PGA Tour has issued a comprehensive health and safety guide for players and caddies ahead of the resumption of competitive golf next month.

The lengthy document details all the procedures that must be adhered to ahead of each tournament, with the focus on an extensive testing programme that will commence before players have started their travel to the venue.

The process begins with pre-travel testing for Covid-19 and, assuming the test is negative, every player will then undergo a four-stage screening process when they arrive at the host city via a chartered flight laid on by the PGA Tour.

Each player and caddie must first complete a questionnaire before having their temperatures taken, taking a nasal and saliva test and an antibody test, the results of which will be available no more than 48 hours later.

Players will be permitted to practice while waiting for the results, but they will not have access to the course facilities until each stage of the test conclusive reveals a negative result.

The document states: "In implementing our testing plan, we will not do so in a manner that takes away from testing and medical resources in the communities in which we play or for affected groups in those communities."

The on-site tests will be conducted daily, and if any player or caddie produces a positive test, they will be forced into self-isolation at a pre-determined location for a minimum of 10 days.

The PGA Tour has also placed severe restrictions on the "essential personnel" who will have permission to access each site, with players' agents, managers and members of their family barred from attending.

Coaches and interpreters will be allowed on site, with everybody constantly reminded to observe the social distancing guidelines at all times.

Players have also been urged to replace their clubs into their bags themselves rather than just hand back to the caddies, who can use rakes in the bunkers and remove and replace the flagsticks providing they sanitize their hands immediately afterwards.

The PGA Tour is also allowing up to 40 members of the media to cover each event, with no more than three "pool" reporters collecting interviews from the players before, and during, each tournament.

Everyone on site will have easy access to sanitizing stations, anti-bacterial wipes and personal protective equipment (PPE) should they wish to use it.

The first tournament back will be the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Texas, starting on June 11 - the first competitive golf since The Players was abandoned after just one round at TPC Sawgrass in March.
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Bermuda Golf President Releases Statement on Government Phase 1

President of the Bermuda Golf Association Craig Brown has released a statement regarding Phase One of the Bermuda Government’s plan to end Shelter in Place.

On behalf of The Bermuda Golf Association Committee, we hope you and loved ones are in good health. We are excited to provide an update for our membership as Government permission now allows the reopening of golf courses as of ‪May 2, 2020‬, for walking only until permission is granted for the use of golf carts.

Following the April 24 Government Press release indicating consideration for progressively relaxing conditions of the Shelter in Place, representatives from The Bermuda Golf Association (BGA) and The Bermuda Professional Golfers' Association (BPGA) came together and formulated a joint communique to the Government. Our communique followed a research and consultation process with all the local golf course operators. During the process, we found all courses had implemented aspects of social distancing, yet we found some inconsistencies. 

As citizens first and foremost, our present and future is a matter of public health. As we look forward, golf, is well-positioned as businesses are progressively phased in during this crisis.  As a sport golf is unique, given its outdoor nature and conduciveness to social distancing, its broad appeal to participants of all ages, its wealth of physical and mental benefits, with venues that serve as community assets and amenities, golf now has an incredible opportunity to be a community leader. 

Therefore, in the spirit of togetherness and understanding the BGA and the BPGA felt the provision of joint guidelines may offer clarity, assistance and protection as we all navigate a way forward.

Given the fluid nature of the current crisis, these guidelines cannot be all encompassing, they serve as a framework from which we can return to playing the game, safe in the knowledge we are doing our part to protect our community.  As we learn more facts related to Covid-19, as the National Sports Governing Body for golf, The BGA will remain agile as the island and the globe adapts to battle the virus.

While we realise each course operator maintains their own autonomy to operate respecting the Government public health guidelines, collectively we must all do our part to ensure we are compliant. We can set a responsible example for other sports and activities, done right, we can showcase golf as an industry that can weather this pandemic. As our island community seeks safe outlets during these challenging times, we may also view this as a growth opportunity, and welcome new players and families to our great game. 

Lastly, we must thank the leadership of the Bermuda Professional Golfers' Association, management at all of the island's golf courses, and the trust placed in the golf community by The Government of Bermuda. It has truly been a team effort by all stakeholders that has led to golf courses reopening for play in phase one.

Our return to the greatest game ever played will no doubt stir excitement. In this excitement let us not be complacent, yet continue to work together, respectfully and with good spirit to keep us all safe. 
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Campbell Leaves William & Mary 12th All-Time

The William & Mary Athletics Class of 2020 is made up of roughly 120 individuals. They come from all walks of life, and are all destined to do great things as they move on from 751 Ukrop Way.

They will go from being leaders on their particular playing fields, courts, pools, and tracks to being leaders in board meetings, medicine, education, and the list goes on and on.

With the sudden end of so many of our sports seasons, William & Mary decided to shine the light on their Senior Classes with a new feature Tribe Senior Day.

Today we take a look at the careers of Men's Golf Seniors which includes Trevor Hecht, Ben Morris and Bermuda Golfer Walker Campbell.

Campbell finishes his career at William & Mary 12th All-Time on their Men’s Golf List, he also has the school Record for the lowest Round which stands at 7-under par 65.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Bermuda Championship Policy Update Announced

To celebrate Earth Day, the Bermuda Championship is pleased to share the PGA TOUR’s new reusable cup policy that took effect at the start of the 2020 season with the goal of delivering more sustainable and environmentally friendly events.

The revised policy allows spectators the opportunity to bring a reusable cup or bottle (plastic or metal) up to 32 ounces on property. Reusable plastic or metal cups/bottles must be empty upon entry and exit.

PGA TOUR announces return of golf
The PGA TOUR prepares to open the 2019–20 Regular Season in a safe and responsible manner ‪starting June 8‬ with the Charles Schwab Challenge—with modifications being made to the remainder of the schedule. Additionally, the 2020–21 fall portion of the schedule has been released, with the Bermuda Championship remaining as previously announced for ‪October 26 to November 1.‬

The health and safety of all associated with the tournament remain of utmost importance as preparations are made to welcome the PGA TOUR back to Bermuda.

2020-21 PGA TOUR Season Schedule (fall portion):

• September 7-13: Safeway Open, Silverado Resort and Spa North, Napa, California
• September 14-20: U.S. Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
• # September 21-27: Ryder Cup, Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin
• September 21-27: Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, Corales Golf Club, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
• September 28-October 4: Sanderson Farms Championship, Country Club of Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi
• October 5-11: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada
• October 12-18: THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, Nine Bridges, Jeju Island, Korea
• October 19-25: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
• October 26-November 1: World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai, China
• October 26-November 1: Bermuda Championship, Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton, Bermuda

• November 2-8: Houston Open, Memorial Park Golf Course, Houston, Texas
• November 9-15: Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
• November 16-22: The RSM Classic, Sea Island Resort (Seaside and Plantation), Sea Island, Georgia
• November 23-29: Open week (Thanksgiving)
• November 30-December 6: Mayakoba Golf Classic, El Camaleón Golf Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
• # November 30-December 6: Hero World Challenge, Albany, New Providence, Bahamas
• # December 7-13: QBE Shootout, Tiburón GC, Naples, Florida
• # December 14-20: PNC Father-Son Challenge, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, Orlando, Florida
# indicates unofficial event
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