May 10, 2020 / 7:16 AM / 18 days ago

PGA of Australia extends tour season into new year

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The PGA of Australia tour will be extended from this season with tournaments staged well into the new year, the governing body of professional golf in the country announced on Sunday.

The move was triggered by the social distancing restrictions put in place to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which threaten to heavily disrupt the early part of a season that would usually be wrapped up by the end of the year.

The PGA has decided, however, to make the extended season “the new norm” and allow the possibility of adding new tournaments in January and February in years to come.

“We saw an opportunity to not only provide our players with a full season this year but put in place a schedule that we believe is in the best interests of golf in Australia,” tournaments director Nick Dastey said in a news release.

“If the current restrictions do not ease in time, we now have the opportunity to push events into the early months of 2021.”

The tour’s flagship event, the Australian PGA Championship, will not be impacted and will take place at the Royal Queensland Golf Club from Dec. 3-6, the statement said.

The tournament, now co-sanctioned by the European Tour, dates back to 1905 and was won last year by world number six Adam Scott at the Royal Pines Resort, where it had been played since 2013.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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