The European Tour has announced a new date for the Scottish Open as part of a revised schedule for 2020.
The tournament, originally slated for July 9-12 at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian, will now take place from October 8-11 at the same venue.
The new-look, UK-centric schedule comes on the back of no fewer than 30 of the tour's planned events having been either cancelled or postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The tour is targeting a return to action on Wednesday, July 29, with the British Masters at Close House.
It will be followed by the English Open at the Marriott Forest of Arden and the English Championship at Marriott Hanbury Manor, before The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport hosts back-to-back European Tour tournaments – the Celtic Classic and the Wales Open.
The so-called "UK Swing" will then conclude with the UK Championship at The Belfry.
Details of subsequent tournaments on the European Tour from September through to November will be announced in due course, with a variety of scheduling options currently under consideration as the global situation continues to evolve.
However, rescheduled dates have been announced for four Rolex Series events including the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club which now takes place from October 8-11 and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club which moves to the following week, October 15-18.
There are also new dates for the final two tournaments of the year. The Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player is now scheduled for December 3-6 at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, with the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, now due to take place from December 10-13 at Jumeirah Golf Estates, where the 2020 Race to Dubai Champion will be crowned.
All tournaments played in the reshaped 2020 season will be governed by the tour’s Health Strategy which has been developed by Dr Andrew Murray, the European Tour’s Chief Medical Officer, in consultation with health care specialists Cignpost, who will deliver the testing procedure, and advisers in many of the 30 countries the Tour plays.
Aside from adhering to the Health Strategy, all European Tour tournaments from July until December will also be part of the Tour’s new ‘Golf for Good’ initiative, which will underpin the season and which aims to give back in three key areas:
▪ Supporting the Communities where the European Tour plays.
▪ Rewarding the true heroes, such as the front line workers.
▪ Promoting the many health benefits that golf offers.
The ‘Golf for Good’ initiative will be launched at the new UK Swing in July and August, six weeks which will culminate in £500,000 from the European Tour being distributed equally between charities local to the tournament venues and charities chosen by the leading ten players in a mini Order of Merit which will run across the six tournaments.
Keith Pelley, the chief executive of the European Tour, said: “Since the suspension of our 2020 season in early March, we have taken a measured approach in reassessing our schedule, informed every step of the way by our medical advisers and government guidance.
“We have consistently said that safety is our absolute priority and that is why today we are announcing our resumption in two months’ time supported by a comprehensive health strategy which has been led by our medical team.
“Without question, we have had to think differently about the remainder of our 2020 season which is reflected in today’s announcement. As golf’s global Tour, diversity is ordinarily one of our biggest strengths, but in this instance it has become one of our biggest challenges.
“Initially, therefore, based on the expert guidance we received, playing in clusters, in one territory, is the best option in terms of testing, travel and accommodation."
It has also been announced that Members’ 2020 Categories, and their ranking within that category, will be retained in 2021 with related playing rights being protected to the absolute maximum possible in the 2021 season.
There will be no ‘Minimum Tournament Regulation’ for the 2020 season and no formal graduation from the Challenge Tour, although the Tournament Committee has agreed to reward "exceptional performance" on both the European Tour and the Challenge Tour in 2020, precise details of which will be announced in due course.