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Dennis Watson wins Senior PGA Championship

It took 23 years for Dennis Watson to return to the winners circle, but he did it in major fashion at the 68th PGA Senior Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiwah Island.

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Dennis Watson Wins 68th PGA Senior Championship The first major of the year on the Champions Tour left a question on people’s minds, just who is Denis Watson? The answer – Denis Watson is a major champion. Sunday on Kiwah Island’s Ocean Course, the Zimbabwean overcame a 23 year drought to find his way back to the winners circle. Up to this point, much of Watson’s career had been characterized by injury rather than golf. A myriad of wrist, elbow, and neck problems have limited the number of events Watson has been able to play. In the press conferences afterwards, Watson expressed his feelings about his victory, "It’s wonderful to be playing golf again. To get out and do what you like to do is a wonderful thing."

At the beginning of the final round, it seemed Argentina’s Eduardo Romero would be the man to beat. Going into the back nine with a two shot lead, it seemed as though Romero would cruise into the clubhouse easily. However, the tables turned on the 195 yard par-3 14th where Romero pulled his tee shot. His ball not only found the waste area, but buried so deep into the soft sand it nearly disappeared. Forced to take an unplayable lie, he would end up with double bogey. Watson on the other hand hit his tee shot within ten feet and seized his opportunity by converting his birdie putt for a one shot lead he would not relinquish for the rest of the day. Romero who played only eight holes over par the entire Championship later said, "It cost me a lot … But I played good, I was just unlucky and played bad for one hole and then I just lost the tournament by that. I’m very happy with my game. Very sad for no win this week, because I feel very strong, I feel I was playing fantastic, but the golf it’s like this. Sometimes you win, sometimes lose."

In addition to this year’s Senior PGA Championship, the Ocean Course will also host the 2012 PGA Championship. Although the conditions on the tees, fairways, and greens seemed excellent, many players commented that the waste areas left quite a bit to be desired. The lack of sand towards the bottom of the bunkers and the excessive amount in the faces remained a topic of debate throughout the field. Craig Stadler said, "They definitely need to rework these bunkers or whatever they call them around the greens. 15 and 17 are horrible by the green. It’s like hitting it out of this brick here. Just put a little sand in there, give the guys at least a chance to use their talent and hit a shot rather than just leave it in the bunker or hit it in the water." After seeing Romero’s ball plug in 14’s waste area, even champion Denis Watson said, "I felt really bad for Eduardo. He hit a pretty bad shot, but I question how they had the face of the bunkers this week. I thought that was unfair."

Despite the questionable conditioning of the bunkers, the day would belong to Denis Watson. He kept his lead on the last four holes through some tense moments. A bogey on 15 cut Watson’s lead to one after Romero pared the hole. However, on the par-5 16th after hitting his second twenty yards off the green, Denis Watson chose to use his putter from well off the green and was able to convert his birdie opportunity and seal a major as his first victory on the Champion’s Tour.

Photo: AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

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Report: 2020 Open Championship set to be cancelled; R&A releases statement in response: “continuing to work through options”

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This year’s Open Championship will be cancelled outright by the R&A due to the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from Golf Digest.

Per the report, an unnamed source has divulged to the publication that the championship will next take place in 2021 with St. Andrews hosting the event. Royal St. Georges, due to host the 2020 Open Championship, would instead host the 2024 edition.

According to Golf Digest’s source, insurance has played a pivotal role in the decision making. As with Wimbledon, the Open Championship has an insurance policy that protects itself against a global pandemic if the event is cancelled by a specific date.

On Wednesday, the R&A officially announced that the 41st Curtis Cup would be played in 2021 while the organization also moved the British Amateur and British Women’s Amateur from June to August.

Though unconfirmed, this would mark the first major championship of 2020 to be cancelled outright, with the Masters and PGA Championship having been officially postponed.

*UPDATE*

On Thursday morning, in light of the speculation surrounding this year’s Open Championship, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, released a statement where he said the R&A are “continuing to work through our options for The Open this year.”

“We are continuing to work through our options for The Open this year, including postponement. Due to a range of external factors, that process is taking some time to resolve. We are well aware of the importance of being able to give clear guidance to fans, players and everyone involved and are working to resolve this as soon as we can. We will give a further update as soon as we are in a position to do so and thank everyone for their support and understanding in this challenging situation.”

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Report: Woods-Mickelson Part 2 likely to happen in May and will feature two other sporting superstars

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Earlier this week, Phil Mickelson teased “The Match” Part 2 on his social media, and according to a report from CNBC the exhibition, though unconfirmed, is likely to take place in May and will include both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

On Monday evening, golf journalist Robert Lusetich stated that the potential “The Match” Part 2 would likely involve NFL legends, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in a two on two contest.

Now per CNBC’s report, who claim that “a person familiar with the negotiations” confirmed the story to them, the contest is organized by AT&T’s WarnerMedia and the PGA Tour, and would likely take place in May with the proceeds going towards coronavirus relief charities.

The report also claims the event would likely not be a pay-per-view contest, with plans also in place to feature big names throughout the PGA, NFL, and National Basketball Association.

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Schedule postponements and cancellations on the PGA Tour, European Tour plus the four majors: What we know so far

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With the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the PGA Tour and European Tour have taken steps to cancel or postpone several events. Action has also been taken on some of golf’s major championships, and here we’ll summarize what decisions have been made so far altering the 2020 calendar.

The Majors

Both The Masters (April 9-12) and PGA Championship (May 14-17) have been officially postponed with hopes of rescheduling both events for later in the year. According to the NY Post, the US Open is also set to be postponed and rescheduled for “later in the summer”, though as of Tuesday, March 31 the USGA has made no formal announcement confirming this news.

The R&A has of yet made no announcement on this year’s Open Championship which is due to take place from 16-19 of July.

  • April 9-12: The Masters – Postponed
  • May 14-17: PGA Championship – Postponed
  • June 18-21: US Open – NY Post reporting postponed; not yet confirmed by USGA
  • July 16-19: Open Championship – On Schedule

PGA Tour

Since cancelling the Players Championship mid-event, the PGA Tour decided to cancel several subsequent tournaments. As of now, the earliest return date for the PGA Tour is May 21 at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship which is played the same week as the WGC-Match Play was postponed with plans to reschedule the event.

  • March 12-15: The Players Championship – Cancelled
  • March 19-22: Valspar Championship – Cancelled
  • April 16-19: RBC Heritage – Cancelled
  • April 23-26: Zurich Classic of New Orleans – Cancelled
  • April 30-May 3: Wells Fargo Championship – Cancelled
  • May 7-10: AT&T Byron Nelson – Cancelled

European Tour

Along with the cancelled WGC-Match Play and confirmed postponed major championships, the European Tour has postponed a further seven events. Unlike the PGA Tour, the European Tour has chosen to postpone almost every upcoming event for the time being instead of cancelling. The GolfSixes Cascais is the only confirmed cancellation as of now.

On Monday, the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open became the latest tournament to be postponed meaning the earliest possible return date for action on the European Tour is now June 4 at the Trophee Hassan II.

  • March 12-15: Magical Kenya Open – Postponed
  • March 19-22: Hero Indian Open – Postponed
  • April 16-19: Maybank Championship – Postponed
  • April 23-26: Volvo China Open – Postponed
  • April 30-May 3: Andalucia Masters – Postponed
  • May 9-10: GolfSixes Cascais – Cancelled
  • May 21-24: Made in Denmark – Postponed
  • May 28-31: Irish Open – Postponed
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