BLUFFTON, SC – The Walter Hagen cup on the first hole during the first round the 52nd PGA Professional Championship held at Belfair on April 28, 2019 in Bluffton, South Carolina. (Photo by Hailey Garrett/PGA of America)

The 2020 PGA Professional Championship has been rescheduled for July 19-22 on the Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, provided it is safe and responsible to do so at that time. Prior to postponing on March 16, the Championship was originally planned for April 26-29. 

There are numerous public health related issues that could affect the playing of the Championship, which the PGA of America will continue to monitor. These include the accessibility and implementation of approved Covid-19 testing protocols, as well as a May 1 Executive Order (GA-20) from the Texas Department of Public Safety that mandates a self-imposed, 14-day travel quarantine for those arriving in Texas from certain states and cities.

New England PGA Professionals who qualified for the 2020 PPC include: Shawn Warren (Falmouth CC); David Bennett (Country Club of Vermont); Eric Barlow (Winchester CC); Seul-Ki Hawley (Winchester CC); David Jankowski (Burlington CC); Kevin Rhoads (The Country Club); Boomer Erick (Boston GC); Kirk Hanefeld (Salem CC); Jeff Martin (Wollaston GC); Liam Friedman (Nashawtuc CC); Robert Bruso (Blackstone National); Christopher Abbott (Kinloch GC); Steven Hausmann (Amherst CC); Troy Pare (Ledgemont); and Rich Berberian (Vesper CC).

“While we are hopeful that the 2020 PPC is played in July, we pledge to work in concert with public health officials at the national, state and county levels through Championship Week,” Sandra Lyda, Manager of PGA Member Championships said in an email. “The health and safety of our PGA Members, volunteers, rules officials and staff remains our top priority.”

The 2020 PPC will undoubtedly look and feel a bit different. Changes will likely include all contestants having to test for Covid-19 prior to departure for Texas (from home) and again upon arrival at Omni Barton Creek (details pending), as well as mandatory cart usage (no caddies) and not allowing spectators on the course. The Player Welcome Dinner and the Champions Dinner will also be cancelled. The three Player of the Year recipients will now be honored as part of the PGA Annual Meeting in November. 

Those placing in the top 20 of the 2020 PPC will earn spots into the 2020 PGA Championship which has been rescheduled for August 3-9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. 

“We will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials to determine if it will be safe and responsible to conduct the PGA Championship on the rescheduled dates,” Lyda added.

If the PPC cannot be staged on the new dates in advance of the PGA Championship in early August, the top 20 eligible players from the 2019 PGA Player of the Year list would represent the PGA of America in San Francisco. In this scenario, New England PGA Professionals Rich Berberian Jr. and Shawn Warren would advance to the 2020PGA Championship.

“We appreciate the patience demonstrated by our PGA Sections, the 312 players in the field, and the PGA Professional Championship Staff. I’d also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Omni Barton Creek for its commitment to hosting this national championship, as well as to Club Car, Omega and Golf Channel for their partnership during these challenging times,” Lyda said.