PGA Tour releases 2021-2022 schedule — WGC sliced, Euro partnership strengthens

The PGA Tour released its schedule — it included the first co-sanctioned European Tour event and only two WGCs.

PGA Tour releases 2021-2022 schedule — WGC sliced, Euro partnership strengthens

The PGA Tour announced its slate of 48 tournaments that will make up the 2021-22 season, and it included a few new wrinkles.

For the first time, the PGA Tour is co-sanctioning a European Tour event, the Scottish Open. The player field will be a split between members of both Tours and competitors will earn FedEx Cup points — a first for a European Tour event. Likewise, European Tour competitors will have access to the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship opposite-field events and the field will earn points in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai for the first time.

“Adding an existing, strong title sponsor in Genesis to our Strategic Alliance in the form of the Genesis Scottish Open – to be sanctioned by both Tours – is a significant step for the global game,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We are committed to continuing to evolve and adapt, and with our ever-strengthening partnership with the European Tour, to take the global game to the heights we all know it is capable of.”

As part of the “Strategic Alliance” and collaboration between the two Tours, the Irish Open will nearly double the purse to $6 million for its annual European Tour event starting in 2022.

“The latter is part of an overall commitment of the PGA Tour to help advance a wide range of European Tour events,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

The other significant development is a scaling back of the World Golf Championships, which will be sliced in half from four to two, with the WGC FedEx St. Jude Championship being promoted to the first of three FedEx Cup Playoff events and replacing the Northern Trust, which alternated between New York metropolitan area and Boston the last two years, and the Mexico Championship being demoted to a full-field regular season Tour event.

The 2022 portion of the schedule will kick off the PGA Tour’s new, nine-year domestic media rights agreements with ViacomCBS, Comcast/NBC and ESPN. There will be a one-week off season between the Tour Championship, September 2-5, and the kick off to the 2021-22 season in Napa, California at the Fortinet Championship.

The CJ Cup, which was held in Korea prior to COVID-19, will be held in the U.S. for a second straight year and be staged at The Summit Club in Las Vegas. The Zozo Championship, which was also held in the U.S. last year, is scheduled to return to Japan and the WGC HSBC Championship, which was canceled due to the global pandemic a year ago, is slated to be played in China.

The only remaining World Golf Championship events, which debuted in 1997, are the Dell Match Play Championship and the HSBC Championship in China.

Among the other notable changes to the schedule are:

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (January 31-February 6) and the Waste Management Phoenix Open (February 7-13) trade spots in the schedule, as the Tour’s event at TPC Scottsdale remains in its traditional date of Super Bowl week.

The Valspar Championship (March 17-20) returns to its traditional March date and position as the final leg of the four-event Florida swing.

The Puerto Rico Open (March 3-6) will be played as an opposite-field event alongside the Arnold Palmer Invitational while the Corales Puntacana Championship (March 24-27) will be played concurrently with the WGC-Match Play in Austin, Texas.

With the biennial Presidents Cup being held at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte in 2022, the Wells Fargo Championship (May 2-8) will be contested for one year at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Maryland.

The John Deere Classic (June 27-July 3), traditionally played the week prior to the British Open, moves one week earlier.

The European Tour will announce the initial portion of its 2022 schedule later this month, with the full season announcement to follow in due course. Pelley noted that given the number of countries the circuit visits and the challenges of the global pandemic there are still details to iron out.

“There has been considerable collaboration behind the scenes between our two tours since November’s alliance was unveiled, and we are delighted to share these initial developments, which demonstrate our commitment to working together for the betterment of our sport globally,” Pelley said. “We will have more to announce in the coming months – this is most definitely just the beginning.”

Source : Golf Week More   

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WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational odds, picks and PGA Tour predictions

We look at the 2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational odds and make our PGA Tour picks and predictions to win.

WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational odds, picks and PGA Tour predictions

TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee, once again hosts this week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. An elite field of 66 is in attendance as Justin Thomas tries to defend his 2020 win. Below, we look at the 2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational odds and make our PGA Tour picks and predictions to win.

Xander Schauffele is one of many in the field making the long trek back from the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He won gold but is still looking for his first PGA Tour win since Jan. 2019.

Jon Rahm, ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin world rankings, is the most notable absence among the eligible golfers this week. This is the second-to-last week before the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs with a weaker, alternate field participating in the Barracuda Championship.

2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational picks – Favorite

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds a full list. Lines last updated Tuesday at 9:35 a.m. ET.

Brooks Koepka (+1100)

Koepka, back to No. 47 in the Golfweek rankings, won this event at TPC Southwind in 2019 and tied for second last year. He led last year’s field with 2.11 Strokes Gained: Approach per round but struggled on the greens and lost 0.68 strokes per round with the flat stick. He’s fifth in this field with 2.17 strokes gained per round over 28 career rounds at TPC Southwind.

Koepka has rung up three straight finishes of T-6 or better at the U.S. Open, Travelers Championship and British Open and has a total of six top-10 finishes through 12 events in 2021. Three of those were in the year’s final three majors and another was against an elite field at the WGC-Workday Championship in February.

Additionally, Koepka is one of the top players who didn’t need to make the long trip back from Tokyo and has had two weeks off since the British Open.

2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational picks – Contender

Will Zalatoris (+4900)

Zalatoris is sixth among qualified golfers in SG: Approach for the season ahead of his professional debut at TPC Southwind. His putting and short game have been weaknesses of late, but he’s well-rested after a withdrawal from the British Open due to injury and a couple of weeks off.

Zalatoris is likely to be one of the most motivated golfers in the field as he still needs a win either this week or next to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs despite four top-10 finishes this year.

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2021 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational picks – Long shot

Kevin Kisner (+9900)

Kisner has averaged 0.95 strokes gained on the field over 20 career rounds at TPC Southwind, including a T-25 finish with 2.02 SG: Putting per round last year.

He also has a 2015 win and a 2020 runner-up finish at the RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club. While those events both had considerably weaker fields, the venues are highly comparable with both putting an emphasis on the approach game and play around the greens.

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Source : Golf Week More   

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