The US PGA Tour has completed its third tournament since a season relaunch after the COVID-19 shutdown and the return hasn’t been very fruitful for Aussies on Tour, nor has the game’s biggest drawcard Tiger Woods hit a ball in anger.
The season recommenced with the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11 after a nine week closure and Daniel Berger won a dramatic playoff against Collin Morikawa. Lots of well-known Americans were up the top of the leader board including DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele (T3), Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed (T7). The only non-yanks were Justin Rose (T3) and Sungjae Im (T10). Best placed Aussie was Matt Jones at T38. Australians to miss the weekend included Jon Senden, Cam Davis, Marc Leishman, Cam Smith and Jason Day.
The Tour then headed to Harbour Town for the RBC Heritage – originally slated for Apr 16-19. Webb Simpson took the chocolates in a much more cosmopolitan Top 10 that included Mexican Abraham Ancer (2), UK’s Tyrrell Hatton (T3), Spain’s Sergio Garcia (T5) and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, however you had to scroll down to T52 to find an Aussie flag, and that sat alongside a lonely Matt Jones. Jason Day missed his second cut in a row, as did Cam Smith. Badds.com didn’t make the weekend action either.
So the Tour headed into a third week after the Tour’s resumption – the Travelers Championship at TPC Riverland. Dustin Johnson hung on to win by one shot from countryman Kevin Streelman. Canadian Mackenzie Hughes was the only non-American to make the Top 10 – tying for third with Will Gordon. Again it was a long scroll down the leader board to find an Australian. Despite four sub 70 rounds, Jason Day made a Cut but could only finish T46 on seven under. Marc Leishman (T58) and Greg Chalmers (67) the only others to make it through to the weekend.
So this week the circus heads to Detriot for the Rocket Mortgage Classic as the players adjust to battle in front of empty stands. In two months’ time the first major of the year is to be played – the PGA at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The US Open follows in mid-September and the US Masters scheduled for Nov 12. The Open Championship has of course been cancelled until 2021.
Let’s hope the Aussies can find their mojo for the three big events in 2020 after their sluggish start to the PGA Tour Take 2!