The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been tamed worldwide, but sports are slowly and cautiously beginning to wake up. The PGA Tour’s restart is close at hand, with its first rescheduled tournament, the Charles Schwab Challenge, set to kick off at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 11.
With a month until the PGA Tour resumes in her city, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price is feeling good about Forth Worth putting on a safe, fan-free event.
"I'm very optimistic we can pull this off,” Price told ESPN during a phone interview. "We've been working with our local partners at the tournament, and they been working diligently with the PGA [Tour] to make this happen.”
The PGA Tour has yet to announce any details about the restart of the season, but is expected to next week. Until then we have no official word about testing and any other precautions that will be taken at Colonial, but Price did offer some information about what the city of Fort Worth is prepared to do when the PGA Tour descends next month.
"We are committed to have testing for the players, caddies and anyone who is going to be working at the clubhouse or the course,” Price told ESPN. “And we've arranged for other screening every day. It is not going to be a big crowd of people, so I'm pleased with how it is going. Health and safety are clearly the most important — not just for us, but for all of the PGA [Tour] officials and works, as well.”
Price told ESPN that the Charles Schwab Challenge, the city of Fort Worth, and the PGA Tour have all partnered with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to provide players and caddies with quick COVID-19 tests. Those tests should give results in 90-120 minutes, and would be conducted at the hotel that players and caddies are staying at for the tournament.
Those working or volunteering at the tournament would be tested on site at least once, Price said, and would get temperature screening on other days. Fort Worth does not currently have widespread testing available for asymptomatic people, but Price told ESPN that she expects that to change in the next few weeks.
The Charles Schwab Challenge has a long history at Colonial Country Club. It began in 1946 and is the PGA Tour’s longest-running non-major event at the same site. Price believes that Colonial’s long history with the PGA Tour will communicate the right message to people who are hopeful that sports will return in full force soon.
"...I'm excited about the chance for us to host the first PGA Tour tournament,” Price said. “The Charles Schwab is one of the oldest, and the oldest at the same location. This will help us send a strong message about getting back.''
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