World No. 1 Rory McIlroy confirmed he will make his Charles Schwab Challenge debut mid next month when the PGA Tour returns to full competition at Fort Worth in Texas.
In fact, McIlroy indicated he has committed to the opening three ‘no spectator’ events meaning he will tee-up in the following week’s RBC Heritage, an event he played just once in 2009 (T58th), and then a third tournament with the following week’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut, an event he has also played just once and that being in 2017 (T17th).
“I just want to get back out and play so right now, I’m planning to play the first three events and then see where we go from there,” said McIlroy.
“So, that’s my plan, play the first three.
“I think it will be nice to get back out and play. Obviously we’re going to have to take as many precautions as possible to be able to put tour events on again, but I think the PGA Tour has got a very robust plan in place, and if they can execute it the right way, I see no reason why we can’t start June 11.”
McIlroy had been critical ahead of his Players Championship defence that the U.S. authorities had been ‘casual compared to the rest of the world’ when asked regarding fears for the then unknown spread of the COVID-19 virus.
And now after the PGA Tour sent a 37-page ‘Healthe and Safety’ document, he was asked if he is happy with the Tour’s pre-tournament return arrangements.
“I think if you take the necessary precautions, wearing a face covering, washing your hands frequently, sanitizing your hands frequently practicing social distancing… I really do think it’s possible,” he said. “I see no reason why you wouldn’t be comfortable with the logistics of getting to an event and from.
“The tour is going to put on a charter [flight] and there’s going to be a lot of testing to make sure that no one is getting on these planes or into these hotels or onto the golf courses that have tested positive for COVID-19 or showing signs that they may be positive.
“They are going to have to self-isolate and take all those precautions. Again, I believe the PGA Tour has a very robust policy in place, and if they can execute it, I feel comfortable getting back out there and playing and traveling.”
McIlroy will dust his clubs down ahead of joining partner Dustin Johnson in tacking the team of Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in Sunday’s ‘Sunday at Seminole’ charity event.
The skins competition will see both teams compete for prize money that will be donated to various charities.
McIlroy and Johnson will play for the American Nurses Foundation while Fowler and Wolff will play for the CDC Foundation. UnitedHealth Group pledged $3 million in charity skins. Farmers Insurance pledged an additional $1 million for a birdies-and-eagles pool to benefit Off Their Plate, which helps coronavirus health care workers.