Harrington headlines spectator permitted Bermuda Championship

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Padraig Harrington (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

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Major winners Padraig Harrington, Danny Willett, Stewart Cink and Jason Dufner will join the field for the ‘spectators allowed’ 2020 Bermuda Championship, scheduled for next week at Port Royal Golf Course.

The four former major champions are scheduled to appear in their first PGA Tour event in Bermuda, although Harrington, Cink and Dufner are no strangers to Bermuda, having competed here at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf as reported in an article appearing in the local Royal Gazette newspaper.

Harrington had expressed some trepidation last week in Scotland at thoughts of boarding a long-haul flight to Bermuda and at this stage the Dubliner has not withdrawn though he does have to 5pm Eastern US time later today [Friday] to do so.

Three Bermuda players, Camiko Smith, Michael Sims and Anthony Phipps, will also be in the  field after finishing as the top three in local qualifying last week.

Smith won the two-round qualifier by five strokes over Sims and Phipps after shooting a one-under-par 141.

Andrew Trott is the first alternate after defeating Will Haddrell on the first play-off hole after they finished tied on 148.

Brendon Todd, from Athens, Georgia, will return to defend the title he won by four shots last year.

“We’re very excited about this year’s field,” said Sean Sovacool, the tournament director. “I know that fans have been eager to hear about who will be competing this year and to have players of this calibre commit is great news.”

Harrington is a six-time PGA Tour winner, including three majors — the Open Championship in 2007 and 2008, and the PGA Championship in 2008. He has 54 top-ten finishes, six Ryder Cup appearances and will captain the European team next year at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, from September 21 to 26.

The 49-year-old Irishman also won PGA Grand Slam of Golf in 2012.

Willett, from England, won the 2016 Masters, his first PGA Tour win. He has one Ryder Cup appearance and six international victories, including the 2019 BMW PGA Championship.

Cink, of the United States, won the 2009 Open Championship. He has seven PGA Tour victories under his belt, including this year’s season opener, the Safeway Open, where he marked his 100th top-ten finish.

The American, who played in the 2009 PGA Grand Slam of Golf, is also a five-times Ryder Cup team member.

Dufner, also of the US, won the 2013 PGA Championship and is a five-times winner on the PGA Tour. He has one Ryder Cup appearance and competed in the 2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal.

The purse for this year’s event has been increased to $4 million, with 500 FedEx Cup points on offer for the winner. As a stand-alone event for 2020, the champion will also qualify for the Masters in 2021.

Tickets have sold out for rounds two, three and four, and a limited number remain for the opening round next Thursday, at a price of $35.

Spectator protocols will include temperature checks, mandatory wearing of face masks upon entry and out on the golf course. Social distancing requires six feet of separation and the use of hand sanitiser, with units placed throughout the ground, including entrances, restrooms and concession locations. For the safety of spectators and players, autographs will not be permitted.

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