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European Tour average golf club distances

Has Westwood just dropped a huge hint about the European Tour’s return?

We have heard little from the European Tour about when they will come back, but Lee Westwood has given us a decent idea
 

While the PGA Tour has released its revamped 2020 schedule, we are still waiting to hear anything official regarding the European Tour’s plans.

All we’ve had to go on so far is a leaked email from Keith Pelley that suggested UK events are “the most critical” in what will be a “radically different” European Tour schedule.

But Lee Westwood has dropped a huge hint that the British Masters at Close House – an event he will host for a second time – will go ahead as planned in July but with no fans in attendance.

“All being well, it will be the first one back,” Westwood, a 25-time European Tour winner, told the Golf Channel. “I don’t think there’s anything really planned before that.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong, there are no second waves, quarantines get lifted, and we can have a successful tournament.

“The golf course is in fantastic condition and you could play a tournament out there right now, so the rest that the course has had – nobody playing on it for seven or eight weeks – has obviously done it good.

“We’ll be playing it behind closed doors, so obviously no fans there like how the PGA Tour is starting. It’ll be a mix of excitement and I guess trepidation and everybody feeling a little bit wary that they don’t do the wrong things and they do all the protocols right. I think everyone will be on their toes.

“It’s a tough situation. We can’t afford anything to go wrong, and this virus to spread any more than it has done. It’s going to be a fine line, and it’s a balance between having the tournaments but limiting the spread of the virus. Obviously people want something to watch, and it’s a good way to kick-start your economy.

“But also we don’t want a second wave [of the virus], so we have to make sure we’re very, very safe.”

There are rumours circulating that the European Tour will restart with a UK swing that will start with the British Masters and include three more €1 million events at Forest of Arden, Hanbury Manor and Celtic Manor.

Westwood is down to play in two of those first events of the revamped PGA Tour season but has decided against travelling to the United States unless the current quarantine restrictions are relaxed.

The US circuit will resume behind closed doors at Colonial for the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11, but for any players and caddies flying into the country it means a 14-day self-isolation period before being allowed to play.

And the World No 31 decided it’s “not worth it”.

He added: “I’m entered for Colonial and the RBC Heritage as there’s top 50 in the world exemptions for those two events, but right now I won’t be playing them.

“Not with having to leave here two weeks before, quarantine, then play the two tournaments, then come back and quarantine again. It’s six weeks for two tournaments and to me, it’s just not worth it.

“It’s not worth taking the risk if everybody thinks that those kind of precautions have got to be in place. I don’t feel like golf’s a priority, it’s that severe.”

And with the rescheduled PGA Championship – the first major of the rejigged campaign – the week following the British Masters, Westwood concedes he will have to miss the trip to Harding Park.

“It looks that way,” he said.

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Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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