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PGA Tour alters 2014 schedule for Ryder Cup

ESPN staff
August 8, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
The US Ryder Cup team suffered a dramatic collapse in the Singles Matches at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah © Getty Images
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The PGA Tour is considering changing its 2014 schedule in order to accommodate the PGA of America and US Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, who wants a week off for his players before the biennial competition to be played in Scotland.

Although the PGA Tour said it will not officially announce its 2013-14 schedule until next month, PGA of America president Ted Bishop on Wednesday said the PGA Tour has agreed to stage all four of its FedEx Cup play-off events in consecutive weeks to give players a break before heading to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

"Our captain felt like it was imperative that our players had a week off prior to the beginning of the Ryder Cup," Bishop said during a PGA of America news conference at Oak Hill Country Club, site of this week's US PGA Championship.

"I think it was a change that was good for them, and obviously the week off prior to the Ryder Cup hopefully will be good for our players."

The Ryder Cup is scheduled for September 26-28, 2014, and would have immediately followed the PGA Tour's final event, the Tour Championship, in Atlanta.

Last year's Ryder Cup at Medinah was played immediately following the Tour Championship, as was the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales. The 2010 event made for some logistical challenges, as ten Americans - and just Europe's Luke Donald - played in Atlanta before heading to Wales.

Next year's schedule would mean there is no break during the four-tournament series that begins with the Barclays and continues with the Deutsche Bank Championship, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship. This year, there is a week off between the Deutsche Bank and the BMW.

Bishop acknowledged that there was some give and take with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem over this issue. Finchem successfully lobbied the PGA of America to abandon its marketing slogan "Glory's Last Shot" for the US PGA Championship in exchange for the date switch.

"He was very provocative and emphasized the fact that the US PGA Championship is the strongest field in major golf, that it stands on its own merits and that there was golf that was played after the US PGA Championship, most notably the FedEx Cup," Bishop said.

Now the organization goes with "The Season's Final Major" for its tagline.

In another scheduling development, Bishop said the 2016 US PGA Championship - to be played at Baltusrol near New York City - will likely be played at the end of July to accommodate the Olympic Games in Brazil, which will have both men's and women's golf.

Finchem said last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational that the details are still being worked out, contingent on the Olympic schedule to be released next spring. The majors or World Golf Championship events cannot coincide with the Olympics, making for a crowded schedule.

"Everything is going to be shifted, everything possibly the Open Championship and the US PGA Championship in 2016, to accommodate the Olympic schedule," Bishop said.

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