GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — The PGA Tour announced significant changes to its 48-tournament 2021-22 schedule, collaborating with the European Tour to co-sanction three events, dropping two World Golf Championship events and relocating the first FedEx Cup playoff event to the backyard of its umbrella sponsor.
For the first time outside of the World Golf events, three tournaments will count on both the PGA Tour and European Tour — the Genesis Scottish Open the week preceding The Open; the Barbasol Championship, which will be played the same week as the Scottish Open; and the Barracuda Championship, which is played the same week as The Open.
Those moves are part of a “strategic alliance” formed between the two tours last fall that is expected to bring further collaboration.
“It’s a first step,” said European Tour CEO Keith Pelley, who joined PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to announce the schedule. “There is much more to come from this alliance.”
As part of that partnership, however, the two tours are losing two co-sanctioned World Golf Championship events and seeing a contraction of the format that began in 1999 and has generally seen four events throughout the year that count on both tours.
The WGC events in Mexico and in Memphis, where this week’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational is taking place for what is the last time, will no longer be on the schedule.
The WGC-Mexico Championship, which had gone under several names and moved to Mexico City in 2017, is being replaced by a regular PGA Tour stop of 132 players known simply as the Mexico Championship and will be played in late April. The WGC tournament was moved to Bradenton, Florida, this year and was won by Collin Morikawa.
FedEx, which spends some $60 million annually on a bonus pool known as the FedEx Cup, will now sponsor the first playoff event, to be known as the FedEx Cup Championship. It replaces the Northern Trust, and means, for now, there will be no PGA Tour event in the New York or Boston areas.
“The PGA Tour has always had a strong focus in New York and Boston, and when you look to the future, you see the U.S. Open played at The Country Club next year [outside of Boston], you’ve got the Ryder Cup coming to Bethpage in New York , you’ve got a number of championships with the USGA and the PGA of America,” Monahan said. “So professional golf will continue to have a very strong presence in those two important markets.
“For us, it’s really a matter of when, not if, we’ll be back.”
Monahan said that Northern Trust is discontinuing its sponsorship after the year, hence the move to have the FedEx event take the spot on the schedule. When the FedEx Cup playoffs were reduced to three events starting in 2019, the Northern Trust was scheduled to rotate between the New York and New England areas.
With next year’s BMW Championship — the second playoff event — being played in Wilmington, Delaware, the tour will not have an event in New York, Boston or Chicago in 2022.
The 2021-22 schedule begins Sept. 16 with the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, the week before the Ryder Cup. Nine more events follow in 2021, including the WGC-HSBC Championships, still scheduled for China.
The CJ Cup, the annual start to a three-tournament Asia Swing, will be relocated to the United States again this year and will be played in Las Vegas. The Zozo Championship, where Tiger Woods won his 82nd PGA Tour title in 2019, was relocated to California last year but, for now, is scheduled to be played in Japan.
After a break, the tour resumes in Hawaii in January with the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
With no WGC event in February, the tour will conclude its West Coast Swing at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles and then head to Florida for four events, including the Players Championship. The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship is one of two remaining WGC events and will be played after the Valspar Championship, two weeks before the Masters.
The John Deere Classic, long played the week before The Open, will now be two weeks ahead of the last major championship. And the Rocket Mortgage Classic, played July Fourth weekend this year, will move to late July preceding the final regular-season event at the Wyndham Championship.
For the new co-sanctioned Scottish Open, the field will be split evenly among PGA Tour and European Tour members. The PGA Tour is also helping to strengthen the Irish Open — this year played the week before the Scottish — by contributing funds that will double the purse to $6 million.
The other co-sanctioned events, the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship, will have 50 spots reserved for European Tour players in each.
Monahan said prize money would increase $35 million across the entire schedule.