PGA Tour changes make Austin Dell Match Play’s future cloudy


The unveiling of the 2021-22 PGA Tour schedule didn’t reveal many major ramifications for the five events hosted in Lone Star State this year, but the storylines are certainly significant.

For the first time, the PGA Tour co-sanctions a European Tour event, the Scottish Open. The field of players will be divided between members of both Tours and competitors will earn FedEx Cup points – a first for a European Tour event. Likewise, European Tour competitors will have access to the opposite field events of the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship and the peloton will earn points in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai for the first time.

“The addition of an existing and strong title sponsor of Genesis to our strategic alliance in the form of the Genesis Scottish Open – which will be sanctioned by both circuits – is an important milestone for the global game,” said Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour. “We are committed to continuing to evolve and adapt, and with our ever-strengthened partnership with the European Tour, to take the world game to heights we all know is capable of.”

March 26, 2021;  Austin, Texas, United States;  Tommy Fleetwood celebrates with his caddy No.18 after winning the match against Bryson DeChambeau on day three of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament at Austin Country Club.

But the other important development is a reduction in the World Golf Championships, which will be split in two from four to two, with the WGC FedEx St. Jude Championship being promoted to the first of three FedEx Cup qualifying events and replacing the Northern Trust. . , who has alternated between metro New York and Boston for the past two years, and the Mexican Championship is demoted to a regular-season touring event.

For now, the WGC-Match Play event in Austin will remain on the schedule at the end of March, but it is difficult to assess the future of the tournament, which has been a popular stopover since it moved to Austin from San Francisco. in 2016..

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The Tour certainly don’t want to lose Austin as a host city – in fact, they’ve looked to expand their presence in recent years as more players make their way to the area.

March 24, 2021;  Austin, Texas, United States;  Rory McIlroy comes out of a bunker on the seventh hole on day one of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament at Austin Country Club.

But the WGC, which was initially added by former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem when it emerged that Greg Norman was trying to build a rival super league in the 1990s, doesn’t appear to be the priority it once was. . Players prefer events because there is no cup, which means that every player who attends them earns a salary.

Meanwhile, the 2022 part of the calendar will kick off the PGA Tour’s new nine-year national media rights deals with ViacomCBS, Comcast / NBC and ESPN. The European tour will announce the initial part of its 2022 schedule later this month, with the full season announcement to follow in due course.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley noted that given the number of countries visited and the challenges of the global pandemic, there were still details to be worked out.

“There has been considerable behind-the-scenes collaboration between our two tours since the unveiling of the alliance in November, and we are delighted to share these early developments, which demonstrate our commitment to working together to improve our sport at globally, ”Pelley said. “We will have more to announce in the coming months – this is certainly just the beginning.”

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Dylan Davis wins Austin City Championship

Talk about a start. After waiting for his amateur status to be approved by the USGA, Dylan Davis was unsure of his fate at the Austin City Championship, especially since he hadn’t played a golf tournament in ages. .

But once he drew the juice from the competition, the former St. Edwards University golfer certainly got comfortable quickly, shooting a 70 in the last round against Morris Williams to easily win the title. Davis finished 11 under for the event, four strokes ahead of Jack Cersosimo and five over Brian Noonan.

Back in his days as a Hilltopper, Davis would often use his putter to save himself, but in the City Championship it was all about hitting the ball, which put him in good position throughout the event.

“My expectations were to get out there and have fun playing golf,” said Davis. “It had been a few years, but I came out on Thursday, and although I wasn’t putting on too well, I really started hitting well. One thing led to another, I got some good yardage, I was swinging the club efficiently and just gave everything a chance.

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Davis was a professional teacher at Falconhead for a few years, but quit the game as a career. He remains involved, however, through the weekly Monday action at Butler Pitch and Putt.

“Regardless of Monday, there are a handful of pros out there and a bunch of former college golfers,” he said. “It’s really the only serious competition I’ve had in a while.

One way he has scratched his itch for competition is to learn about disc golf while helping the folks at Dreamland, a huge resort in Dripping Springs that offers an awesome mini-golf experience. The neighborhood also has outdoor stages, a beer garden and pickleball courts. Davis helped out with the project and started playing disc golf with a former teammate from St. Edward.

“It blew me away,” Davis said. “We wanted to be outside during COVID and I started playing. The overlap is there. I’m not a serious disc golfer at all, but it’s a fun getaway.

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Birds

• Texas A&M senior Sam Bennett was one of two dozen players named to the 2021 All-Nicklaus squad, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced. Also a member of the Golfweek All-American second team, Bennett won the Cabo Collegiate at TPC San Antonio and received a bye for the Valero Texas Open. He won three times last year, the third-highest number of Aggie wins in school history.

• Speaking of the Valero Texas Open, get ready for a party when it hits San Antonio next April. In honor of its 100th anniversary, event organizers have announced numerous bells and whistles to mark the milestone, including a live concert conducted by Jason Aldean and featuring Darius Rucker to be held at TPC San Antonio, after the third round of the competition on April 2.

Tim Schmitt is the editor of Golfweek, golf coordinator for USA Today Network and lives in Round Rock with a driver and subsequent wedge from Dell Diamond. Adam Schupak of Golfweek contributed to this report.

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