Top Tours

European Tour and PGA Tour announce landmark strategic alliance

The European Tour and PGA TOUR today heralded a significant new era for global golf with an historic announcement of a Strategic Alliance.

The landmark agreement will see golf’s two major Tours explore all facets of collaboration, working together on strategic commercial opportunities including collaborating on global media rights in certain territories.

This will come through part of the agreement which sees the PGA TOUR acquire a minority investment stake in European Tour Productions (ETP), the European Tour’s Media Production company, which produces and distributes content internationally. 

The Tours will also work in partnership on a number of other areas including global scheduling, prize funds and playing opportunities for the respective memberships. Further details of these areas will be announced in due course.

One element of the partnership which can be confirmed today is the fact that PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan will take a seat on the Board of the European Tour.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “This partnership is an historic moment for the game of golf and is a fantastic opportunity for both the European Tour and the PGA TOUR to explore ways to come together at the very pinnacle of our sport and work in unison for the benefit of the men’s professional game.

“Today’s announcement is the formalisation of a closer working relationship between the Tours in recent years. It was one which was crystalised earlier this year when both Jay and I were part of the working group containing representatives of the four Majors and the LPGA, a group which helped shape the remainder of the golfing calendar for 2020 during unprecedented times.

“We shared the challenges of working through a year neither of us could have ever imagined and we found definite synergies in many areas of our respective Tours. That gave us the impetus to move forward together and arrive at this momentous announcement we are making today.”

Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR, said, “We are thrilled to announce this further strengthening of our partnership with the European Tour, and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the men’s professional game and for golf fans around the world.”

(Press Release European Tour)

Live Satellite Tours Senior Tours

Legends Tour announces initial part of 2021 schedule

The Legends Tour today announces the first part of its International Schedule for 2021, marking the return of over-50s professional golf in Europe following the cancellation of the Tour’s 2020 season.

It follows the ground-breaking joint venture between Staysure Group CEO Ryan Howsam and the European Tour earlier this year, when Howsam acquired a controlling stake in the Staysure Tour which was rebranded as the Legends Tour, placing golf’s most iconic names at the forefront of the brand. 

Some of those iconic names, including Major Champions, former World Number Ones and Ryder Cup Captains, will host Legends Tour events in 2021 where amateurs will be able to tee it up alongside their golfing heroes in the innovative Alliance Pro-Am format. 

The season will begin in Austria when the Riegler & Partner Legends takes place from May 7-9 at Golf Club Murhof, with the Tour returning to the venue for the second time after its first appearance on the schedule in 2019. The Italian Senior Open will take place a week later from May 14-16 at a venue to be confirmed, before the first Senior Major Championship of the year, the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma, from May 27-30. 

June will begin with a return to Jersey for the first time since 2016 for the ICL Jersey Legends at La Moye Golf Club from June 4-6, before the Tour makes its first trip of the year to mainland Britain for the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship at Trevose Golf & Country Club, England, from June 18-20. 

The U.S. Senior Open will take place at Omaha Country Club, Nebraska, from July 8-11, while the long-running Swiss Seniors Open at Golf Club Bad Ragaz, will return for its 24th edition at a date to be confirmed in July. 

The WINSTONgolf Senior Open returns to WINSTONLinks, Vorbeck, Germany, from July 16-18, one week prior to The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Sunningdale Golf Club, England, from July 22-25. The Championship will be hosted at Sunningdale one year on from its original date following its cancellation due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

The prestigious Staysure PGA Seniors Championship will take place at Formby Golf Club, Southport, England, from July 29-August 1, moving from London Golf Club where it has been hosted since its return to the International Schedule in 2018. 

Former Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley will then welcome the Legends Tour to the island of Ireland for the first time since 2010 when the Irish Legends Presented by The McGinley Foundation takes place in Donegal at the stunning Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort from August 20-22. 

The Scottish Senior Open Hosted by Paul Lawrie will take place in September where the 1999 Open Champion will look to defend his maiden over-50s title which he picked up at Craigielaw in 2019. The date and venue for the event are still to be confirmed. The Farmfoods European Senior Masters will take place once again at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, England, from October 1-3. 

Mark Aspland, Head of the Legends Tour, said: “We have been extremely excited to announce this schedule after the cancellation of our 2020 Schedule and we cannot wait to begin again next year. 

“We have used the time productively to strengthen our schedule for 2021 and give our members as many playing opportunities as possible. 

“I must place on record my thanks to all the partners, sponsors and federations who have made this schedule possible. We have a fantastic mix of old and new events and we are looking forward to visiting places we know well and venues and territories that are new to many of us. 

“We will be concluding the 2021 season with the Indian Ocean Swing Tour Championship events and we are working hard to add events through the season, particularly in the Autumn. Further announcements will be made early in 2021.” 

Ryan Howsam, Group CEO, said: “I would firstly like to say well done to Mark Aspland and his team for putting this schedule together. Following the announcement of the joint venture in September, we have been working together on the brand and marketing channels to improve the commercial value of the Tour and therefore enhance the playing opportunities for the Legends Tour members. We have identified several exciting projects that will enhance the Legends Tour over the coming years.

“There will be plenty of opportunity for amateur golfers to get involved in Legends Tour events, from playing in the Celebrity Pro-Ams, teeing it up in Alliance events and joining the Legends Club, our exclusive Membership Club for people who desire a more in-depth involvement in the Tour and our events.”

For anyone wishing to purchase playing spots in Celebrity Pro-Ams, Alliance events or to enquire about Legends Club Membership, please email Legends Tour concierge via: [email protected].

(Press release: Legends Tour)

European Tour

Race to Dubai set for thrilling climax at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai

Race to Dubai leader Patrick Reed will return to the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai from December 10-13, hoping to become the first American to be crowned European Tour Number One at the fourth Rolex Series event of the 2020 season.

The Ryder Cup star, who won the 2018 Masters Tournament, currently leads the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex by more than 450 points from 2017 Harry Vardon Trophy winner Tommy Fleetwood, who will also be heading to Jumeirah Golf Estates next month along with US PGA Champion Collin Morikawa, Lee Westwood and Victor Perez, who complete the top five. 

The 30-year-old has made no secret of his aim of winning the Race to Dubai since first taking up European Tour membership in 2015.The current World Number 11 finished runner-up to Danny Willett in 2018 on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates and has also recorded two top tens in four appearances in the Race to Dubai finale.

Reed returned to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings after finishing in a share of third place at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the penultimate Rolex Series event of the 2020 season. He topped the standings earlier in the year after his victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February, his second World Golf Championship title.

“Winning the Race to Dubai and the European Tours’ Order of Merit has always been a goal of mine. I came close in 2018 and you can bet I will do my best to earn the Number One spot,” said Reed. 

“The DP World Tour Championship is an event I’ve been looking forward to since the rescheduled season was announced and it will be a great way to end 2020. Being a worldwide player is certainly at the forefront of my mind as a professional. Experiencing new cultures and playing in different conditions ultimately helps me become a more well-rounded golfer and person. 

Patrick Reed: “It would be an honor”

“I enjoy meeting new fans and traveling to different parts of the world to help grow the game of golf, and I truly enjoy the different cultures and countries that we visit and to be able to play at some of the best courses around the world, is such a gift, and something that I am truly grateful to be able to do.

“It would be an honour to become the first American to win the Race to Dubai and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of competing at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.”

Westwood will aim to become just the third English golfer in history to win the Harry Vardon Trophy on three occasions alongside Bernard Hunt and Peter Oosterhuis, who went on to top the rankings for a fourth consecutive year in 1974, while Fleetwood could emulate Westwood and Nick Faldo’s achievements if he were to win his second Race to Dubai title in the space of four seasons.

Westwood said: “I’ve had some success in Dubai over the years and it is somewhere I always enjoy playing golf, so it will be great to end the year with two tournaments there. I’m in a good position on the Race to Dubai and hopefully I can play well in both weeks and finish the year strongly.

 “It’s a big honour for any player to be crowned the European Tour’s Number One. I’ve done it twice before so it’s great to have another chance again this year.”

Fleetwood added: “Winning the Race to Dubai was one of the proudest moments of my career so far and I’m looking forward to being back at Jumeirah Golf Estates in a few weeks’ time with the chance to become European Number One. I’ve gone close the past two years in Dubai, finishing second and third in the Rankings, and another Race to Dubai title would be very special to me, so I’m fully focused on the task ahead at the DP World Tour Championship.”

Set to make his first start in a regular European Tour event, Morikawa will hope to cap an incredible season with a strong performance at the DP World Tour Championship. The 23-year-old became the third-youngest golfer to win the US PGA Championship when he triumphed at TPC Harding Park and set a new scoring record for the final 36 holes of the tournament with 129 strokes on what was just his 28th start as a professional golfer.

“I’m excited to travel to Dubai and play there for the first time. I’ve had the opportunity to play outside the United States a few times, which I think is important to experience early in my career, and I’m looking forward to playing in a new environment in the Middle East,” said Morikawa. “The opportunity to win the Race to Dubai is a thrill and it would be a great way to end an unforgettable year.”

Currently fifth on the Race to Dubai Rankings, Frenchman Perez will go in search of a second European Tour title when he returns to Dubai, alongside his 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship success. 

The 28-year-old has enjoyed an impressive 2020 campaign with runner-up finishes at two of the four Rolex Series events of the season, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and BMW PGA Championship.

“I’m in a great position on the Race to Dubai and it would be an honour to finish the year as European Number One,” said Perez. “I really enjoyed my first experience of the DP World Tour Championship last year, so I’m looking forward to returning with a chance of winning the Race to Dubai. The Rolex Series events are the highlights of our season, and everyone seems to raise their game for them; I’m excited for the challenge.”

The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is the fourth and final Rolex Series event of the reshaped 2020 Race to Dubai, following on from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and BMW PGA Championship. The Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai has hosted the season-ending event every year since 2009. This year, Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Fire course will also host the Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World, which takes place the week before the season-finale.

(Text: Press Release European Tour)

Ladies Tours

Solheim Cup to Move to Even Years Starting in 2024

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Nov. 16, 2020 – The LPGA and LET today announced that the Solheim Cup, the world’s leading match-play competition for female professional golfers, will move to even years starting in 2024. The 2021 and 2023 competitions will be held in their previously announced dates and locations in Ohio and Spain, respectively, with back-to-back playings in 2023 and 2024.

The Solheim Cup Committee approved the change to even years following the announcement that the Ryder Cup will move to an odd-year schedule, after the 2020 competition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The specific dates and location for the 2024 Solheim Cup, which will be held in the United States, will be announced in the future. 

“With the world sporting schedule changing so much due to current difficulties, we felt it was in the best interest of the Solheim Cup to return to an off-year rotation with the Ryder Cup,” said Dennis Baggett, Executive Director of the Solheim Cup. “When the competition returns to the United States in 2024, I have no doubt fans will have an incredible opportunity to celebrate the best women golfers from the United States and Europe as they represent their home countries.”

The 2021 Solheim Cup will take place Sept. 4-6 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. USA Captain Pat Hurst, along with Assistant Captains Angela Stanford and Michelle Wie West (a third assistant captain will be named in 2021), will lead the best players from the United States as they look to reclaim the Solheim Cup on home soil. Europe will once again be helmed by Captain Catriona Matthew, with Vice Captains Laura Davies, Kathryn Imrie and Suzann Pettersen by her side. Pettersen ended her playing career in style at the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland, scoring the winning point in the final putt of the final match and announcing her retirement at Team Europe’s celebratory post-win press conference. 

The 2023 Solheim Cup will be held Sept. 22-24 at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain. One week later, the Ryder Cup will be held in Italy, giving European sports fans a rare two-week spectacle of competition and patriotic fervor. 

With a full week of action set to take place at the 2021 Solheim Cup, fans can purchase various ticket and hospitality packages to enjoy every activity in Toledo at Inverness Club. New in 2021 is the Solheim Pavilion, which will give ticketholders a 300-degree view of the surrounding holes, upgraded food and beverage options and much more. Information on ticket options and prices is available at

About The Solheim Cup: 

The Solheim Cup combines the tradition and prestige of the game of golf with passion for one’s country and continent. This biennial international match-play competition features the best U.S. players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and the best European players from the Ladies European Tour (LET). 

The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten and Louise Solheim, founders of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. In 1990, the Solheim family, in conjunction with the LPGA and the LET, developed the concept and became the title sponsor for the Solheim Cup. Today, the Global Partners of the Solheim Cup are PING, Rolex and Marathon Petroleum.

Held every two years, the event has grown into the most prestigious international women’s professional golf team event. The 2021 Solheim Cup will be held at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, on Sept. 4-6. In 2019, Team Europe took a thrilling 14.5-13.5 victory at Gleneagles in Scotland, a thrilling win that came down to the final putt. Team USA leads Team Europe, 10-6, all-time in Solheim Cup competition.

Highlights Tours

Rory McIlroy: “He’s been knocking on the door for so long”

Question: If you could wave a magic wand, what area of your game would you improve overnight?
RORY McILROY: My iron play. Yeah, my iron play hasn’t been great since coming back from the lockdown. It sort of goes right through the bag. It goes from wedges all the way through to the long irons. I had two 5 irons from the fairway on 10 and 11 today, for example, and just didn’t hit great shots. It’s something to there’s always stuff to work on, but definitely something to work on going into the off season that we have here, and try to come out a little better in 2021.

Q: As you’ve had a little more time to reflect on what happened Thursday, what went wrong?
RORY McILROY: Again, I said yesterday, I just got a little careful, a little tentative, a little guidey, just didn’t trust my swing, didn’t commit to what I was doing, and again, this course more
than any other can make you do that at times. That was really what it was.
The first day I actually did okay. I was even par. It wasn’t even par through 9 here is not that bad, and then just that second morning I just didn’t quite have it. I guess I need to take the
positives, and played the last 54 really well and only made two bogeys in that 54 hole stretch, which is probably the best run of golf I’ve played here.

Rory McIlroy: “I miss the fans a lot”

Q: What did you miss the most this week, just the difference of playing in November?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, the atmosphere, the crowds, the patrons, the feelings that you normally have here that you didn’t quite have. More than any other week of the year I feel like you’re nervous a little more often, and it didn’t quite have that. Not saying it’s a bad thing; I loved the feeling of being relaxed out there and it’s something I probably need to try to adopt
going into five months’ time.

Q: Do you think there’s any advantage to coming right back here in April?
RORY McILROY: Yeah I mean, look, I hope the course is much different in April than it is now. It’s very soft. It’s very I feel like there’s a lot of shots I hit this week where I hit my number and
it would spin back off a green or it just wouldn’t do what you expect it to do, so I’d love to get another shot at it in April and have the course play maybe more what we’re accustomed to.

Q: You’re obviously a multiple major champion. What do you think this is going to mean to Dustin?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, he’s been knocking on the door so long, and I think, again, since coming back out of sort of back in June, the lockdown, he has been by far the best player in the world. He’s won a few times, won a FedExCup, had a chance at Harding Park. And I think, yeah, it validates what he did at Oakmont a few years ago and he’s had so many chances and hasn’t quite been able to close the deal, but his resume speaks for itself, how many times he’s won on the PGA TOUR, how consistent he’s been. I played with him the first two days here. He’s got the ball on a string. It was really impressive.

Q: What are you going to do this off season to kind of get away from golf and reboot? Any TV shows you’re going to catch up on?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, not particularly. I don’t know. I’m just going to be a man of leisure for a couple months. It’s going to be nice. Lie by the pool a little bit, get back on the bike, get back
on the Peloton. I’ve sort of given that a bit of a miss over the last few months. Yeah, just some stuff. Obviously watch my daughter grow up a little bit and have fun with that. But yeah, I’ll try
to get away from it, but yeah, as I said before, there’s certainly some stuff in my golf game that I want to work on before next year.

Q: Is there anything in DJ’s personality from your close interaction with him or traveling with him that you’ve seen of him that maybe we don’t that maybe you could share?
RORY McILROY: He’s smarter than you think.

Q: How so?
RORY McILROY: He’s switched on, more so than he lets on, more so than everyone in the media thinks. I’ll just put it that way.

Highlights Tours

Dustin Johnson: “As a kid I always dreamed about being a Masters-Champion”

Question: Why is this so meaningful to you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, just growing up so close to here, it’s always been a tournament that since I’ve been on Tour, since I played my first Masters, it’s been the tournament I wanted to win the most. You know, being close the last couple years, finishing second last year to Tiger, this one was just something that I really wanted to do.
Obviously starting today with a four shot lead, you know, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew I was going to have to play well if I wanted to win, and you know, still, played probably better than especially from really 7 into the clubhouse, I played really, really solid. Hit a lot of great shots.
But it was still hard. I mean, I was nervous all day, but I felt like I controlled myself very well. Controlled the golf ball very well in difficult conditions. I felt like the wind was really tricky. The
course, the greens were a little bit faster. Felt like you really had to be careful around here today.

Q: On 7, did you do what you were trying to do? Were you trying to hit into that front bunker?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I was. I didn’t have a shot. I was just in the right first cut, the tree limbs there. I was trying to run it up in between the bunkers, but if I was going to favor one side, it
was the left bunker. Hit a really good shot right in the front bunker where I wanted to and made a really easy 4.

Brother support given

Q. Austin said that on 18, as you’re walking up, he asked you where you stood. Did you not know?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I did not. Not exactly. I mean, I assumed I had the lead, but I didn’t know by how many. I mean, that was kind of my goal. I kind of looked at the leaderboard a little bit early, and after that, I just, you know, told myself, don’t worry about what anybody’s doing. Just play as good as you can.
You know, so I didn’t look at the leaderboard at all from probably 7, 7 on. I tried not to. I just tried to play my game. When I felt comfortable with the wind and the number that I had, I would
play aggressive. If not, I would try to play just to the fatter side of the green, and pars are a good score on a lot of these holes, especially when you’re 9, 10, 11, 12, take par all day on those holes, especially with the wind, the way it was blowing today.

Q. Did you have that attitude because you knew if you played well, a 68 would get it done today no matter what anybody else did?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I did. I knew if I played well, especially from 8 to the house, that I was going to put myself in a good position and have a chance to win. I just didn’t want that to affect the way that I played. I just didn’t look at it. I played I took what the course gave me and hit the shots I felt I could hit.

Q. Could you speak to your growing relationship with your brother and what it means to win when he’s by your side?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It’s unbelievable having my brother on my bag. You know, but he’s a big help, too. He does he reads the greens a lot for me. He does a great job reading them. I read them, too, myself, but I like to he definitely helps. He’s really good at it. I just love experiencing all these moments with him. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Q. What’s the sleeve size?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Jacket size? 42 long.

Photo: Getty

Q. And was there any extra special meaning, the fact that Tiger put that jacket on you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yes. But I mean yeah, obviously having Tiger put it on was awesome and unbelievable and, you know, you couldn’t you wouldn’t want it any other way.
But any guy could put it on me and I’d be just fine (laughter).

Q. You won THE TOUR Championship in September and now you’ve won the year’s last major in November. It’s been a strange season. Can you compare how that moment and this moment, maybe each felt like the end of a season?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, for me, we don’t really have an end of the season because there’s just so many golf tournaments and we play pretty much all year long.
But you know, winning the FedExCup was huge. It was something that I really wanted to do in my career. And then obviously coming here and winning Augusta was probably is on the very top of the list for sure.
I know 2020 has been a really strange year, but it’s been good to me. I’ve played some good golf. You know, I can’t thank Augusta enough for just having the Masters. Obviously when it canceled in April, none of us knew if we were going to be able to play in it.
I was just happy to be here playing, and it worked out okay for me.

Q. The emotion you showed in those interviews right after winning, is that more of the man the public has not seen over the years? You’re so calm and even keel out on the course.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Absolutely. On the golf course, I’m pretty good at controlling my emotions, you know, because I’m out playing golf.
But yeah, I had a tough time there speaking with Amanda on the putting green. Just because it like I said, it means so much to me. It means so much to my family, Paulina, the kids. They know it’s something that I’ve always been dreaming about and it’s why I work so hard. You know, I put in a lot of work off the golf course, on the golf course, and I think it’s just you know, it’s something that you push yourself for. That’s why I work so hard is to be in this position. And you know, to finally have the dream come true, I think that’s why you see all that emotion.

Q. First, sitting in that hotel room in Vegas a month ago or so, you had a lot of time to think. Did you ever think that maybe this chance was slipping away a little bit while you were in quarantine?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I didn’t. That never I knew I was going to play the Masters for sure, so that was a bonus, because I had already, you know, had gotten COVID and had to quarantine. So I knew there was no chance of me missing the Masters, so that kind of gave me a little bit more of a drive to practice.
I knew I was playing well. Granted, you sit in the hotel room for two weeks, it doesn’t do a lot for the golf game. But I put a lot of work in last week at Houston, and this week. Fortunate that I
was able to keep the game in good form, and played well last week in Houston, even though I didn’t if you had asked me on Wednesday what was going to happen, I probably would have
told you I was going to miss the cut and I would be here at Augusta practicing because I really had not played much, and even through my first few days of practice, things weren’t going very well.
But ended up working out okay for me there. And then coming into this week, I had had some rounds, and that was the reason I was playing there was just to get some more reps in tournament conditions it. Really helped out this week.

Dustin Johnson: “I wanna win a lot of Majors”

Q. You talked about dreaming of winning the Masters. Do you also dream of winning seven, eight, nine majors?

Q. Do you have a specific number?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I want to get to No. 3 first, but I do. I dream of winning a lot of majors.
Just hadn’t quite happened yet. Hopefully this one will help, though, give me a little spring.

Q. The weekend seemed pretty laid back on the course. Did you feel like not having Patrons helped you or did it hurt you as you were playing the last two rounds?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, I like the Patrons. I think they bring a lot of excitement and a lot of, you know it just they make the Masters, really.
But I would say if I had to say one way or the other, probably made it a little easier to get it done today without having all the fans or however many thousands that are here. But for me, all the tournaments we’ve played this year and the ones that I’ve won, looking back to before when we had fans, I mean, I feel the same way, whether the fans are here or not. I like having them here. They bring excitement, especially when they are cheering for you, they can pull you along. I miss them, and hopefully we get to see them in April.

Highlights Tours

Justin Thomas: “I’m very confident I’m going to win around this place at some point”

Question: Not having a crowd out there, you mentioned it, there was no way you could tell what was happening.
JUSTIN THOMAS: No. I mean, I had no idea. Yeah, that’s the weird part is you know what the guys are doing in front of you from whenever you see your watch. If you happen to turn around and see what the guy’s shots are, but with no crowd, yeah, you have no idea what’s going on.

Q: How would you assess your week as a whole?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I mean, it was far from my best stuff. So to finish fourth, it looks like it’s going to be, with that is a positive. I mean, I keep getting better. I’m very confident I’m going to win around this place at some point. I just don’t know when or if it will happen. I’m very comfortable. I just need to execute a little bit better. This week with the conditions being softer, the course knowledge didn’t come in play as much. You still had to leave it in the right spots, but not near as much when it was this soft. So I wish the tournament in April started tomorrow. I’ll just say that.

Q: A little bit of a slow start today.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, a little bit of a slow start is an understatement. Yeah, I hit four great golf shots on 1 and made par. Yeah, I mean, you just can’t bogey two in the scenario I was in. No, I didn’t hit the ball very well to start, and any time I had a birdie chance, I didn’t hit a very good iron shot. Then I found a little bit of rhythm on the back nine. It’s just one of those weeks. Stuff didn’t go my way. Kind of ended the week, my ball landed on the fairway, and it’s my first ever mud ball in a fairway bunker on 18. So it was just one of those weeks.

Justin Thomas :”I hit it really solid”

Q: Ball striking‐wise, it seems like you had a very, very good week. Are you going to take that from this week as far as going forward?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, sure. I did a little bit of everything. I didn’t hole anything the last three days, but I hit the ball beautifully yesterday. Like I hit it really solid. I didn’t hit it really close to the hole a lot, but the shots that didn’t go where I wanted, they still were hit really well, and I felt like they were good shots. But it was just the fact of the matter today, I had so many bull pins and so many pins that I needed and I should have hit close to, that I hit to 30 feet. I guess the long way to answer your question, yes, I did hit it well this week.

Q: After a week of seeing it this soft, would you like to see it firm and fast in April?
JUSTIN THOMAS: 100 percent. I’ll take firm and fast over soft any day.

Q: You see D.J. at 20. What do you think? Pretty incredible?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it is. I don’t think it will ever happen in April, but if we have another pandemic and it plays in April, I think it’s in play.

Highlights Tours

Tiger Woods after the US Masters 2020: “There’s no one more suited to that than DJ”

Tiger, a second nine like we’ve never seen from you, starting with that 10 on the 12th but
then you birdie five of your last six. Take me through what was going through your mind on the 12th hole
and how mentally tough you had to be to finish the way that you did.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I committed to the wrong wind. The wind was off the right for the first two guys, and then
when I stepped up there, it switched to howling off the left, which ‐‐ and the flag on 11 was howling off the left. I
didn’t commit to the wind, and I also got ahead of it and pushed it, too, because I thought the wind would come
more off the right and it was off the left, and that just started the problem from there.
From there I hit a lot more shots and had a lot more experiences there in Rae’s Creek, and then as you said, this is
unlike any other sport in which you’re so alone out there and you have to figure it out and you have to fight and no
one is going to pull you off the bump and you just have to figure it out, and I did coming in.

Question: You said the conditions are getting tougher out there, winds coming from all over the
place. As our leaders start coming down this stretch, what do you think we can expect to see in terms of
the most challenging spots?
TIGER WOODS: Depends on timing. You just have to time it up. You have to commit and time it up with the right
wind. Hopefully the guys, they’ll be talking to their caddies and try to get a beat on it because it just started coming
up now, and it is all over the place. It’s going to be a bit of a challenge for the guys there on the back.

Q: Interesting round out there today?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, to say the least. I’ve hit a few too many shots than I wanted to today, and I will not have
the chairman be putting the Green Jacket on me. I’ll be passing it on.

Tiger Woods: “That’s what makes this game so unique and so difficult mentally”

Q: How much pride do you take in the fight back after 12?
TIGER WOODS: That’s part of our sport. As I was saying in there earlier, this sport is awfully lonely sometimes.
You have to fight it. No one is going to bring you off the mound or call in a sub. You have to fight through it. That’s what makes this game so unique and so difficult mentally. We’ve all been there, unfortunately. Unfortunately I’ve been there and you just have to turn around and figure out the next shot, and I was able to do that coming home.

Q: How would you sum up the year?
TIGER WOODS: Well, starting out the year, it was like any other year, but we all quickly realized that this year is
unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. We’re lucky to have the opportunity to have our sport continue to go.
Unlike any other sport, our sport is actually growing right now. We never ‐‐ we’ve been struggling with participation
and the growth of the game for a number of years, and unfortunately this is an event and circumstances that’s
allowed our game to grow and flourish. Yeah, but at the beginning of the year normally we would have this tournament in April. We didn’t have that opportunity, but there have been so many people that have put the work into giving us this opportunity to have this event here in November, and all of us who have been a part of it who have been here and been on these grounds participating or just being involved were so very lucky.

Q: How would you sum up your year?
TIGER WOODS: My year? As I said earlier, the year didn’t start off ‐‐ it started off like any other year. I had a busy December and then the normal ramp‐up to the West Coast Swing and then all of a sudden it came to a halt.

Q: Is it any better knowing that this tournament is actually close the next time? It’s less than five months away. It’s normally such a long way for the Masters.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it is normally nine months, and trust me, I know because I’ve had to deal with it, trying to go for four in a row and all the media and dealing with all the different circumstances leading into it. Hopefully if everything continues the way it is going right now, then we’re able to have this event in April.

Q: Given what you go through to get ready to play, obviously it’s the back and just the prep, working out, do you fear the motivation not being there to do this, to keep going, to try to push? Do you expect it to still be there?
TIGER WOODS: Well, there are days when mentally I just ‐‐ it’s harder to push than others just because
physically it’s just ‐‐ my body just has moments where it just doesn’t work like it used to. No matter how hard I try,
things just don’t work the way they used to, and no matter how much I push and ask of this body, it just doesn’t
work at times. Yes, it is more difficult than others to be motivated at times. Yes, because things just ache and have to deal with things that I’ve never had to deal with before.

Photo: Getty

Q: DJ looks like he’s in good shape to win the Green Jacket. You’ve spent a lot of time with him. What impresses you most about him from the time you’ve spent with him?
TIGER WOODS: Well, as we’ve all seen, he’s an amazing athlete. He’s one of the first guys to ever bring
athleticism to our sport. DJ has just an amazing ability to stay calm in tough moments, and in order to win this
event, and we all know as past champions how hard it is, the emotions we have to deal with out there. There’s no one more suited to that, I think, than DJ.

Highlights Tours

US Masters 2020 Tiger Woods: “I got off to a fast start today”

Tiger Wood remarks on his bogey free first round at the US Masters 2020.

US Masters 2020: Tiger Woods Interview

Q. That was a pretty good start today; can you just talk about the whole day and how you felt?  

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I did everything well.  I drove it well, hit my irons well, putted well.  The only real bad shot I hit today was I think 8.  I had a perfect number with a 60 degree sand wedge and I hit it on the wrong shelf.  Other than that, I just did everything well.  The only thing I could say is that I wish I could have made a couple more putts.  I missed everything on the high side.  Putts just aren’t moving, so it’s just different with as slow as they are and then with the weather delay, the amount of rain they’ve had.  The golf course is going to change a lot.  You hear all the SubAir is on, so it’ll change over the next few days. 

Q. What about the rough; it’s higher than ever, right? 

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, they haven’t been able to put mowers on it, and yeah, it is high.  The guys that drive the ball in the rough, if you have a down grain lie, yeah, you can get to the green, maybe even control it, but you’ve got to    when the grain is sitting down, there’s really no chance, so you’re going to have to rely on short game and angles.  

Q. Was it weird starting on 10 or how did that factor into the round?  

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, there were a lot of differences today, playing on 1 and 10 today.  This morning I was on the putting green putting and getting ready for my round, and when they were introducing Gary, we were on the putting green and we couldn’t hear them.  There was a drone flying over the putting green.  Down 1 today you could hear the drone over there.  You don’t hear drones here.  There’s no patrons, no roars.  Yes, as the camera guys would say, where did the ball end up, because we just don’t know.  That’s very different.  A lot of firsts today.  That’s kind of the way this entire year has been.  The fact that we’re able to compete for a Masters this year, considering all that’s been going on, it’s a great opportunity for all of us.  

Q. What is the satisfaction level of a fast start at a place where you always haven’t had fast starts?  

TIGER WOODS:  Well, yeah.  I got off to a fast start today, which is good, but I think everyone is.  Everyone is going low out there today.  With these conditions, you have to.  You have to be aggressive.  There’s no reason why you can’t fire at a lot of the flags.  Like today on 5, I hit a little squeezer off the tee and had 227 to the hole, hit a 4 iron to the back edge and it only rolled out a foot.  That doesn’t happen here.  

There are balls    wedges that are ripping back, that you have to watch spin.  That’s probably not the case, you’re trying to find spin around here.  But this is the way the golf course is going to play for the next couple days.  As I said, you can hear all the SubAir is on, so it’ll be a little bit different. 

Q. Did you surprise yourself out there today, even what you knew about your game coming in? 

TIGER WOODS:  Well, I think that understanding how to play this golf course is so important.  I was saying there that I’ve been lucky enough to have so many practice rounds throughout my career with so many past champions, and I was able to win this event early in my career and build myself up for the understanding that I’m going to come here each and every year, and the fact that this tournament is played on the same venue each and every year, you have to (indiscernible) every time.  So understanding how to play it is a big factor, and it’s one of the reasons why early in my career that I saw Jack contending a lot, I saw Raymond contending late in his career, now Bernhard and Freddy always contend here late in their careers.  Just understanding how to play this golf course was a big part of it.  

Q. You mentioned the lack of roars.  Was that something that had an impact on you?  Did you have to get used to not hearing    

TIGER WOODS:  Well, we’re trying to get used to that this entire year.  It’s so different.  Shane was telling me today that it was pretty exciting last week to have the energy level of 200 people out there following his group.  We haven’t had that this entire year.  It’s been very different.  This world that we live in is not what we’ve had the last    throughout my career, and that’s something we’re going to have to get used to for some time.  

Highlights Tours

US Masters 2020: Paul Casey: “It was a glorious day for golf”

US Masters 2020: Paul Casey talks to the media

THE MODERATOR:  Ladies and gentlemen, it’s our pleasure to welcome Paul Casey to the interview room today.  Paul, welcome to the press building.  Paul, you equalled your low round of the fourth round of 2018 here with a 65, and you started 10, you started on No. 10, and with a birdie, and then you followed it with birdies on 13, 15, 16, 6, and you also had the eagle on 2.  Tell us a little bit about what it was like to start the 2020 Masters on No. 10 and build the momentum from there. 

PAUL CASEY:  Let me look at my scorecard.  I don’t see my birdie on 10, but I did birdie 10.  

First, starting on 10 was strange because it’s not the easiest tee shot.  I much prefer starting on 1.  I find 10 a tricky tee shot, but I actually feel fortunate because I feel like if I teed off on time at 7:44, those conditions were pretty tough.  

I was not relishing the challenge ahead waking up in the rain this morning, so I felt like, to be honest, that was a very good break that I capitalized on because it was a glorious day for golf, really, after that.  The guys that had to play a couple of holes this morning, I think they got a little bit of a rough draw but only for two holes. 

It was a great round.  I got through Amen Corner unscathed, and picked one up on 13.  And yeah, it was just very, very solid golf.  And for me the difficult kind of key holes out there, holes like 1 and 5, 7, you have to hit a good tee shot.  

I did the right things when I needed to, and to be honest, you rarely walk off this golf course going, it could have been two or three better, but it kind of felt that way.  I don’t want to be greedy.  I’m very, very happy with my 65. 

[gpalbum id=5487]

Q. Obvious stuff here, Paul, in your 14th appearance, what was the biggest difference?  What was noticeable to you as you were going about, not just the birdies, but everything? 

PAUL CASEY:  You’re talking about this 2020 version of the Masters?  

Q. Pretty much.  

PAUL CASEY:  You know, this is something I’ve looked forward to.  I with as vocal earlier in the year at Harding Park about not enjoying golf in a pandemic.  I’m acutely aware of    I’m in a very fortuitous position.  I still get to be a professional golfer and play championship golf, but I didn’t know how the fanless experience would be.  And so far, I’ve not enjoyed it, and I’ve lacked    I felt like the lack of energy for me.  I’ve had nothing or very little to draw from being out playing tournament golf.  

The Masters, though, this week    it still has a buzz to it.  There’s an energy and a little bit of a vibe.  Yes, it’s clearly a lot less than what we are used to, but there’s something about this place that is still    I felt excited to be here.  

As soon as I stepped foot on property on Monday, I’ve never been to happy to pass a COVID 19 test in my life.  Was genuinely nervous about that.  I don’t know why I was nervous because my protocols haven’t changed.  The kids were denied from going out on play dates last week.  Can’t go on play dates.  Dad’s got to go to the Masters next week.  

You know, the beauty of the place is probably even more so this week.  I’ve been fortunate to play this golf course outside of tournament week, and it’s quite a special experience this week.  

Q. Where do you think the buzz comes from? 

PAUL CASEY:  I guess the history.  I mean, the golf course itself is part of it.  The history of this championship, this tournament.  So many people like myself are just excited to play this.  You know, this is a treat.  It always has been and always will be a real treat.  There’s many great golfers who are not here this week because they are not high enough in the rankings or how they didn’t qualify, and they are envious of every single player in the field.  

So for me, it’s not lost on me.  

Q. When you see, you look at the leaderboard, you probably haven’t had a whole lot of time to look and see how everybody else is playing, you see familiar names up here at this tournament that are kind of up there toward the top year after year after year.  Is there absolutely no surprise to see Westy’s name up there or Woods’s name up there? 

PAUL CASEY:  Zero surprise to see Westy.  He’s so good.  He continues to be world class.  He knows this place better than I do.  Very few guys know it better than I do, but he’s one of them.  

No, it’s no surprise.  I love the fact Paul Tesori was talking    he was talking Webb    he wasn’t talking Webb down, but he’s just like, “There’s no way for my man Webb to compete.”  I think Webb might have played a practice round with Dustin and some other guys, and he’s just seen    obviously Webb’s approach or style of golf is very different to a lot of the guys talked about this week, and there he is, 5 under.  

So what does Paul Tesori know about Webb Simpson.  

No surprise.  Matsuyama, Oosty, this golf course, look, some would say it’s the same old kind of names up there, but this golf course, to me, exposes what a guy has got.  I’m not saying it’s the ultimate test.  There are different types of tests of golf around the world, but this particular test you have to do certain things very, very well, and predominately the best players in the world always rise to the top this week.  

Q. Is there anything special that you have worked with your coach on that has allowed you to play so well in the majors this year?  

PAUL CASEY:  No.  No.  I actually had not seen Peter Kostis for quite a while in the summer.  He was up in Maine, and I was in Arizona, and we didn’t cross paths.  We tried to do a lot of work remotely, which wasn’t massively productive.  And I actually wasn’t swinging it very well through the vast majority of this season.  Since getting back, and all the way through to the last few weeks, poor performances in Vegas and California, and it was like a crash course the last two weeks.  

The last two weeks, I spent a lot of time actually on tempo.  Tempo, big turn, tried to hit the ball maybe a little bit harder than normal, and that was really it.  So the tempo was the big thing, that worked all the way through the game, because the tempo wasn’t the same with the driving and with the putting, and normally for me it is.  

For me, the putting and the chipping, I was a little slow.  Maybe a little quick on some of the irons.  So it was all just trying to get things matched up, and it seems to have kind of paid dividends the last two weeks. 

Q. Following up on that, it was mentioned in the broadcast that you are working with Peter on trying to chase some distance.  How is that going, and what was the impetus to do so? 

PAUL CASEY:  It was more so, rather than anything we’ve been seeing recently with certain players, it was more I hadn’t seen Peter through the summer, and he came back and goes, “You’re not hitting it as hard as you normally do.”  He goes, “You’re hitting it poorly because you’re trying not to make mistakes, you’re trying not to make errors.  I need you to make a bigger turn and smash it like you normally do.”  

I was like, “Are we chasing distance here?”  

He goes, “No, I just want you to hit it like you normally do.  You have plenty of length, speed in there.”  He goes, “Well, why don’t you actually    you know, why don’t you push it a little bit, kind of hit some a little harder, and hopefully you’ll fall back into your regular kind of tempo and regular speed.”  

So it was less about chasing distance.  I’m not    look, I’m not    I’m 43.  I stuck a couple on Instagram last week, a couple of 184 ball speeds.  I think I got one up to 190, which is pretty good for me.  I tend not to talk about it.  I don’t think I can    no, I’m not going to talk about chasing distance.  I just need to hit    guys who play with me know that there’s plenty of length there.  

Q. What was the difference between this year and last year, other than 16 strokes? 

PAUL CASEY:  The first round?  

Q. Yeah.  

PAUL CASEY:  I have no idea.  I don’t know.  Just rubbish.  But I played some decent golf in 2019 overall.  Just not the first round of the Masters.  I don’t know why it was rubbish.  

Q. Speak to us, to the media (indiscernible) dinner, so maybe it was that. 

PAUL CASEY:  Maybe it was that.  Yeah, that’s right.  Nothing was different.  It wasn’t any extra glass of red wine or anything like that.  In fact, I’ve not had a glass of red wine this week.  Maybe that was it.  I don’t know.  

I’m not blaming anybody.  I take full responsibility.  It was rubbish.  As many rounds of golf as I’ve    14 appearances, Doug said.  It’s just one of those things. 

Q. Would you tell us about the conditions out there today, and how much do you feel the softness of the greens contributed to the low scoring? 

PAUL CASEY:  It did.  It’s not just the softness of the greens, it’s the little bit of    some guys have mentioned it, there’s a little bit of bermuda still in there.  So the bermuda has a twofold effect.  One, the greens are very receptive coming in, and there was a shot I hit on No. 2, a 6 iron to that left hand pin that you can’t hit that shot in April.  It was just left of the flag.  It pitched and stopped instantly, and that shot in April would have one hopped over into the Patrons, and probably would have walked off with a 5 instead of a 3. 

So it’s that receptiveness and you can be aggressive with the approach shots, and obviously the putts are not as quick as well.  So there are certain    I hit a couple of shots today, one on 14, I didn’t capitalize on the good shot in, but again that would have released down and finished in the middle of the green instead of staying next to the left hand pin.  

Yeah, receptiveness and speed, but it’s not just the rain.  It’s the bermuda, but that also changes    I haven’t quite figured it out yet; do we have to read a bit more grain than normal?  It’s just different.  Just a different challenge.  It’s still very much the Masters and Augusta National, but just a little different.  

So the guys that know, the guys that don’t know, this is going to be great.  The guys whose first Masters, Jason Kokrak and everyone else, and they will be back, hopefully back in April, they are going to have a rude awakening for how    this golf course is still very, very difficult, but April is just a different difficult and it could be quite funny. 

Q. Did it feel longer out there today? 

PAUL CASEY:  Certain holes, I think I got lucky with the wind.  Certain holes like 8, they kicked up straight into us and made 8 play very long.  Some other holes, like 2, it was downwind.  2 played short.  10 was short.  11 was short, which was nice, because if it turns around on 11 it’s a beast.  It wasn’t too bad.  I think that was just luck of the draw with the wind.  

Q. Have you ever played a round here where you had balls that plugged in greens, and then it seemed as the day wore on, they stopped plugging and started spinning back.  Is it going to be harder from now on in the afternoon than it was maybe when you all went through that stretch? 

PAUL CASEY:  I’m not sure.  To answer your first part, I’m not sure I’ve played a round where I’ve seen balls make such an impression.  Yeah, I don’t think I have.  And that’s amazing amount of    again, grass types and all the rest of it, it just feels very humid out here.  It’s the humidity, ignoring the rain we’ve had fall, there’s just a humidity to this time of year I’ve never experienced because I’ve never been here at this time of year, sticky like it is at East Lake in September or something like that.  

Yeah, it’s a good point you raised.  I saw Tony Finau in our group on the first land the ball 10, 12 feet short of the flag on the first, which is a pretty decent way, I don’t know what the pin is today on the first, it’s 15 or 18 on on the left, and he spun it back into the bunker on a good looking wedge shot.  It poses a very different challenge from what we are used to. 

Yes, maybe that change in condition is going to be difficult for the guys this afternoon.  For me the biggest thing is the greens are just going to have    they are just going to grow a little bit so the speed is not going to be there.  They are perfect, when they are mowed in the morning, they are absolutely perfect.  They are just going to get a little more chewed up in the afternoons. 

Q. Would you walk us through your thinking in how you played 13 and 15.  

PAUL CASEY:  13 for me, I played sort of straight down the hole, so to speak.  There’s a couple of tree trunks that I aim and I try to not run out on the fairway, which I did today.  So for me it’s a 3 wood.  I don’t know the yardage.  

I hit a very good tee shot today, and it unfortunately was just a yard through the fairway into the first cut and leave myself    if I hit a good tee shot, it will be 200 and change to the front, typically, which is exactly what I had today.  Left myself a 5 iron today out of that first cut and hit a glorious shot to 15 feet and 2 putted.  

But that’s the way I will play it all week, unless the wind changes, in which case the club will change, but the style, the way of playing the hole remains the same.  

Sorry, what was the second part of the question?  13?  

Q. 13 and 15.  

PAUL CASEY:  15 to me is bombs away.  I smash it.  I have a small little tree picked out in the distance which is probably all the way up on the 5th somewhere, but that’s where I’m looking because I can see the grouping of trees on the left, so I know where to position it and just don’t go too far left.  

I hit a perfect drive today.  Left myself 210 or something like that, 205, 210.  Maybe a bit more.  I hit a 6 iron to seven feet and missed it comfortably.  That’s the way, again, I’ll play it all week.  

For me, it’s funny, 13 is conservative off the tee and aggressive with a second shot, and 15 is aggressive off the tee and then kind of conservative with the second shot, so they are kind of flipped.  If I mess up the tee shot on 15, I still have an opportunity for birdie to knock it down and wedge it in and I’ll always knock it down there and wedge it in.  And I’ll always knock it down the left side if I have to lay it up so I have got more pitch of the green to hold the ball.  

But that’s the way, yeah, conservative off the tee on 13, and aggressive off the tee on 15.  

THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  We appreciate your time and best of luck the rest of the tournament.