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European Tour sets ‘U.K. Swing’ to restart season

European Tour flag

6 tournaments beginning in late July in the British Isles will signal a return to competition, but the tour will sponsor the last 5 events of the series, and for only about $1.1 million apiece

Announced: By the European Tour, a six-tournament “U.K. Swing” beginning in late July to restart the season after the coronavirus pandemic suspended play March 8. Under the revised schedule, the tour said in a news release that it will return to competition with the Betfred British Masters on July 22-25 at Close House in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. The next events: English Open on July 30-Aug. 2 at Marriott Forest of Arden in Birmingham, England; English Championship on Aug. 6-9 at Marriott Hanbury Manor in Ware, England; Celtic Classic on Aug. 13-16 at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales; Wales Open on Aug. 20-23, also at Celtic Manor; and the UK Championship on Aug. 27-30 at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. Celtic Major and The Belfry have served as Ryder Cup sites. Europe won the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, and The Belfry served as the site of the biennial matches in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002, with Europe going 2-1-1 in those years. The Betfred British Masters will feature a €1.25 million (about $1.386 million) purse. The prize fund in the other events, all to be sponsored by the European Tour, will be €1 million (about $1.1 million, or slightly more than a typical purse at a Korn Ferry Tour event). European Tour chief Keith Pelley had signaled to players recently that they should lower their expectations because of diminished sponsorship in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The rest of the schedule is expected to be announced soon, though the tour did disclose its higher-paying Rolex Series for the remainder of 2020. The four events: Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open on Oct. 8-11 at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland; BMW PGA Championship on Oct. 15-18 at Wentworth Club in Virginia Water, England; Nedbank Golf Challenge on Dec. 3-6 at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa; and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship on Dec. 10-13 at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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