Professional tournament golf at Firestone Country Club will return to its familiar month of August becauase of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid COVID-19 concerns, the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship has been moved to Aug. 13-16 at the famed South Course, pushed back from its previously scheduled July 9-12 date.
At this point, the tournament will allow spectators, executive director Don Padgett III said Wednesday.
"We’re currently planning on a full-fledged event. We’ll watch things carefully as we get closer and obviously work with the proper authorities to make sure we have a safe event," Padgett said.
"We’re fortunate that we have over 150 acres of space that people can spread out. I’m confident we’ll make it work."
Padgett said the only known change thus far is that the Ambassador of Golf award will be postponed until 2021.
The Senior Players is one of the Champions Tour’s majors.
The Champions Tour, which has played only five events, will resume with The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren July 27-August 2 at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan. The Champions Tour hopes to conclude the season with 13 events over 15 weeks.
The modified 2019-20 PGA Tour schedule resumes with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas the week of June 8. But that tour will play without patrons for at least its first four events.
Each year, Padgett visits the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, but this time he might take some of his event team.
Asked if he would be watching how the PGA Tour fares in its return, Padgett said, "No question. The tour will have a number of events before us. We’ve also got the Memorial planning on a full-fledged event, we’ll learn from them, I’m sure. I’m confident we’ll have a great tournament."
The Bridgestone Senior Players benefits the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Akron Children’s Hospital, The First Tee of Greater Akron, Summa Health System, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and United Way of Summit County.
Until last year, Firestone hosted the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in August. But that event, now known as the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, was moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
In 2019 at Firestone, two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen birdied the final two holes en route to a final-round 68 and a two-shot victory in the Senior Players.
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.