It's official. The American Family Insurance Championship will kick off the June portion of the 2020 PGA Tour Champions schedule and the U.S. Senior Open will take the AmFam Championship dates the week after the U.S. Open.
That was revealed Wednesday morning when the PGA Tour released its 2020 schedule for the senior circuit. It again features 27 events played in four foreign countries and 18 states, offering nearly $59 million in prize money and culminating with the fifth annual Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs.
The AmFam Championship had been played the weekend after Father's Day each of its first four years, but an effort to move the U.S. Senior Open ahead one week to follow the U.S. Open resulted in the Madison event being moved to the first weekend in June for 2020. AmFam officials have stated publicly a desire to return to its traditional dates on future schedules.
The 2020 PGA Tour Champions schedule, for the first time, pairs each of the three majors that have a corresponding major on the regular tour in back-to-back weeks. The KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship will be played May 21 through 24 in Michigan, one week after the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The U.S. Senior Open, to be played June 25 through 28 at Newport CC in Rhode Island, will follow the U.S. Open the previous week at Winged Foot in New York. The Senior Open Championship will be played July 23 through 26 at Sunningdale GC near London, one week after the Open Championship at Royal St. George's near Sandwich.
Wisconsin golfers will defend titles at five PGA Tour Champions stops in 2020. Madison's Steve Stricker will defend at The Regions Tradition, the first of five major championships on the schedule, in May as well as the U.S. Senior Open in late June. Madison's Jerry Kelly will defend at the AmFam Championship in June, The Ally Challenge, which moves from mid-September to late July; and the SAS Championship in October.
“We are excited to announce the 2020 PGA Tour Champions schedule as we continue to focus on building a tremendous tournament product for our players, partners and fans,” PGA Tour Champions President Miller Brady said in a statement. “Our Tour benefits greatly from the numerous legends who compete each week, as well as the ‘rookies’ who make their debuts, and 2020 will be an incredible year for both.”
The 2020 season will mark the first year of PGA Tour Champions eligibility for a number of the game’s biggest names.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els celebrated his 50th birthday on Oct. 17, while 17-time PGA Tour winner and 2010 FedExCup Champion Jim Furyk, 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, 2011 Players Champion K.J. Choi and World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson will all turn 50 in the next 12 months.
“I am looking forward to my first start on PGA Tour Champions in January at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii,” said Els. “It will be great to reconnect with all of my friends I grew up competing with, and I know the camaraderie and competition will provide a lot of excitement for our fans.”
The 2020 season will begin with Els’ debut at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai the week of Jan. 13-18 (Saturday finish), where Tom Lehman will be the defending champion.
PGA Tour Champions will welcome two new events to the schedule in 2020, including the Morocco Champions (Jan. 30 through Feb. 1) at Samanah Golf Club in Marrakech, Morocco, as well as the Ascension Charity Classic (Oct. 2 through 4) at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis.
The Boca Raton Championship, which has been contested at The Old Course at Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Fla., since 2007, moves from its traditional February date into late October as the second leg of the Charles Schwab Playoffs. It replaces the Invesco QQQ Championship, which leaves the schedule.
The Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf, a popular April team event on the PGA Tour Champions schedule, has also been dropped from the schedule.
The Boca Raton Championship will be preceded by the fifth annual Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Virginia, with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship returning to Phoenix Country Club for a fourth year to finish out the Playoffs.
Since 2001, the Charles Schwab Cup has been awarded to the winner of a season-long, points competition. Bernhard Langer is a five-time winner of the Cup, while Jay Haas, Hale Irwin, Tom Lehman, Loren Roberts and Tom Watson have each won twice.
The schedule of five major championships starts in May with the Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Ala., where Stricker — a 12-time PGA Tour winner and 2020 Ryder Cup captain — will be the defending champion at Greystone Golf & Country Club.
The KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship returns to Harbor Shores Golf Club in Michigan the week of May 19 through 24, while the U.S. Senior Open will make its first trip to historic Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island, the week of June 22 through 28. Newport C.C., which was founded in 1893, hosted the first U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in 1895, as well as the 1995 U.S. Amateur (won by Tiger Woods) and the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open.
The senior major season will conclude in July with the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship returning to Firestone Country Club’s South Course in Akron, Ohio, for a second straight year, and The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex being contested at Sunningdale Golf Club in England for the third time in tournament history.
The Tour’s lone Challenge Season event will be the PNC Father Son Challenge, which will return to the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, the week of Dec. 14-20.