By Brian Wacker
When the PGA Tour announced last week that the John Deere Classic, set to be played July 9-12, had been cancelled due to complications with holding the event while following local COVID-19 restrictions, tour officials said they intended to replace it with another tournament. That new event will be held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, and sponsored by Workday, sources have told Golf Digest.
Muirfield Village is also home to Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament, which is scheduled to be played July 16-19, the week after the John Deere, meaning the Ohio course will host tournaments in back-to-back weeks. Playing a second tournament at the same venue during the open date will allow the Tour to take advantage of infrastructure already in place and reduce player travel to further maintain a “bubble” as the PGA Tour resumes its season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the Memorial is an invitational and is tentatively slated to have spectators in attendance, the still-to-be-named tournament preceding it will be played as a full-field event with 156 players and will be played without fans, according to sources.
The Associated Press first reported the news on the venue and sponsor on Tuesday. The PGA Tour did not comment when asked about the status of the event.
Workday was a presenting sponsor at last year’s Desert Classic at La Quinta before that event became the American Express. The company also sponsors multiple players on Tour, including Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Other locations that were under consideration for the new event, according to sources, included nearby Akron, which hosts the Senior Players the following month; Detroit, where the Rocket Mortgage Classic is scheduled to be played the week before the Deere date; Lexington, Ky., home to the Barbasol Championship, which was canceled last month; and Ponte Vedra Beach, where the Tour is headquartered.
An official announcement from the Tour is expected to be made this week.