Golf has been back since the middle of June with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, TX. However, one could not make the argument that the events have lacked significance until now. Events that are a part of the majors, World Golf Championships, The Players Championship, and Ryder/Presidents Cup, just carry more clout than the rest. That is why this weekend with the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, TN, and then the PGA Championship next weekend in San Francisco will have added scrutiny, compared to events we have seen the last six weeks. Here are five storylines golf fans should realize before settling in to watch premier golf the next two weeks.
5) Bryson DeChambeau–One of America’s top golfers is no longer known for his traditional, old-fashioned cap. Since golf restarted, Bryson DeChambeau has changed his appearance. The native of Modesto, California added 20 pounds of muscle, with a complex diet. This has helped make DeChambeau the PGA Tour leader in yards per drive with 323.8. DeChambeau also came away with a victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on July 5.
4) New World No. 1–When Jon Rahm of Spain won the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, on July 19, he passed Rory McIlroy, to be the world’s new number one golfer. He becomes only the third golfer all-time to be ranked number one without winning a major. He joined Lee Westwood and Luke Donald of England on this distinguished list.
3) Coronavirus cases–Since golf returned to action, there have been seven positive cases of coronavirus. Those who have tested positive are Nick Watney, Cameron Champ, Dylan Frittelli, Denny McCarthy, Harris English, Chad Campbell and Grayson Murray. However, one must realize there has only been one positive case (Murray) in the month of July.
2) Jack Nicklaus announced his positive coronavirus test–During the Memorial Tournament in the middle of July, Jack Nicklaus announced he and his wife, Barbara, had tested positive for coronavirus in March, and then negative for the disease in April. Both attended The Memorial Tournament, which is Nicklaus’ annual signature event. In speaking with the media, it had looked like Jack had recently been ill.
1)Golf without fans–Players will just have to get used to this. In addition to no fans at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and then the PGA Championship, there will be no spectators at the U.S. Open next month at Winged Foot either.