World No. 1 McIlroy staring at rescheduling nightmare

After what will be close to three months locked-up, the world’s best golfers will be desperate to finally make their way back onto the golf course.

And while the PGA Tour has now announced a restart at the June 11th commencing Charles Schwab Challenge in Forth Worth, Texas, the big question is where does World No. 1 Rory McIlroy choose to restart.

Rory McIlroy McIlroy may need to revamp his schedule if he wants his game in top shape for the FedExCup Playoffs (Credit: PGA Tour)

It’s fine for Kevin Na, as he will return as defending champion in Fort Worth and so too for Taiwan’s CT Pan, who will now get to defend his RBC Heritage title a week later at Hilton Head.

McIlroy had been defending champion at the Players Championship and the RBC Canadian Open, which means two of the three PGA Tour events he won in 2019 will have to wait until 2021 for him to defend.

The two events take to 10 now axed from the Tour’s initial 48-event 2019/20 wraparound schedule and with the Olympics postponed until next year, the Tour announced a perhaps ambitious revamped scheduling of the remaining 13 events.

If a June 11th start to the Charles Schwab Challenge takes place, and the Tour gets to host the other dozen, it will result in a 35-tournament schedule.

It will also mean just one PGA Tour counting Major in 2019 and that’s the 6-9 August PGA Championship.

So, with 13 events to be played now in the countdown to the close of the PGA Tour 2019/20 season, McIlroy faces a rescheduling nightmare. Of the opening five events, he’s played just two and each of those just once each.

And in the bigger picture, McIlroy hasn’t ever teed up previously in six of the 13.

Let’s look at McIlroy’s past playing schedule taking into account the thirteen events remaining of the 2019/20 schedule.

  • June 11-14: Charles Schwab Challenge (Never played)
  • June 18-21: RBC Heritage (Played in 2009 – T58)
  • June 25-28: Travelers Championship (Played in 2017 – T17)
  • July 2-5: Rocket Mortgage Classic (Never played)
  • July 09-12: John Deere Classic (Never played)
  • July 16-19: the Memorial Tournament (Played 2010-2019 – T4 in 2016)
  • July 23-26: 3M Open (Never played)
  • July 30-August 2: World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (Won in 2014)
  • July 30-August 2: Barracuda Championship (Never played – 2nd tier event)
  • August 6-9: PGA Championship (Won in 2012, 2014)
  • August 13-16: Wyndham Championship (Never played)

Of course, this could be a boon for those tournaments that normally lack the star power of the bigger events.

McIlroy, along with many of the other big-name players, will be looking for places to get their game back into tournament shape and may be willing to play in events they have never seriously considered before.

And for a golf-starved world, this has to be great news for everyone.