Golf fans yearning for the sport’s return are in for a treat. The PGA Tour announced a star-studded televised match will broadcast nationally on May 17 to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
The tour has teamed with NBC Sports and Sky Sports to present TaylorMade Driving Relief, a team competition pitting world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against young stars Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff. Florida’s Seminole Golf Club will host the event, which has a purse of $3 million provided by UnitedHealthGroup to be donated to American Nurses Foundation and CDC Foundation. Farmers Insurance has also donated $1 million for a birdie and eagle pool to benefit Off The Plate, which provides meals to healthcare workers and more front line employees.
“We are excited about the safe and responsible return of live golf and the opportunity to raise significant funds for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic through the TaylorMade Driving Relief event,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “With four of the PGA TOUR’s top stars in Rory, Rickie, Dustin and Matthew of Team TaylorMade participating and UnitedHealth Group serving as the foundation of charitable giving, and Farmers Insurance providing an additional bonus pool, golf fans around the world can look forward to a unique, interactive and entertaining event that will help those in need.”
The charity event will be presented in accordance with proper safety and distancing measures, including the health testing of players and personnel. It will be a closed-door event though fans can catch the action on its broadcasts on NBC, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Sky Sports and digital streaming platforms.
After experiencing a schedule shake-up this spring, the PGA Tour is expected to resume its competition next month with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth. The first four tournaments back will not feature any fans in attendance, though officials will monitor the situation in deciding the handling of future tournaments. However, the tour’s biggest shift in schedule involves the majors, as the British Open has been cancelled and the US Open and Masters have been rescheduled for September and November, respectively.