NORTH TEXAS -- For a long time, PGA Tour golfers could settle down in DFW for a couple of weeks and play the Byron Nelson and Colonial tournaments back-to-back. But that won't be the case in 2019 thanks to the Tour's new schedule unveiled Tuesday morning.
The AT&T Byron Nelson will be played May 9-12, followed by the PGA Championship in New York May 16-19, then Colonial, which is becoming the Charles Schwab Challenge, takes place May 23-26. Dropping a major championship between them could impact the fields we see as some players spend the week before a major tournament practicing at that course and some choose to rest the week after a major, but at least for Colonial there's a big upside to the change: no longer being the same week as the European Tour's BMW Championship which is big draw for top foreign players like Rory McIlroy. Now they'll be available to come here.
"They might look at us and say, 'I haven't played Fort Worth; I've heard a lot about Colonial, the golf course, and Charles Schwab, the new title [sponsor], so let's give it a run and see how it goes,'" says tournament director Michael Tothe. "I actually think it will help us."
And when it comes to being after a major, Tothe doesn't think that will be a major issue.
"I think guys probably don't get beat up at the PGA Championship as much as they do at the U.S. Open. If you look at the Travelers Championship that is immediately following the U.S. Open, their field was awesome."
The popular Memorial Tournament will follow Colonial, so players might also want to hit Fort Worth to stay sharp for that.
As for the Byron Nelson, tournament director Jon Drago gave us the following statement:
"We are excited about our tournament dates for 2019, returning to a spot on the calendar we held for many years before the last big TOUR re-alignment ten years ago. We are happy to maintain our position in May as the annual "Rite of Spring" in North Texas."
Considering some tournaments were completely removed from the schedule, let's just be thankful we still have two--no matter when they are!