Golf: PGA Tour plans charter planes for players, caddies

Brooks Koepka celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2018 PGA Championship in St Louis, Missouri. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US PGA Tour plans to charter planes to transport players and caddies between tournaments, easing travel and coronavirus issues for both groups, two-time tour winner Kevin Streelman said.

The 41-year-old American, ranked 91st in the world, told Golfweek about the idea after a pro-am round on Monday (May 11) at the Scottsdale (Arizona) Open.

PGA Tour play is scheduled to resume June 11-14 with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Ft Worth, Texas.

"There will probably be four, five, six of us who will split a plane to get to Colonial," Streelman said.

"The tour has chartered planes, like big ones, for all the players and caddies in between events, trying to keep our bubble nice and tight."

The Colonial event will be played without spectators, as would the next three tournaments on the revised schedule due to the virus pandemic - the Heritage Classic on June 18-21, Travelers Championship June 25-28 and Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 2-5.

Only players, caddies and necessary event and television personnel would be on the course.

"It's going to be different for sure," Streelman said.

"It's necessary and the priority is getting good competition, have a nice TV product for our fans. That's definitely the priority.

"But, the leaders are going to miss that excitement. My favourite memories are being in the heat, seeing what you got, hearing that electricity roll around a PGA Tour event on Sunday afternoons."

Poorly struck balls might be much harder to find with so many eyes now absent from the course, tour veteran Joel Dahman said, noting concern from four-time major winner Brooks Koepka.

"Koepka was like, 'Without fans, who's going to find our golf ball'?" Dahman told Golfweek.

"And I was like, 'Welcome to everybody else's world'."

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