PGA’s pro golfers usually play at The Old Course at Broken Sound in the winter to thousands of spectators. But next year, the title and time have changed and moves to late fall.
Tournament director Eddie Carbone details what to expect, from the changes to players to pro-ams and grass conditions.
Q: Talk about the changes first.
A: The 2020 Boca Raton Championship will be held Oct. 26 to Nov. 1 at The Old Course at Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton. For 13 years, this was a PGA TOUR Champions regular-season event. Now it will be the second tournament in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs in 2020.
Q: Will it attract a different field of golfers? Will they all be available to play the pro-ams in Boca?
A: All 54 players with all the stars will play five straight days with us. Pro-ams are Wednesday and Thursday and champion play is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets and packages will be online in December. We have some information on our web site now.
Q: Will the grass be the same on the course?
A: We were out for a sponsor outing last week. Conditions are similar, if not better. Some winters get cold. We expect the same greens speeds at Broken Sound.
Q: Will play still be broadcast from here?
A: All three rounds of the event will be broadcast live on the GOLF Channel. We’ll have seven broadcasts for 2 to 2 ½ hours each, sometimes extended hours. For the first time in Boca, we’ll have blimp, called aerial coverage. We’ll also have full promotions on NBC and the GOLF Channel to promote the playoff.
Q: Explain the name change from Oasis Championship to Boca Raton Championship.
A: We had an incredible inaugural relationship last year. Oasis is expected to support the event but is not the title sponsor next year. [No announcement yet on presenting sponsor].
Q: Will the hospital still be the beneficiary?
A: The tournament will continue critical financial support for the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation.
Q: In February, our own PGA champion Bernhard Langer won. Talk about Boca winners.
A: Local resident Bernhard Langer is a five-time winner of the Charles Schwab Cup. He won the Boca Raton Championship for the second time in February of this year. Other Boca Raton winners include Tom Lehman, who won in 2011 en route to winning the Charles Schwab Cup. The 2017 champion was Scott McCarron, who has led this year’s standings since April.
Q: Will be the purse be bigger?
A: In addition to the elevated playoffs status, the Boca Raton Championship purse will increase from $1.7 million to $2 million starting in 2020.
Q: Explain how the new tournament works.
A: After Boca, the 54-player field competes for the final 36 spots and a chance to advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix the following week.
The Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs begin with the top 72 players from the regular season money list. The Playoffs will open with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. That is followed by the Boca Raton Championship (54 players). The season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship (36 players) is held at Phoenix Country Club.
By Marci Shatzman