European Tour: Shane Lowry would only travel for Irish Open in 2020

Shane Lowry has admitted that he is unlikely to feature on the European Tour this year and that a rescheduled Irish Open would be his only appearance.

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The Champion Golfer of the Year has been based at his Florida home throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with Lowry set to play in seven of the first nine PGA Tour events when tournaments resume in America next month.

Tournament officials are hopeful that the Irish Open could be rescheduled for later in the year, having been postponed in its original May date, with Lowry expecting global travel restrictions to limit any chance of playing regularly on both tours.

“The way it is, especially with the quarantine on both sides, I don’t think it’d be physically possible for me (to go back to Europe),” Lowry told RTE 2FM’s Game On.

“The only tournament I would contemplate going back for was if there was an Irish Open put back on the schedule or something like that.

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“I haven’t seen a schedule from the European Tour so I can’t really tell but I’ll probably be mostly in America for the rest of the year.”

Lowry will be without regular caddie Bo Martin for the first few events back on the PGA Tour, with Darren Reynolds – Paul Dunne’s former bagman – temporarily taking over.

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DEREK LAWRENSON: Tiger and Phil put on superb show in charity tie

DEREK LAWRENSON: It’s a win-win as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson put on a superb show in ‘The Match: Champions for Charity’ encounter in Florida to raise £16.4m for Covid-19 relief charities

  • Shown in UK on CNN, it was the most entertaining golf telecast I’ve seen in years 
  • Laugh out loud funny on the front nine, it turned into a gripping climax 
  • As so often in their careers, however, it was Tiger Woods who had the last word

Who says that sequels are never as good as the original? No one who tuned into The Match: Champions for Charity on Sunday night could hold that view.

The first encounter featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in Las Vegas 18 months ago stank the joint out. What a contrast this time from Florida, and five hours of programming that must have had the man who turned it down for Sky Sports getting almost as many dirty looks as Dominic Cummings.

Shown in the UK on CNN, it was the most entertaining golf telecast I’ve seen in years. Laugh out loud funny on the front nine, it turned into a gripping climax despite the wind, rain and finally the gathering darkness on the inward half.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson went head-to-head once again on Sunday night in The Match: Champions for Charity alongside NFL stars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady

It was a much more entertaining occasion than their previous encounter in Las Vegas

All too often, golf on TV features pros who don’t smile and commentators who send the head spinning with statistical data. Here was the first programme I can remember watching that reflected the game we love at club level, as the jokes and banter early on gave way to a bit of serious stuff at the end.

So many people in America enjoyed it that the extraordinary sum of $20million (£16.4m) was raised for Covid-19 relief charities. That’s what you call a win-win.

Tremendous credit goes to the superstar quarterbacks who bravely put themselves forward to partner Woods and Mickelson — Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

The latter, surely the greatest American footballer of all time, has a reputation for being po-faced but millions will now have a different view. For six holes Brady couldn’t hit a shot, and then he sank a wedge approach from 100 yards. All four players were mic’d up and we hadn’t heard a peep from him to that point. Now, you couldn’t shut him up. Isn’t that golf to a tee, as a moment in the sun gloriously makes up for all the maddening frustration?

Walking the fairways, world No 4 Justin Thomas — a close friend of Woods’ — proved a natural as an on-course commentator. In the booth, basketball legend Charles Barkley, a golfing hacker, was riotously funny.

Mickelson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Brady put on an entertaining show for viewers

If there was one small complaint, it would be that the greensomes format should have been used for all 18 holes rather than just the back nine (fourballs, which take too long, was used over the outward half).

What a treat it was to see all four players tee off and then watch the two pros calculate how they could best protect their amateur partners, as the two teams picked one drive and played alternate shots thereafter. Bizarrely, Mickelson and Brady scored far better at this format than at fourballs. Three down after nine, they reduced the arrears to one with some inspiring play, despite vicious downpours. Mickelson became a dervish, bringing the competitor out of Brady.

Manning paired up with Woods and the two secured victory over their illustrious opponents


‘We take great pride in the fact that many thousands try to qualify each year for the US Open and it’s heartbreaking for us not to be able to conduct such qualifying competitions this year.’

Giving all pros, and amateurs with the requisite handicap abilities, the chance to qualify and play in the US Open lies at the heart of what the event is about.

So you can only imagine how difficult the decision was for John Bodenhamer, who oversees the tournament, to cancel qualifying for this year’s edition, owing to the pandemic.

Due to take place in September at Winged Foot, New York, it will now be the first all-exempt US Open since the early days of the championship, more than 100 years ago.

As so often in their careers, however, it was Woods who had the last word. Excitingly for the game, ahead of the PGA Tour’s resumption in Texas in just over a fortnight, he looked in great nick. Swinging the club beautifully, he never missed a fairway on his home course, the Medalist, less than an hour from Miami. Needing two putts to win from long range in near darkness, he took all the pressure off Manning with the perfect lag putt to six inches for a one-hole victory.

The game has often resorted to gimmicks recently to project itself beyond its die-hard audience. Pretty much all have come across as phoney, however well-meaning. This one succeeded resoundingly, illustrating to non-believers what the fuss is about and showcasing why so many top sportsmen love playing golf in their spare time.

In short, the perfect sequel — one that left us yearning for part three.

The special match was a success and left us yearning for part three between the two stars

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Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup Watchalongs: What to watch on Sky Sports Golf

Special Watchalongs of two memorable European victories, a busy edition of The Golf Show and a host of final-round thrillers all feature on Sky Sports Golf this week.

The Golf Show

May 26, 2020, 2:00pm

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Catriona Matthew will be among the special guests in a live Watchalong of Europe’s 2019 Solheim Cup success on Monday afternoon, while Colin Montgomerie and Graeme McDowell headline a Watchalong of Europe’s 2010 Ryder Cup victory on Sunday.

There’s also a whole host of special moments from the golfing archives, with each day dedicated to something different and a number of iconic wins being repeated in their entirety!

Here’s a look at what’s coming up over the next few days (week beginning May 25)…


The week kicks off by remembering Europe’s most recent Solheim Cup success, with the Sunday singles repeated – in full – from 10am.

Live Solheim Cup 2019 Watchalong

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Captain Catriona Matthew and members of her winning team will then be among the special guests in a live Watchalong from 3pm, sharing their thoughts over the closing two hours of Europe’s dramatic victory.


Lee Westwood and Thomas Bjorn are among the guests on the latest edition of The Golf Show, bringing you the latest news from the golfing world from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports News.

The evening then heads back to 2009 and the final round of the Irish Open, the winner of the #SkyChooseday vote, with full coverage of Shane Lowry’s remarkable victory while still an amateur.


The day is dedicated to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, with the final rounds from the last two editions of the Rolex Series event repeated in full.

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Lee Westwood’s 2018 success starts at 6.30am, while Tommy Fleetwood’s dramatic victory is repeated from 12.30pm. The evening also has a new show devoted to the European Tour’s 14-Club challenge, featuring the funniest moments caught on camera.


The Wells Fargo Championship takes centre stage, with Tiger Woods’ 2007 victory and Jason Day’s last worldwide title in 2018 among the highlights featuring on the schedule.

There’s also another chance to look back at Rory McIlroy’s breakthrough PGA Tour win, with full coverage of the 2010 final day being repeated from midday.


Brooks Koepka’s successful title defence of the PGA Championship last year is revisited, with the final round shown in full from 6.30am, before extended highlights from McIlroy winning the Wanamaker Trophy for a second time back in 2014.

How The 2019 USPGA Was Won

May 29, 2020, 9:15pm

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The evening is filled with highlights from other past editions of the PGA Championship, with Phil Mickelson’s 2005 win and Woods’ triumph a year later among those covered.


The Ryder Cup weekend kicks off with a full day celebrating Europe’s most recent triumph in the biennial contest, with the Sunday singles from 2018 being repeated from 8am.

Extended highlights and a behind-the-scenes documentary, One Family: 2018 Ryder Cup, also feature, while there’s another opportunity to see the ‘Perfection in Paris’ special about the win.


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Twitter reacts to Tom Brady shutting up Charles Barkley with incredible shot in ‘The Match 2’

On the broadcast for “The Match 2,” Charles Barkley commented that “You can be great at one sport and not great in another sport. I just want America to know that.” 

Seconds later, Tom Brady had a chip from just off the green. The ball landed a few feet in front of him and about 40 feet from the hole. It was possibly the most relatable the NFL’s GOAT has ever been.

That feeling of relatability didn’t last long. 

The NFL legend struggled through the first six holes and Barkley began critiquing Brady again, this time directly to the quarterback. 

“I’ve been focusing on football, bro,” Brady said. “I’m trying to win a Super Bowl.”

Moments later, Brady took his fourth shot on the par-five, seventh hole. He nailed it from deep.

Overall, Brady hasn’t had a great showing so far, but that shot certainly helps make up for it. 

Twitter reacts to Tom Brady’s incredible shot, up and down day

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Predictions, odds and more: The Tiger/Peyton vs. Phil/Brady megapreview

  • Senior editor for college basketball
  • Joined ESPN in 2008
  • Graduate of the University of Maryland

Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson might just be one of the most high-profile golf foursomes in history. Let’s do the math: Woods and Mickelson combined for 20 major championships and 126 PGA Tour victories. Brady and Manning have eight Super Bowl wins and eight Most Valuable Player awards. So, yeah, that’s some star power.

On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET (TNT/TBS) at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, the four will join up for a team-event with the proceeds benefiting coronavirus relief. It’s Woods and Manning vs. Mickelson and Brady. So what do you need to know? We have everything covered, from how and where it will be played, to predictions about which team will win, to who has the trash-talking advantage.

Scouting reports

Here’s what to look for with each of the four players:

Tiger Woods
Now, remember, before the coronavirus forced the entire sports world into a long break, Woods was already in the midst of a long break. After a poor showing at the Genesis Open in mid-February — he finished last among those who made the cut after posting 76-77 on the weekend — he skipped a string of events that seemed like obvious tuneups for the Masters. He sat out the WGC-Mexico, Arnold Palmer and the Players Championship. (The Players got in just one round before the coronavirus caused the shutdown.) He cited continued back stiffness for missing the Players. He recently said had the Masters gone on as scheduled in April, he would have been ready to defend his green jacket. But seeing Woods back in action will be interesting, not just in terms of his golf game, but in how he moves.

Peyton Manning
Manning calls two pretty well-known clubs home — Augusta National and Cherry Hills in Denver. Former teammate Brandon Stokley gave a full review earlier this week of his many, many outings with Manning. While this will be a different environment, and the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback will likely have Mickelson in his ear heckling him, Manning has been alongside Woods before in pro-ams, most notably at the Memorial, Jack Nicklaus’ tournament in Ohio.

Check out more on Manning’s golf game here

Phil Mickelson
While Woods was absent for much of the early portion of the tour schedule, Mickelson was there, though his game often wasn’t. He missed the cut in four of five events before the shutdown. He was over par and gone for the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open, the Genesis Invitational and Arnold Palmer Invitational. In the one round at the Players before the event was called off, he shot 3-over 75. His one good outing during that run was at Pebble Beach, where he finished third at a place that has always brought out the best in him. So it’ll be interesting to see, as Mickelson creeps closer to his 50th birthday next month, where his game is at these days.

Tom Brady
It will also be interesting to see how much golf Brady has played leading into this event; after all, the former New England Patriots quarterback has been a little busy the past few months finding a new team and home in Tampa Bay, Florida. But that didn’t stop him from finding a place to play; he is reportedly set to join Seminole Golf Club, one of the country’s best courses and the host to last weekend’s charity match among Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff. According to former teammate Wes Welker, when Brady is practicing and playing, he can go low. When he’s not, well, “he sucks,” Welker said.

Check out more on Brady’s golf game here

Which team wins?

Matt Barrie, ESPN
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: Tawmy is to Peyton in football what Tiger is to Phil in golf. One owns the other in championships. And because this isn’t a football game, the ownership of this match will reside where it has throughout their golf careers — with Woods. If they really wanted to let it fly with the open mics, the trash-talking would also go to Woods and Manning. Beside, Manning has been retired and has plenty of time to swing the clubs.

David Bearman, ESPN Chalk
Winners: Mickelson/Brady
Why: As much as I would love to play the “revenge” card like Michael Jordan did in every episode of “The Last Dance,” Woods just doesn’t get up for things like this. If it were a major and Woods was slighted or lost before, sure. But as we saw last year in Tiger/Phil Part I, Mickelson cares a whole lot more in events like this. Add the Brady-dominating-Manning dynamic and I like the underdog here.

Michael Collins,
Winners: Mickelson/Brady
Why: Because on the back nine when they play the modified alternate shot, Mickelson will shine. And for these types of events, Mickelson cares more about winning than Woods does.

Michael Eaves, ESPN
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: Because 17 is greater than 11. (Do the math.)

Chris Fallica, ESPN
Winners: Mickelson/Brady
Why: There’s no way I can lay $2 with the favorites here. With big money on the line — for charity — in a match-play event, whom better to back than Mickelson and Brady, guys who live for the big stage? And if it comes down to trash talk, I’ll take my chances with Mickelson and Brady getting under their opponents’ skin on the back nine when it matters most.

Charlotte Gibson,
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: If this was a match to decide who had the best calves in the game, I’d be all-in on the Mickelson/Brady duo. But this is a golf match. I’m all-in on Woods, who has 15 majors compared to Lefty’s five, and Manning, who plays a 6.4 handicap while Brady dabbles in the 8.1 zone.

Mike Golic Jr., ESPN
Winner: Woods/Manning
Why: Reminder: Brady has never won without Bill Belichick. I don’t think he starts now. Peyton shows Tom how to successfully transition to his second act. Tiger gets his revenge and ensures the rubber match.

Mike Golic Sr., ESPN
Winner: Woods/Manning
Why: Now that the first match is out of the way, there’s no way Woods goes down 0-2 to Mickelson.

Dan Graziano,
Winners: Mickelson/Brady
Why: I have no idea where either of the golfers is mentally or athletically, but I do know Brady is loose, happy, bopping around Florida in and out of random houses, generally feeling like life is a breath of fresh air. The spring/summer of Tom continues.

Mike Greenberg, ESPN
Winners: Mickelson/Brady
Why: If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that no one gets rich betting against Tom Brady. Regardless of the sport. Give me the upset.

Bob Harig,
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: Let’s be honest, Brady was practicing football earlier this week in Tampa, meeting with his new teammates several times at a local park. He’s clearly not taking this golf event seriously. And since Woods knows the Medalist course better than anyone, that gives his team the added boost.

Anita Marks, ESPN
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: Let me count the ways … 1. Home-field advantage for Woods, with Medalist being his home course. 2. Woods is more accurate off the tee, which is crucial at Medalist.

Andy North, ESPN
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: It comes down to who plays better between Brady and Manning. I’m going with Manning; I hope he’s been practicing. We are both members at Cherry Hills, so I know he can play a tough course.

Ian O’Connor,
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: People forget that Manning beat Brady in their last three AFC Championship Game duels. So there’s that, along with the fact that Woods would rather hold daily news conferences, on truth serum, than lose two straight TV money matches to Mickelson.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz,
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: This one is pretty simple: Woods hates listening to Mickelson talk trash. He will not want to lose again and have to hear about it over and over and over.

Mike Reiss,
Winners: Mickelson/Brady
Why: One of the first rules in the Tom Brady beat writer’s notebook is “bet against Brady at your own risk.” Plus, how could I go against someone who puts $2,000 on the line for each hole he plays with pals like Wes Welker? I’m sticking with the high roller.

Mark Schlabach,
Winners: Mickelson/Brady
Why: Just like football. Manning and Brady played each other 17 times in the NFL, with Brady’s teams leading the series 11-6. Brady guided the Patriots to a record nine Super Bowls and won six times. Manning led his teams to four Super Bowls and won twice.

Marty Smith, ESPN
Winners: Mickelson/Brady
Why: Woods’ legendary competitive drive will offset Brady’s. Manning’s sense of humor will defuse Mickelson’s whip-quick wit. That means it comes down to … beer. Brady is a legendary beer-chugger, and on the superhighway to the cold beer, golf is a Lamborghini. Let’s go!

Tom VanHaaren,
Winners: Woods/Manning
Why: After watching “The Last Dance” and seeing how Jordan was fueled by disrespect and losses, Woods and Manning combine to avenge Woods’ loss to Mickelson in the previous match and Manning’s career record against Brady. They win and both give a Jordan-esque shoulder shrug after they walk off the course in victory.


Listen, Phil Mickelson lives for this part. He cannot help himself, whether it’s on social media or in any interview possible — he loves to needle anybody, everybody. He’s not been shy about reminding Woods about what happened in the first match, when Mickelson won the $9 million payday. And let’s keep in mind this story, involving country music star Jake Owen, which Owen told Barstool Sports last year. Apparently, Owen wasn’t happy about the level of golf he got from Mickelson and Woods the first time around, when it was on pay-per-view: “So I walked over to him,” Owen said on the podcast. “I was like, ‘Hey Phil, you owe me f—ing $29.99!’ I was like, ‘For wasting four hours of my life with the s—tiest golf I’ve ever seen! You guys hype this whole thing up about the big match? You guys couldn’t even make three birdies between the two of you? I want my $29.99 and apologize to me for some s— golf!'” Mickelson responded: “I won 90,000 of these things yesterday. Take a 100 and go f— yourself!”

Mickelson has been in true Phil form leading into this one, too.

And he’s tried to get his partner in on the act, too.

Woods has never been shy with one-liners. During a Zoom call to promote this match, Woods draped himself in his green jacket, reminding Mickelson and Brady who is the current Masters champion (and the fact that he’s won five of them).

And then there’s Manning. Now, keep in mind, the guy hosted “Saturday Night Live,” so he’s not afraid to throw a few barbs.


Woods and Mickelson are elite professionals; Brady and Manning are not. Brady and Manning are single-digit handicaps, meaning mid-70s to low-80s is what to expect if they were counting every shot. The front nine will be best-ball format, so the best score from each team is counted. The back nine is where things get interesting. They will play modified alternate shot. What’s that? All four players will hit their drives, then each team will pick which tee shot they like better. From there, they will alternate who hits until the hole is finished.

The venue: Medalist

Like last weekend’s match among McIlroy, Johnson, Fowler and Wolff at ultra-exclusive Seminole, this is the first real look at ultra-exclusive Medalist since a one-off event was televised in the mid 1990s. And like it was seeing Seminole on television, this is about as close as most of the world will get to Medalist, too. This is a home game for Woods; he’s a member at the place. He gave us a small peek in 2017 as he was taking baby steps toward a comeback. This tweet was meant to show him actually swinging a club, which was a big deal on its own three years ago. But now, it’s more of that rare glimpse at Medalist.

Fowler, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas, who will be making his broadcast debut as an on-course commentator for this one, are all members, too. So if you were to get past the front gate yourself, you’d likely bump into an elite PGA Tour player, past or present, somewhere on the property.

Greg Norman founded the club and worked with legendary course architect Pete Dye on the design.

The odds

Woods and Manning enter as the favorites, going in at -175. Here are some of the prop bets available at DraftKings.

  • Mickelson/Brady win hole No. 1 (+335)

  • Mickelson birdies No. 1 (+500)

  • Mickelson longest drive on No. 3 (+105)

  • Brady longest drive on No. 3 (+105)

  • Woods closest to the hole on Nos. 4 and 8 (+125)

  • Woods and Manning holes 10-18 winners (-110)

  • Mickelson/Brady most par-3s won (+120)

  • Mickelson/Brady most par-5s won (+120)

Check out the full betting rundown

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Coronavirus: Golf, tennis set to resume in Scotland

Non-contact sports, including tennis and golf, will resume in Scotland from next week following First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement on a planned relaxation of lockdown measures in the country.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Sturgeon outlined a four-stage plan to emerge from current restrictions, and the initial phase included some positive news for sport.

Beginning from May 28, Sturgeon said: “Some non-contact outdoor leisure activities will be allowed to restart, such as golf, tennis, bowls and fishing, subject of course to appropriate hygiene and physical distancing.

“In addition, people will be able to travel, preferably by walking or cycling, to a location in their local community for recreation.

“Those phase one measures – most of which have an outdoor focus – are not in place yet, and they are dependent on us continuing to suppress the virus. They will also be monitored carefully as they do take effect.”

Any subsequent move to phase two would include provisions for the “resumption of professional sport in line with public health advice”, meaning opportunities for elite level athletes to compete and a possible return for football, while restrictions on holding live events will continue to be assessed across the third and fourth phases.

Blane Dodds, Tennis Scotland chief executive, welcomed the developments, adding: “We have been developing guidelines with the support of the LTA and sportscotland, which will set out consistent guidance to allow clubs and players to prepare for getting back on court safely.

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LPGA Tour to freeze players’ status for 2021; Q-School cancelled

The LPGA Tour will freeze players’ status into next season, although will keep the 2020 and 2021 campaigns separate in the record books.

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The Tour has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 24 events either postponed, cancelled or rescheduled since Inbee Park won the Women’s Australian Open in February.

The earliest the Tour will return is the Marathon Classic from July 23-26, leaving a heavily reduced schedule, with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan announcing that all those with playing privileges in 2020 will have their status carried over into next season.

“As we look to the remainder of the 2020 season and ahead to 2021, we wanted to make sure that the athletes who earned the opportunity to play on the LPGA tour for 2020 have that full season opportunity in 2021,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said.

“We feel players were not given the season that they earned in ’19 for ’20. They might have some version of a ’20 season, but they don’t have a full season to perform under the categories in which they’ve earned coming into the year.”

Current rookies will remain rookies in 2021 even though the 2020 season will officially conclude with the CME Group Tour Championship in December, while the LPGA Tour qualifying school has been cancelled for 2020 and all pre-tournament qualifying for events has been suspended.

Symetra Tour players competing this year also have the possibility up to five promotions to the LPGA Tour, depending on how many Symetra Tour events are able to take place this year..

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Eddie Pepperell to miss PGA Championship and hopes to play UK events

Eddie Pepperell has confirmed he has no plans to travel to the United States for the PGA Championship in August and has questioned the logistics of overseas players competing on the PGA Tour.

Pepperell intends to prioritise playing on the European Tour if rumours of a run of events in the UK starting at the end of July come to fruition, and he feels it is not worthwhile to go through an exhaustive process of quarantine and testing just to play in one major championship.

“Even if the rules were to change, and if the rumours from the European Tour are true and there might be some golf to be played in the UK in July and August in a run, I will prioritise that ahead of one major championship in San Francisco,” Pepperell told Sky Sports News.

“Playing the UK events makes more sense to me, and I can’t see myself going anywhere outside of Europe, and I’ve got a holiday booked in Ibiza in July!”

Pepperell also hinted that the scheduled return of PGA Tour competitive action next month was too soon, insisting he would rather wait until the world returns “closer to some kind of normality” before resuming.

“The unfortunate position PGA Tour players are in, as things stand, is that this season is going to count,” he added. “If this season was rolling forward and there were no eligibility issues I think that would definitely change the decisions some players are making.

“They’re probably going to be forced to play, but I don’t think you can adhere to the rules 100 per cent, so if we’re going to go ahead with this, we have to acknowledge there are going to be some infractions. This may put the players in an awkward position.

“But it’s a phenomenal operation that they’re going to have to come up with over the next month. Is it worth it? I suppose many people would say that it is.

“My personal opinion is I would rather wait until we can get back closer to some kind of normality and then come back than force it to happen, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s wrong.”

Pepperell’s opinions are extended to the Ryder Cup in September, which looks likely to go ahead without spectators despite the likes of Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm expressing their concerns.

“I don’t think it would be the same, and the most concerning thing is what Rory and Jon Rahm have said. Neither of them would feel like it would be a proper Ryder Cup without fans,” Pepperell said.

“They’re the two guys you need to be playing really well at Whistling Straits if you want to win it, so if we care about the result, then we shouldn’t be thinking about playing it.

“The spectacle of the Ryder Cup wouldn’t even be close to what it should be. If there is one event in golf that really matters in terms of the atmosphere, it’s the Ryder Cup.

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“We all know what Padraig Harrington is like. He’s very intense and so invested he will just take that positive approach, and that’s to his credit. I can understand why he would still want it to go ahead, but as a fan, and as someone who’s likely to be watching, it wouldn’t be a great spectacle.

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Inbee Park to compete in LPGA virtual match play event for charity

Seven-time major winner Inbee Park will take part in a virtual match play event organised by the LPGA.

South Korea’s Park and compatriot Ryu So-yeon will compete against New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg.

The teams will play an 18-hole foursomes match and an 18-hole four-ball match at a virtual version of Bethpage Black in New York.

The $10,000 (£8,200) prize money will go to a coronavirus relief charity.

The LPGA season has been on hold since February because of the pandemic.

Park, who won the most recent LPGA event in Australia, is the reigning Olympic champion, while Ryu has won six titles on the tour.

Lindberg beat Park in California in 2019 to win her first major, while Ko is a two-time major winner.

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R&A announces £7m package to ease financial troubles of golf clubs

The R&A has announced that £7m of funding will be made available to assist golf clubs and authorities who have been hardest hit by the coronavirus lockdown.

The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund has been launched with the aim of helping golf in the United Kingdom to cope, and hopefully recover from, the financial consequences of a spring in which all courses were ordered to close for two months.

A statement released by the R&A on Monday read: “The fund will be largely aimed at national associations and other affiliated bodies in Great Britain and Ireland.

“With the global pandemic leading to widespread temporary course closures and drastic reductions in domestic and international travel, many golf clubs and facilities are facing serious financial difficulties.

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“The fund is being provided to help The R&A’s affiliated national associations to support those clubs and facilities, although some of the money may be used for other activities key to the future health of the sport.”

R&A chief executive, Martin Slumbers, said: “The pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on golf and many clubs are facing dire financial situations through no fault of their own.

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