Welcome to The Morning Punch Out, your daily look at the world of golf. Let's get started.
No stranger to winning in Georgia as the leaves are falling, a November Masters would suit Rory McIlroy just fine.— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) April 12, 2020
'Maybe that’s what I need to get the jacket' - https://t.co/qbY8g5EGt3 pic.twitter.com/LV6GhhKF4z
Golf's revamped (and hopeful) major championship schedule could mean that fans may have one of the most crowded sports schedules in recent memory. For Rory McIlroy, that means a little less pressure on him to complete the career grand slam.
Joining Michelle Wie on a Nike Golf Instagram Live stream, McIlroy said this November may be his best chance to win a green jacket.
"I feel like there’s anticipation going to Augusta, the first big event of the year. There’s all this hype," he said. "I don’t think it’ll feel like that this year. I think it’ll feel a little bit different, which I’m looking forward to. It’s going to be a different Masters, and personally, selfishly, maybe that’s what I need to get the jacket.
"November is going to be different. It’s going to be cold. The course can play very long. I mean, it plays long already, but it could play very long. The greens might not be as fast as they usually are in April, depending on the moisture. Obviously, they can do whatever they want with the course with SubAir and everything, but I think it’ll be a different feel as well. It’s the back end of the year as two of the majors have already been played — hopefully, the Ryder Cup’s already been played. People might be in their routines and in their flow a little bit."
Spanish pro Rafa Cabrera-Bello calls Dubai home, but with so much uncertainty in the immediate aftermath of last month's Players Championship as it pertained to the schedule and possible travel restrictions, the 35-year-old, his wife, daughter and team opted to stay in Florida.
"We could have gone back to Dubai initially. The first information we got was that the Masters hadn’t been postponed and we didn’t want to fly all the way to Dubai and then have to come back,” Cabrera-Bello told GolfChannel.com's Rex Hoggard. "We decided to stay.
“I don’t know how quick we will need to play right after. If we would have gone back to Dubai I would have been three or four weeks on total lockdown."
Instead, Cabrera-Bello is training out of TPC Sawgrass, staying sharp and fit, and waiting, just like the rest of us.
The USGA is stepping up to the plate to help local golf associations, setting up a $5 million emergency relief fund through the Allied Golf Associations, which supports golf associations in all 50 states, according to Golfweek.com.
"The funding will come in the form of grants to help ensure business continuity and staffing levels during this time of hardship," Garry Smits of the Florida Times-Union reported. "Individual AGAs may apply for up to $100,000; additional financial assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis."
"These golf associations are the backbone of the recreational and competitive golf communities at the local, state and regional level," Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA, said in a statement. "They play a vital role not only in delivering the USGA’s core services, but also in engaging millions of golfers across the country at the local level. This support will help enable the game to make a strong return once it’s safe to do so."
The application process will begin on Monday and continue through the summer as needed.
The most recent nationally-representative survey of #golf facilities shows about 44% of courses currently open, with significant regional differences:https://t.co/RsENpLNz9X pic.twitter.com/K46KLWiwPX— NGF (@NGF_GolfBizInfo) April 10, 2020
The National Golf Foundation has kept up with its fantastic coverage of COVID-19's impact across the golf industry, releasing that as of last week 56% of courses in the United States have closed down.
As of April 11, 2020, 45 states have some kind of Stay-at-Home order in place for residents. There are currently 13 states with mandates in place disallowing golf. As always, local restrictions apply.
To see the NGF's full interactive report, click here.