Colonial attracts top 5 in the world in return to PGA Tour

Colonial attracts top 5 in the world in return to PGA Tour

FORT WORTH, Texas — The PGA Tour returns after three months, and some of its biggest stars are ready to play.

The 148-man field for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial features the top five in the world — Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

The biggest name — Tiger Woods — chose not to play. Woods has only played Colonial once, in 1997, when he was going for his third straight victory and shot 72 in the final round to finish three shots behind.

The tour shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the rest of sports, after the opening round of The Players Championship on March 12.

The return requires players to be tested for the coronavirus upon arrival and, for those taking a charter to the next tournament at Hilton Head, another test before they leave. They also will have daily thermal readings and health questionnaires. That also applies to caddies and what the tour deems essential personnel.

The field features 18 of the top 25 in the world, giving it a strength-of-field comparable to a World Golf Championship.

The only players from the top 10 who are not playing are Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay and Tommy Fleetwood. Scott and Fleetwood live overseas and would have faced a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Cantlay has played Colonial only twice, including his rookie year in 2013 when he first felt a jolt of pain in his back that kept him out of golf for nearly three years.

The tour returns, if all goes according to plan, to a full schedule for the rest of the year. Colonial marks the first of 27 tournaments over a 26-week period through Dec. 6. That schedule includes three majors.

The Associated Press

Golf

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