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Las Vegas lands 2nd PGA Tour event in October

Updated August 24, 2020 - 8:26 pm

Las Vegas will host a second PGA Tour event in October, as the CJ Cup will move from South Korea because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament will be played Oct. 15 to 18 at Shadow Creek Golf Club, the week after the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin. The event will return to South Korea next year.

“While our players have always looked forward to visiting Korea, the current circumstances provided this new opportunity to bring the event to Las Vegas,” Ty Votaw, PGA Tour executive vice president, said Monday. “We are confident this year’s event will showcase a stellar field while bringing the CJ Group’s brand values to a new time zone.”

The CJ Cup has an impressive list of champions in the three years it has been played in South Korea. Justin Thomas won in 2017 and 2019, and Brooks Koepka prevailed in 2018.

“It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to travel to Korea for this year’s event,” Thomas said in a statement released by the tour. “But it is fantastic that we will still be able to shine a light on CJ Group through the tournament at a venue like Shadow Creek.”

The tournament will feature a limited 78-player field made up primarily of the leading players from the FedEx Cup points list. It will include at least nine Korean players as part of CJ Group’s commitment to developing professional golf in Korea.

Shadow Creek is the most exclusive public course in Las Vegas. It is consistently rated the top course in Nevada and one of the nation’s best.

“The course will be in tremendous shape and ready to host our PGA Tour partners and the world’s best golfers,” said George Kliavkoff, president of Entertainment Sports for MGM Resorts International, which owns and operates the course.

Shadow Creek, which opened in 1989, is best known to golf fans as the site of the made-for-TV match between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in 2018.

Spectators were not allowed on the course for that event, and the PGA Tour has not decided if spectators will be allowed for either Las Vegas event. There have been no fans at any event since the tour restarted in June after a three-month hiatus.

PGA Tour spokesman Chris Reimer said the second event will be operated by the tour’s Championship Management division with help from the Shriners team.

“We are hopeful to be able to provide as much support as we can,” Shriners executive director Patrick Lindsey said. “With our event being the first week, it is unlikely we will be heavily involved in the details.”

Talks began in July about the PGA Tour canceling or moving its three Asia fall events. The tour also has tournaments in Japan and China.

In July, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said it would not leave the dates on the calendar empty should the Asia Tour get canceled.

“If we’re confronted with that situation, that’s the approach we’re going to have,” he said. “But as you work through these situations with partners, it’s fairly complicated.”

This will be the second time this year that the PGA Tour has held back-to-back events in the same location. It played two consecutive events in Columbus, Ohio, in July to fill a vacancy on the schedule. Both events were played at Muirfield Village.

Greg Robertson is a freelance reporter who covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at robertsongt@gmail.com.

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