The global pandemic has changed plenty of things and golf is no exception. While there have been other professional golfing events that have welcomed an audience, albeit limited, the PGA Tour has yet to host an event that has allowed spectators since play returned in June. None are intending to do so in 2020 according to reports.
However, there is one exception. The Bermuda Championship will be the first PGA Tour event since March to welcome an audience consisting of both Bermudians and tourists. Daily general admission tickets are being sold at $35 per ticket and the four-day event will be starting on Thursday, October 28th through Sunday, November 1st. Unfortunately, the weekend rounds have already sold out.
We are grateful to Bermuda’s government, health officials, the PGA TOUR, and Bruno Event Team, whom we’ve worked jointly with throughout the process of planning for this year’s event,” said Victoria Isley, BTA Chief Sales & Marketing Officer.
“The second Bermuda Championship is a testament to the island’s successful health and safety record which has enabled an event of this scope to go ahead. As title sponsor, the Bermuda Tourism Authority is thrilled to make this possible for Bermuda visitors and our local community. Through four days of live coverage on The Golf Channel, the Bermuda Championship will showcase the island’s wide-open spaces, pristine beauty, and the naturally physically-distanced sport of golf,” Ms. Isley further elaborated.
— Port Royal Golf Course Bermuda (@PortBermuda) October 16, 2020
If you do plan to attend you can expect stringent spectator protocols at the Port Royal Golf Course that will demand the use of facemasks at all times, social distancing of six feet or more, temperature checks will be administered, and hand sanitizer will be omnipresent throughout the venue. Out of an abundance of caution, autographs will not be permitted.
Locals Earn Spots
A two-round qualifier for residents of the sun-splashed island was held recently and the top three places earned bids to compete in the Bermuda Championship. Camiko Smith was much the best as he made it look easy and five strokes better than second-place finishers, Anthony Phipps and Michael Sims. All three will be enjoying the lush, plush of the Port Royal Golf Course’s fairways, and greens over the four-day tournament.
In 2019, the event’s inaugural year, American Brandon Todd shot a scorching 24 under par for the four-day event while fellow-American Harry Higgs took home the silver, trailing Todd by four strokes. We are all hoping for more dominating performances this year and don’t forget, for those who like to add a little spice to their golf watching, Bovada has odds for all events within the PGA Tour, including this one!
Prize Money Increased
The Bermuda Championship will get more attention this year for a variety of reasons but none more than the $4 million purse, up from $3 million last year. In addition, the winner will get 500 FedEx points and an automatic entry into the 2021 Masters Tournament. The field will be expanded from 120 to 132 contestants and the Golf Channel will dedicate more than 50 hours of coverage throughout the four-day event.
“Excitement continues to build as preparations come together for our second year,” said Sean Sovacool, Tournament Director. “Along with the recently announced tournament adjustments, being the first PGA TOUR event to welcome spectators on-site is a milestone the Bermuda Championship is proud to have achieved. Additional opportunities remain to take part in other capacities—including entertaining in our hospitality venue, playing alongside a TOUR professional in our Pro-Am, or participating as a marshal volunteer.”
Last year, the event raised over $225,000 for 25 local charities but the biggest beneficiary of the charitable donation went to the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), an organization dedicated to preserving marine life in Bermuda and education in the marine sciences. BIOS received over $124,000 in 2019 from the event and hopes are high that figure will be even greater this year.
“The grant has been invaluable in supporting our budding young scientists here at BIOS this summer, as well as the development of new educational initiatives in these unprecedented times,” noted Director of Education & Community Engagement at BIOS, Kaitlin Noyes, who manages the institute’s Ocean Academy. “We are incredibly grateful and look forward to continuing to work with the Bermuda Championship, the Bermuda Climate Risk Forum, and the BTA team over the coming year.”