Clarke backs Euro Tour move to drop WGC-Bridgestone in 2016

The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will not feature on the European Tour next season after it was moved to the end of June by the PGA Tour of America.


The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was moved up for 2016 to be played June 30 – July 3, the week of the French Open, which will be played for the 100th time in 2016.

That brings it into direct conflict with one of the oldest tournaments in European golf, attended by numerous world’s top 50 who will now be playing at Firestone in Arizona, instead of Le Golf National – venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup – not far from Versaille. In an effort to protect the centennial of a long-standing European Tour event, Pelley decided to not sanction the annual event at Firestone Country Club for one year.

The PGA is bringing the date forward so as not to coincide with the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which will include golf for the first time since 1904.

“It’s a golf course I prefer”.

“The Alstom Open de France is the oldest national open championship in continental Europe and has been a fixture on The European Tour worldwide Schedule since the Tour’s formation in 1972”, said a statement.

With the French Open holding particular gravitas next summer on its 100th anniversary, many European stars are expected to skip the Akron, Ohio, competition.

Under terms of its agreement with the French Open, the European Visit was not permitted to endorse some other occasion.

But, in the early wake of the Olympics’ ripples, the Bridgestone Invitational appears to be the biggest victim.

Graeme McDowell said last week he would choose Paris over Akron after winning there in 2013 and 2014 and admitted there was a “little bit of surprise” among the players at the clash of dates.

“But the schedule, it’s a mess next summer, let’s be honest”, McDowell said. And I think a breakthrough win for him last week is very important for him at this stage of his career.

The PGA Visit said in an announcement that golf’s arrival to the Olympics for 2016 accompanied huge difficulties for a mid year plan.

“The PGA Tour has had to make some tough decisions”.

Europeans who are PGA Tour members might be giving up crucial points that relate to the FedEx Cup and will have to decide between the two events.


It will be hard not to go back and defend (Bridgestone) but it’s a Ryder Cup year and it’s going to be a difficult decision to make for everyone. It’s just business. It’s just one of those things.

Clarke is worried by clashes in the schedule
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