In the plan to resume the season in the next two months, the European Tour opted to host the event in a cluster to ensure the highest safety for players and to address the growing travel restrictions between countries. However, John Catlin and the caddie were the first cases in the settlement systems of European Tour being disqualified for failing to comply with Covid-19 epidemic safety regulations.
EUROPEAN TOUR JUST REBOOTED IN JULY
The first event on the schedule is the British Masters (July 22-25) at Close House. Next is a series of 5 new tournaments in August in England and Wales: English Open (July 30 – August 2) at Forest of Arden, English Championship (August 6 – 9) at Hanbury Manor, Celtic Classic in the field. Celtic Manor (August 13-16), Wales Open at Celtic Manor (August 20-23) and UK Championship on Belfrey (August 27 – 30).
The European Tour season ends with four Rolex Series events: Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (October 8-11), BMW PGA Championship (October 15-18), Nedbank Golf Challenge (December 3 – 6) and DP World Tour Championship (December 10 – 13). However, there may be some corrections in the coming weeks. “It was a real challenge but I am extremely proud of how my team overcame them”, said European Tour CEO Keith Pelley of the entire Tour team’s effort to rearrange the season schedule.
Currently, the remainder of the European Tour season includes 10 events, but additional events are planned to compensate for the heavy losses caused by Covid-19. With additional stops in Ireland and Scotland, the Tour is expected to raise the number of tournaments to 24. Besides, all players’ priority rights and qualifications for the season will be reserved with the opportunity. maximum competition for next season. The requirement for golfers to participate in the minimum number of prizes is also removed.
The European Tour could soon set a rematch time closely related to the order to lift quarantine restrictions on people returning from Britain. And similar to the PGA Tour’s “Health and Safety” plan, this tournament system will set up epidemic barriers, creating a “controlled environment” with players, cadres, and organizers. There will also be PCR tests before the player leaves, and again when the golfer and caddy arrive, in addition to the medical questionnaire and daily body temperature check. At least the first 6 tournaments will be played without fans.
THE REASON WHY DISQUALIFICATION PLAYER
Under the panoramic fighting plan from the European Tour, all players and cadres must be in the “defense bubble” of the tournament, including the golf course and the hotel designated by the organizers to zoning the contact environment. That means they are not allowed to eat in other places.
However, on Tuesday (August 4), John Catlin and his caddy caught dinner at a restaurant in a town near the venue for the British Championship. A day later, the European Tour announced Catlin’s disqualification at this event because of the scope of the room’s safety rules: “The duo went to a local restaurant outside the service barrier. Consequently, it prejudices the health rules of the Tour and is bound to quit the tournament immediately ”.
Catlin immediately apologized to his colleagues and the European Tour for his mistakes: “I would like to apologize to the golfers and everyone involved in this week’s tournament. I understand the Tour’s decision and accept the penalty”.
John Catlin is an alumnus on the golf team at the University of New Mexico. Golfer ranked 242 in the world with American citizenship but competed mainly in the Asian and European tour systems in his career. In 2019, Catlin attended the PGA Tour six times. Last week, Catlin participated in the opening stage for the new European Tour‘s schedule – Hero Open and finished at the T51 position. Therefore, Catlin’s actions are hard to accept because he already knows the anti-epidemic measures applied in this arena. South African golfer Wilco Nienaber will replace Catlin on the English Championship’s tee shot.