If the PGA Tour does indeed resume at the Charles Schwab Challenge in June, the general consensus is it will do so with some significant changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Leaving the flagsticks in to avoid multiple hands touching the same surface would seem to be a rather simple, inoffensive one.
Adam Hadwin doesn’t think so.
The Canadian world told TSN he would consider not playing in events if players are forced to leave the flagsticks in.
“Are we not going to be allowed to touch pins, or flags?” Hadwin said. “I putt with the flag out, so if we all of a sudden are going to be forced to putt with it in to not touch a flag, I’m going to have issues with that, and that might make me honestly rethink playing, because it changes everything.”
The interviewer then remarked that some might be surprised he feels so strongly.
“Doesn’t matter how well I’m hitting it; when I get on the greens I’ll be thinking about it, how I’m putting with the flag in and I haven’t been able to adjust to it and I shouldn’t have to adjust to it. Maybe I’ll protest, maybe I wouldn’t. If that’s the only possible way for us to play again, I don’t know, maybe. Maybe I’ll play and moan about it every day that I play and just go do it. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.”
Hadwin isn’t the only player wary of returning with some abnormalities. Scott Stallings, a three-time winner on Tour, told Golf.com there’d be significant blowback if the Tour tries to implement measures such as no rakes in bunkers and forcing players to pull their own clubs.
“I just don’t think there’s any way guys are going to do that,” he said. “Guys are not going to play for their livelihood with no rakes in the bunker and no caddies. That’s just not going to happen.
“I’m fully confident that there are going to be guys who choose not to play.”