Early this morning, while most of us were still sleeping, the European Tour sent out a press release announcing that the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will not be a part of the European Tour's 2014 international schedule, "due to the venue's staging of The Ryder Cup that year, but will return in the summer of 2015."
"With regret we have accepted that we have no option but to postpone the Johnnie Walker Championship for a year," Graeme Marchbank, Johnnie Walker Championship Director, said. "The Johnnie Walker Championship is a major highlight in the calendar for Diageo and a key commercial platform for the promotion of the world’s number one Scotch whisky, so we are naturally disappointed to miss a year.
"However, as the owner of Gleneagles and as an Official Partner of The 2014 Ryder Cup, Diageo is also working closely with our partners at The European Tour to help deliver a fantastic event. We are also working closely with the Scottish Government on maximising the wider benefit of The Ryder Cup to Scotland. Over the next two years we will be focusing all of our efforts on the goal of delivering the best possible Ryder Cup in 2014.
"We are delighted that in 2015 the Johnnie Walker Championship will return to Gleneagles in partnership with The European Tour."
The move makes sense, seeing as most venues that host big events close down in the year leading up to that event. However, it's a punch in the gut to any potential U.S. team members who were hoping to go on a scouting trip and see Gleneagles in tournament condition.
In case you were thinking, "that's OK. A potential U.S. team member can go play the Gleneagles event in 2013," well, they probably won't do that either.
The 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship is scheduled for Aug. 22-25 -- the same week as the opening event of the PGA Tour FedExCup Playoffs, The Barclays at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.
Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, said: "We are very grateful to the management of both Diageo, the owners of Johnnie Walker, and The Gleneagles Hotel for agreeing to postpone the Johnnie Walker Championship so that preparations for The Ryder Cup can begin as planned in July 2014. The magnitude of The Ryder Cup is such that trying to host the Johnnie Walker Championship in the same season would have compromised both events."