In less than two weeks we will be able to enjoy top-level golf on the PGA Tour and Steve Rawlings is raring to go!
"I’ll be back with a full preview in plenty of time before the off but the Sportsbook already has an outright market and with the world’s top five players in the line-up, it’s a great tournament to kick us back off with."
Nothing feels particularly normal anymore, not even the so-called new normal, but nevertheless, horse racing (and pigeon racing!) has returned to the UK this week and although we have to wait a couple of weeks for the Premier League to restart - albeit at empty and occasionally neutral stadiums - and until as late as mid-July for European Tour golf action (the British Masters - July 22-25), the resumption of the PGA Tour is now tantalisingly close.
The action starts on Thursday June 11 with the eagerly awaited Charles Schwab Challenge, an event formally known as the Fort Worth Invitational, the Dean & Deluca, and most recognisably, the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Played at the intricate Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, which is often referred to as 'Hogan's Alley' after the five-time course winner, Ben, the Charles Schwab Challenge is the longest running non-major PGA Tour event held at the same site.
I'll be back with a full preview in plenty of time before the off but the Sportsbook already has an outright market and with the world's top five players in the line-up, it's a great tournament for golf's real comeback event.
Kevin Na won the tournament last year and the list of recent winners includes major winners including Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Zach Johnson and David Toms. And it's now 12 years since five-time major winner, Phil Mickelson, made this incredible birdie at the 72nd hole to take the title.
The PGA Tour moves from Texas to South Carolina the following week to take in the RBC Heritage - a longstanding event that traditionally follows the US Masters.
Staged at the Pete Dye-designed gem known as Harbour Town Links in Hilton Head, the RBC has produced a hat-trick of surprise winners of late. CT Pan was matched at 510.0509/1 before the off last year, 12 months after 500.0499/1 chance, Satoshi Kodaira won, and two years after 200.0199/1 shot, Wesley Bryan, had claimed the spoils in 2017.
Despite recent results, course form holds up well at Harbour Town and we've witnessed a number of men win the title on multiple occasions. Jim Furyk won the event in 2010 and 2015, Boo Weekley won back-to-back in 2007 and 2008 and Stewart Cink has also taken the title twice this century. And Davis Love has won it five times but despite contending year after year, poor ole Luke Donald has never donned the Plaid Jacket awarded to the winner.
Luke's finished second five times in total - once losing a playoff to Brandt Snedeker (2011) and once being cruelly denied by this outrageous shot by the 2014 champ - Matt Kuchar.
The third and final event in June will be the Travelers Championship at TPC River highlands - an event that tends to serve up much drama - including this incredible holed bunker shot by Jordan Spieth to deny Daniel Berger in extra time three years ago.
When the Tour resumes a week on Thursday it will be exactly 13 weeks since we last saw any action (the first round of the cancelled Players Championship) and although I've quite enjoyed the little break, I'm chomping at the bit to get back now. Having three great tournaments to kick us off is the icing on the cake.
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter