After a long two-week offseason, the PGA Tour is back! Time flies, doesn't it?
While the majority of the sports world is focused on football, the PGA Tour rolls out its brand-new fall swing for the 2019-20 season with plenty of intriguing storylines to follow.
From new events to fresh faces, here are nine reasons to watch the PGA Tour's fall schedule:
The PGA Tour is flush with young talent who'll have a chance to headline the fall swing events without competing against the game's biggest names. Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff - who both won last season - should participate in most of the fall events, with Viktor Hovland and Scott Scheffler likely chomping at the bit after earning their Tour cards through the Korn Ferry Tour.
All four own impressive resumes despite all being younger than 24. Scheffler is perhaps the most unknown commodity of the group. The former Texas Longhorn won twice with eight other top-10 results on the Korn Ferry Tour last season to earn fully-exempt status for 2019-20 by finishing first in points after the regular season and playoffs.
These four will be in featured groups for whatever events they choose to play in and will give fans a glimpse at golf's bright future.
Captain Tiger Woods has two months to make four selections to join the American team heading to Royal Melbourne for the 2019 Presidents Cup.
The biggest question that looms is whether or not Tiger will pick himself as a playing captain. Based on his recent performances and lingering ailments, it seems likely that he'll hand off playing duties to someone else.
Whatever Woods decides will greatly impact the tight race ahead for former staples on the American squad. Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner, and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland are all vying for four, or potentially three, spots, assuming Phil Mickelson isn't even in the conversation.
It'll be interesting to see which tournaments these Presidents Cup hopefuls play in and how they perform. The most notable of the group is Spieth, who has his work cut out for him in trying to prove to Tiger his game is worthy of a place on the U.S. team.
Captain Ernie Els is also tasked with making four selections for the International Team, which is looking for its first Presidents Cup victory since 1998.
However, Els won't leave former world No. 1 Jason Day - who didn't qualify on points - off his team, leaving him with three spots remaining. The South African captain's options aren't nearly as enticing as his American counterpart's, but he still has some big decisions to make.
Canadian Corey Conners won on the PGA Tour in 2019 and will likely have the assistant captain and fellow countryman Mike Weir's backing to make the team.
Tracking Tiger's next step is always worth keeping an eye on. The 43-year-old recently underwent minor knee surgery and isn't scheduled to play until late October at the inaugural ZOZO Championship in Japan. However, there were swirling reports of a skins-game match set to take place between Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Hideki Matsuyama a few days prior to the Japan stop.
Additionally, Woods will be in Albany, Bahamas when he hosts the Hero World Challenge before heading to Melbourne, Australia with his American team for the Presidents Cup.
Want a taste of what the 2020 Summer Olympics will serve up? Tune into the ZOZO Championship for Japan's debut event on the PGA Tour. For North Americans, golf in Japan is a mystery despite producing quality talent for both the men's and women's game. It's about time Japan got a tournament for the Asian swing and October's event should serve as a nice appetizer for when a gold medal is up for grabs in early August.
The rush to finish the FedEx Cup before the start of the NFL season opened the door for an extended fall swing. A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier and the Houston Open, two former staples during the summer months, were bumped to autumn. Also, the Sanderson Farms Championship became a full-field event and the Bermuda Championship was added to the schedule opposite the WGC in China. Notable players looking to collect early FedEx Cup points before the calendar flips to 2020 will make these events stronger than expected.
Aside from the big four highlighted at the top, there are a number of noteworthy golfers who made the jump from the Korn Ferry Tour and are set to make their debuts on the PGA Tour this fall.
Here's a fun fact about six other graduates:
Doug Ghim: The former Texas Longhorn finished as the low amateur in the 2018 Masters.
Maverick McNealy: The former No. 1-ranked amateur and collegiate standout at Stanford qualified for the 2014 U.S. Open as an 18-year-old.
Michael Gligic: The lone Canadian to secure his first PGA Tour card started playing professional golf in 2008.
Harry Higgs: The jovial 27-year-old won the 2018 PGA Tour Latinoamerica Order of Merit and is a former teammate of Bryson DeChambeau at Southern Methodist University.
Xinjun Zhang: China's only graduate led the Korn Ferry Tour in points after the regular season.
Matthew NeSmith: He secured his card by winning the second-to-last event of the season after leading the Korn Ferry Tour in greens-in-regulation percentage.
By Week 3 of the NFL season, you'll be sick of losing football picks and ready for a change. The fall swing in golf presents a great opportunity to cash in on players the oddsmakers haven't figured out yet, which presents value options in the weaker-than-usual fields. Not a golf bettor? Check out theScore's starter kit here.
The fall season presents a slew of tournaments in Asia, which creates a unique viewing window for North Americans. The CJ Cup in South Korea, ZOZO Championship in Japan, and WGC-HSBC Champions in China will boast strong fields for primetime golf and give fans something to fall asleep to at night. Set your TV's sleep timer and enjoy.
Sept. 12-15: A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier
Sept. 19-22: Sanderson Farms Championship
Sept. 26-29: Safeway Open
Oct. 3-6: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Oct. 10-13: Houston Open
Oct. 17-20: CJ Cup
Oct. 24-27: ZOZO Championship
Oct. 31-Nov. 3: WGC-HSBC Champions
Oct. 31-Nov. 3: Bermuda Championship
Nov. 14-17: Mayakoba Golf Classic
Nov. 21-24: RSM Classic
Dec. 4-7: Hero World Challenge
Dec. 12-15: Presidents Cup