Golf Expert & Columnist
Rich Beem: Some golfers will enjoy playing on PGA Tour with no fans
Last Updated: 11/06/20 6:21am
Rich Beem looks ahead to the Charles Schwab Challenge and explains why some golfers could benefit from the PGA Tour returning without spectators.
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I'm interested to see exactly how well the players handle everything without the fans being there and to see how it all plays out with the testing protocols and everything else.
It's going to be a good week and the strength of the field is almost like the Players Championship never left. You've got the best in the world showing up at Colonial this week and deservedly so, but what's interesting is that it's a course that I don't think suits any particular player.
For the long-hitters, the golf course is going to run out to the edge of the rough, through where the galleries would usually be and into the trees, so they're going to have a tough time getting on and around the greens from there.
It's a very narrow golf course, there's lots of trouble, so I don't think it really benefits anyone other than the player that stays the most patient. You're going to get out of position more than once on that golf course and it's going to really test every facet of a player's game.
There will be guys that are out there that are in an unknown element with no spectators around them. They've played at home with their buddies with no fanfare, whereas now they're going out and doing their job with a similar atmosphere.
There will be some guys that feed off it and you're going to have some players that will benefit from being in the hunt and not having all the fans around them. I wouldn't be surprised if we see one or two unexpected great showings that come out of nowhere.
When you have cameras out there and they're looking at you, you don't think about the millions watching at home, but when you have tens of thousands sitting behind you then you think a little bit differently and get a little bit tighter! It'll free some guys up as it's relaxing not playing in front of anybody.
The fans have an influence, there's no doubt about it although personally, it never bothered me one way or another. When I did play with Tiger, I did like it because it made me focused and made me not want to mess up in front of all those people.
I'm really looking forward to watching Jordan Spieth, as he left on a pretty down note and wasn't playing that great before the stoppage. It's going to be interesting to see how much he has worked on his game and what he has changed over the last three months or so.
I don't think we would have ever expected had to ever ask questions about Spieth, but that's the nature of this game. Once you use a little bit of confidence, it's amazing how quickly things can snowball a little bit.
He's going to go out there and want to prove himself, with a lot of people hoping that he does and a lot of people wondering if he does. I think this is a pretty big week for him because he's got a great track record and strong history at Colonial.
You don't want to play badly in front of large crowds and seeing the way Spieth struggling at times was uncomfortable to watch, given the great of a player he has been. This week could be a golden opportunity, playing alongside his two pals in Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, for him to relax and really take advantage.
Watch the Charles Schwab Challenge throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups on Thursday from 12.45pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.