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European Tour to back out of WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2016

August 11, 2015

HAVEN, Wis. -- The Rio Olympics has claimed its first casualty.

To accommodate the return of golf to the Summer Games, the 2015-16 PGA Tour schedule has been shuffled from its normal rotation. The biggest change sees the PGA Championship moved from its custom mid-August slot to the last week of July. But another noteworthy transaction involves the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The event at Firestone Country Club has become one of the best non-major tournaments of the year. Alas, that standing just took a serious hit.

Due to the new schedule, the Bridgestone Invitational now coincides with the French Open, one of the tentpoles of the European circuit. As such, the Euro Tour will not count the Bridgestone Invitational towards its Race to Dubai or Ryder Cup standings.

With the French Open holding particular gravitas next summer on its 100th anniversary, many European stars are expected to skip the Akron, Ohio, competition.

"That's an understandable dilemma," said Darren Clarke, will will be captain of the 2016 Ryder Cup team, at Whistling Straits on Tuesday. "I think next year with the Olympics being back in, we all realize how difficult it has been for scheduling issues.