PGA CALLS MAY-DAY

Golf Australia - - IN MY OPINION -

NO LONGER will the US PGA Cham­pi­onship be called “Glory’s Last Shot”. The PGA of Amer­ica has an­nounced it is mov­ing its flag­ship event to May for the first time in 70 years. The 2019 PGA Cham­pi­onship – to be played at Beth­page’s Black course on New York’s Long Is­land – will be played in May, ap­prox­i­mately five to six weeks af­ter the Masters. The last time the PGA oc­cu­pied a May date was in 1949, when Sam Snead won at Her­mitage Coun­try Club in Vir­ginia, and it has only been played out­side Au­gust twice since 1969 – in 1971 when Jack Nick­laus won in Fe­bru­ary in Florida and last year when it shuf­fled into the last week of July to ac­com­mo­date the Olympics.

“The PGA of Amer­ica’s key ob­jec­tives were to pro­mote the best in­ter­ests of our sig­na­ture spec­ta­tor Cham­pi­onship, do what is best for the game and its great play­ers,” PGA of Amer­ica CEO Pete Be­vac­qua said.

“Our anal­y­sis be­gan in 2013 and in­cluded an ex­ten­sive list of fac­tors, in­clud­ing hav­ing to shift the date ev­ery four years to ac­com­mo­date the Olympic Games. In the end, we de­ter­mined that play­ing the PGA Cham­pi­onship the week prior to Me­mo­rial Day in May, mak­ing it the sec­ond ma­jor cham­pi­onship of the golf cal­en­dar, will achieve those three ob­jec­tives.

“We are ex­cited about this move to May. It pro­vides our PGA Cham­pi­onship a strong land­ing spot on the cal­en­dar.” So how will mov­ing the PGA Cham­pi­onship to the sec­ond ma­jor of the year af­fect the sched­ule of the main tours? And, will there be a flow on ef­fect to events here in Aus­tralia?

The first ca­su­alty of the move is The Play­ers Cham­pi­onship – the un­of­fi­cial fifth ma­jor – which is likely to shift back to March, when it was tra­di­tion­ally played up un­til 2006. While the PGA Tour un­der for­mer Com­mis­sioner Tim Finchem was re­luc­tant to move from May, it is un­der­stood the new man, Jay Mon­a­han, can see the ben­e­fits.

One of those is get­ting the FedEx Cup un­der­way and con­cluded sooner in the sched­ule. At the mo­ment, the play-offs end with the Tour Cham­pi­onship in the third week of Septem­ber. Mon­a­han would like the sea­son-end­ing event on the US La­bor Day week­end, the first week­end in Septem­ber, and a week be­fore the NFL sea­son starts.

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