PGA CALLS MAY-DAY
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.