ERNIE’S 100TH MAJOR
We look back as Ernie Els prepares for his 100th major in the PGA.
Harris and Fazio had visited Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA of America, and Kerry Haigh, the association’s chief championships officer, in January 2016.
“They presented their vision to us,” Haigh says.“We talked at length, voiced our concerns. They assured us that they would spare no effort to get it completed on time.
We were excited about the prospect of previewing the new course at our event.We liked what we saw on paper.At the end of the discussion, we told them we were all in. Mr Harris can be very persuasive.”
How persuasive? In 2006, Harris was asked to move his annual PGA Tour event, then called the Wachovia Championship, so the Players Championship could be moved from March to Charlotte’s time slot in May. Harris agreed, but only if his tournament would thereafter always be played the week before the Players, not the week after, a guarantee he got in writing.
Eight years later,Tim Finchem, PGA Tour commissioner at the time, called again, asking Harris if he’d be willing to forgo his ironclad time slot and move again, if only for a year, to make room for the 2015 WGC Match-Play in San Francisco. Sure, Harris said, but only if you’ll award us the Presidents Cup.“I think we can make that happen,” Finchem replied, and in early 2015 the tour announced that Quail Hollow would host the 2021 Presidents Cup. “We’d actually been looking at Charlotte for a Presidents Cup for some time,” Finchem says. “Johnny’s operation had always run so smoothly that it was an easy decision.”
Don’t be surprised, or alarmed, if Harris and Fazio decide to perform a few more nips and tucks to Quail Hollow during the summer of 2020.The second hole is a bit awkward, and two par 3s, the sixth and 13th, lack some of the pizzazz of other holes. Also, expect the course to be re-routed for that event, so that The Green Mile falls midway in the back nine, assuring that nearly every match will reach that exciting stretch.
the 203-metre 17th hole.