ERNIE’S 100TH MA­JOR

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Golf Digest - By Stuart McLean

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.