Save the US PGA by send­ing it away

The fourth ma­jor is in des­per­ate need of an iden­tity, says Rob Jer­ram

Golf World (UK) - - SPIN -

Ah, the US PGA. Ev­ery­one’s fourth favourite ma­jor. And don’t try telling me it’s your favourite just to be con­trary. Any­one who says the US PGA is the best ma­jor prob­a­bly in­sists wash­ing up is their high­light of a nice meal and that Made in Heaven is their favourite Queen al­bum.

Both Sky Sports and the BBC spot­ted this lack of ap­petite and re­fused to lodge bids for TV rights this year. That leaves the US PGA to be streamed on­line, for free.

Though I love the in­ter­net, and as much as stream­ing ser­vices have rev­o­lu­tionised the way I watch tele­vi­sion, watch­ing a ma­jor on Face­book just doesn’t feel right. I want golf to be on the telly, in high-def­i­ni­tion, with top-level broad­cast­ers, ex­pros and coaches bring­ing me in­sights and ac­tion. As it is, I won’t be watch­ing.

I would if this was one of the other three ma­jors. You know, the real ones. Even if it was The Play­ers or the BMW PGA I’d prob­a­bly watch ev­ery minute on my iPad. I just don’t care enough about the US PGA. And nei­ther do the play­ers. It’s last on ev­ery­one’s list of ma­jors they’d like to win. No kid ever dreamed of holing a putt to win the US PGA, un­less it’s to com­plete a fan­tasy grand slam.

Part of the prob­lem is the sched­ule, which will change next sea­son when the event moves to be­come the year’s sec­ond ma­jor. Right now it comes after the big three and, if it’s a Ry­der Cup year, just gets in the way of the build-up to the game’s big­gest draw. It’s strange, as the US PGA ar­guably boasts the strong­est field of all the ma­jors, but it’s never taken to the best venues and it lacks a true and clear iden­tity.

But I’m not among those who be­lieve it should be scrapped and ma­jor sta­tus given to The Play­ers. I’d like to see the event taken around the globe. Make it the world­wide ma­jor. There are tour play­ers and golf fans across the world, so why should Amer­ica hog three­quar­ters of the ma­jors? At a time when ‘grow the game’ is a buzz phrase, why not try to grow it be­yond its own doorstep? Why not broaden golf’s ex­po­sure by tak­ing a ma­jor to new coun­tries and cul­tures?

Sud­denly kids across the globe might be dream­ing of holing that putt after all.

“To walk away with 60 hav­ing missed an eight-footer was a slight dis­ap­point­ment, but I won’t re­ally com­plain.” Bran­don Stone was an inch from record­ing the Euro­pean Tour’s first ever 59. A four -shot vic­tory at the Scot­tish Open and a cheque for £878,722 soft­ened the blow.

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