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Thursday, June 8, 2017

PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua comments on moving the PGA Championship to May

PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua from PGA of America on Vimeo.

It seems clear that we can expect some changes to the major calendar in the coming years. The Players will be moving back to March and the PGA Championship will be played in May. Most likely, we'll see the changes put into place in 2020 to help balance the golf calendar for the inclusion of the Olympics. Will those changes become permanent?

As Mr. Bevacqua stated in the video, the PGA Championship has been played in 9 different months over its nearly century-long history. Nothing is permanent. Well, except for the Masters being played the first week of April. Azaleas and tradition and all of that.

The factor influencing the move that's likely to change soonest would be the elimination of golf from the Olympics. Depending on who you ask, golf was either an unexpected success or a disappointment at the Rio Olympics in 2016. As of now, golf will be played during the 2020 games in Tokyo. While not guaranteed, Los Angeles has put in a strong bid for the 2024 games including golf at the Riviera Country Club. It feels like a lock that if Los Angeles gets the games that golf would survive at least through that cycle. Beyond that, the 4-year cycle of conflict between the PGA Championship, the Olympics, and the Ryder Cup is up in the air.

Mr. Bevacqua indicated that awarding the 2020 Championship to Harding Park included having the flexibility to move dates of the championship.  We'll need to stay tuned, but, it is clear that there are changes coming.
Photo credit: Anayst - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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