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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 253
I S IT now time for the PGA Championship to hit the road? By that, I mean, is it time for the PGA of America to not only move its flagship event to a different date – which it announced today it would – but also consider taking it out of the United States? It's not a new question. In fact, at various times within the past few years the drums have been beating long and loudly from various sources that the PGA of America was considering a move to take its major championship out of the US once every 10 years. As quickly as golf’s national bodies here in Australia flung up their hands to host the event, the suggestion of the PGA being played anywhere but in the good ol’ US of A was shot down in flames. At least for the short term. “ Will a PGA Championship ever happen internationally? Who knows? Is it something that will happen in the immediate future? I would say no,” PGA of America chief executive Pete Bevacqua said during last year’s PGA Championship [pictured]. “It’s certainly been placed on the backburner for the time being.” What hasn’t been shelved is moving the PGA Championship to a date that alleviates some of the congestion in the golf schedule from mid- July through to September. And then there are Olympic years now to consider as well. The golf schedule in 2016 was simply chaotic, and moving The Open and PGA Championship by just a week here and there wasn’t the answer. Thus the PGA of America's decision today to move the PGA Championship from August to May, starting in 2019 at Bethpage on Long Island, and replacing the Players Championship, which moves forward to March. It will make the PGA Championship the year's second major rather than the final one, and will also avoid a close call with the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, which runs between July 24 and August 9. But what about location? While the PGA is one of the pillars of the Grand Slam, it is also in an enviable position being the most flexible when it comes to taking the championship on the road.
GA Express 252
GA Express 254