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Golf Australia Express : Issue 48—PGA Championship
IDON’T THINK THERE’S a player on Tour who doesn’t dream of winning a major. They are special, they are elite and each comes with its own special tang. Yet if you asked the players which one mattered the most I doubt many if any would point to the PGA Championship. It is old but far from the oldest. And somehow it has not developed a sheen of tradition that gives the younger Masters such a beautiful hue. Unlike the claret jug, the Wanamaker trophy is a nod to the great American tradition of measuring quality by size, which well reflects the fact that it is yet another major played in the USA. So the PGA Championship desperately holds on to its title of being the last major of the year. No matter what they say, glory does not belong to one tournament, and you would have to be short-sighted to imagine it does. Golf does not finish on December 31, the year does. Which leaves this tournament with a bit of an identity crisis, and it is one that they would do well to address in a hurry. You can’t buy tradition and if you can’t see your past, the future can be an uncertain thing. That counts with the Olympics shaking everything up in 2016. With the game growing on every continent, pressure will be building to move a major overseas. We couldn’t move the Masters without breaking it, and we can hardly relocate the nomadic US Open to Asia... What to do? The biggest purse is taken home from the Players and the Europeans presumably stopped asking WITH EACH YEAR MORE PRESSURE MOUNTS TO MAKE THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP STAND FOR SOMETHING, WRITES WILL HONE. CAN THE LAST MAJOR LAST? with Will Hone IN HONING for another major after the BMW PGA Championship was given the most points towards world rankings. Those kind of tricks get the players there, but the fans need to believe in a tournament if it is going to attract an audience it needs to generate income from TV and sponsorship rights. Perhaps calling it a major will do the trick for a while. In his most recent Golf Digest column, Geoff Ogilvy wrote that while the PGA Championship is not the most glamorous or idiosyncratic tournament, “a PGA victory means just as much as one at the Masters, US Open or British Open”. That’s good enough for him and I hope it’s good enough for the last major when change comes to town in four year’s time. OTG You can’t buy tradition and if you can’t see your past, the future can be an uncertain thing. With the game growing on every continent, pressure will be building to move a major overseas. DO YOU AGREE? TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS