The PGA of America and the PGA Tour made a joint announcement today that the 2019 PGA Championship would be moved to a date in May, and the Players Championship would move to a date to be announced later in March.
As Peter Bevcqua, CEO of the PGA of America, said at the beginning of the news conference from Quail Hollow CC,”This is the worst kept secret in the history of golf.”
Rumors had been circulating for weeks that an announcement was coming.
Bevcqua said this decision was made for three reasons:
No. 1 “It makes sense for the PGA Championship.”
No. 2 ” Greatly enhances the PGA Tour calendar.”
No. 3 ” We expect these moves to grow our fan base.”
When asked what started the discussion of these moves Bevcqua said, “What started it was the Olympics. We were faced with having to change the date for the PGA Championship every four years. We fully support the Olympics but we felt we needed to consider the effect on the PGA Championship.”
With these changes there are certain to be other events that are affected. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said; “I would love to announce those changes but honestly we are still working on those issues. There is a fair amount of complexity and we just aren’t ready to make those announcements today.”
While most of the PGA Tour players are in favor of the changes, a few have expressed the hope that this would result in “an offseason for players”. Monahan said he had heard some of those remarks. ” We currently have 46 events in our year and I don’t expect that to change. I have heard some of the players express a desire for an off season, but at this point I don’t see it happening. If a player plays 21 event in a year, that means he has a total of five months off in the year,” replied Monahan.
Bevacqua said he had consulted with Keith Perry, CEO of the European Tour and he is positive about the moves. He also talked to Augusta National, the USGA, the R&A and all agreed the moves make sense for the overall golf calendar.
When asked why the PGA of America decided to change the date in 2019 Bevacqua said, “It works weather wise. The condition of that course,(Bethpage), is better in May than it is in August. All the contracts we already have for PGA Championship courses in the future years are solid and will not be changed. So it was a good time to make the move in 2019.”
In the past at times the relationship between the PGA of America and the PGA Tour has been strained. At today’s announcement it was obvious that there was a sense of a good working relationship between the two organizations and the other golf governing bodies world wide.
With the moves announce today here is a monthly schedule of the Players Championship and the four majors starting in 2019.
March- The Players Championship
April- The Masters
May- The PGA Championship
June- The US Open
July- The Open Championship