SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – While golf’s return to the Olympics has shifted the PGA Championship to late July, that may not be the case in four years.
The 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo, and that year the PGA Championship will head to TPC Harding Park outside San Francisco for the first time. Although PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua indicated Wednesday that the schedule change this summer has “worked out well” for his organization, he added that they will analyze the results from this week’s event at Baltusrol Golf Club with an eye toward scheduling around future Olympic years.
“We need to consider all options,” Bevacqua said. “This is a major championship. It’s one of the most important events in sports, certainly one of the most important events in golf. And we need to find a spot on the schedule that works, not just for the PGA Championship but for the golf schedule as a whole.”
While the tournament has long been a mainstay in mid-August, there is some precedent for playing it earlier in the year. The 1971 tournament, won by Jack Nicklaus at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was held in late February, marking the only time in PGA history that the event has preceded the Masters on the calendar.
Bevacqua added that “nothing’s off the table” for potential dates in 2020 and perhaps beyond, but the same can’t be said for venue options. PGA Championship host sites are currently booked through 2023, and Bevacqua stated that any discussion of someday taking the tournament abroad has stalled.
“Will a PGA Championship ever happen internationally? Who knows,” he said. “Is it something that will happen in the immediate future? I would say no, it’s certainly been placed on the back burner for the time being.”