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PGA president: 2016 Olympics could force PGA to July

PGA of America
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Tom Pernice Jr. hits from a waste bunker during the final round of the Verizon Heritage Classic at the Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina on April 15, 2007 Photo by Michael Cohen/  - 

It looks like July 2016 could be a pretty busy month of golf.

This past Monday served as the beginning of PGA Championship week, but it also marked exactly three years until the 2016 Rio Olympics begin, an international competition that will include the sport of golf for the first time since 1904. With the PGA of America set to host its marquee event this year during a week that will essentially be unavailable in three years' time, the organization's top executive addressed tentative plans for the 2016 staging of the PGA Championship at Baltusrol.

'We haven't set a date yet for 2016, but I doubt very seriously that it would be after Labor Day,' PGA president Ted Bishop told 'Morning Drive.' 'I would think that what you're going to see in 2016 probably would be a sliding forward of the majors ... the PGA Championship would probably take place sometime in late July, a couple of weeks after the Open Championship.'

The timing between the season's third and fourth majors is already tight, as the first round at Oak Hill this year will begin just 18 days after the last putt was holed at Muirfield. The opening ceremonies for the Rio Olympics will be Aug. 5, 2016, while the closing ceremonies will take place Aug. 21.

The window between the British Open and PGA Championship in 2016 will likely be further crowded by the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Speaking Sunday at Firestone Country Club, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem indicated that while dates are not yet finalized, the Tour's annual stop at Firestone will likely maintain its position before the PGA even when the schedule shifts in 2016.

'On the Olympic year, we just haven't quite finished sorting out the run in mid-summer in those weeks,' said Finchem. 'But it's not going to affect this week because the World Golf Championships have to have priority positioning, and the date will reflect that as it relates to the PGA Championship and for the Olympic competition as well.'

Check out the video below for the full interview with Bishop, whose comments shift to 2016 schedule options around the 5:00 mark: