Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els join elite company at 99th PGA Championship
PGA CHAMPIONSHIP MOVES TO MAY IN 2019; THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP TO MARCH
In a joint announcement Tuesday, the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR announced that beginning in 2019, the PGA Championship will be played in the month of May – while THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP will be contested in March at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The PGA Championship will become the second men’s major championship of the golf season. The 2019 PGA Championship, which will be contested at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, will be the first conducted in May since 1949. Overall, the PGA Championship has been conducted in nine different months since its origin in 1916, including 1937, ’42, ’48 and ’49 in May.
MORE: Players react to May move
HAPPY HUNDRETH TO ERNIE AND PHIL
Both Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson will be playing in the 100th major championships of their legendary careers when they tee off for Thursday’s first round of the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Els and Mickelson, who first met for the first time at the 1984 Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, will become the 13th and 14th players to reach triple-digits for majors played. A closer look at the 12 on the list:
|Rank||Player||No. of Starts||Rank||Player||No. of Starts|
|1||Nicklaus, Jack||164||8||Sarazen, Gene||112|
|2||Player, Gary||150||T9||O'Meara, Mark||109|
|3||Watson, Tom||145||T9||Kite, Tom||109|
|4||Palmer, Arnold||142||11||Langer, Bernhard||104|
|5||Floyd, Raymond||127||12||Faldo, Nick||100|
|6||Snead, Sam||119||Mickelson, Phil||99|
|7||Crenshaw, Ben||118||Els, Ernie||99|
CHARLOTTE’S JASON KOKRAK GOES LONG IN THE LONG DRIVE COMPETITION
The top 3 finishers in the 2017 PGA Championship Long Drive Competition were Jason Kokrak (321 yards), Tyrrell Hatton (316 yards) and Dustin Johnson (315 yards). The Kokrak-Hatton-Johnson triumvirate combined to hit their drives more than a half mile (2,856 feet) despite Tuesday’s wet conditions at Quail Hollow. Kokrak, who is a Charlotte resident, joins Byeong Hun An (2016/Baltusrol, 347 yards), Anirban Lahiri (2015/Whistling Straits, 327 yards) and Louis Oosthuizen (2014/Valhalla, 340 yards) as winners of the PGA Championship Long Drive Competition since it was re-launched in 2014. Through PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America, the top three finishers will be granted charitable donations of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively, to their designated USA based 501(c)(3) charities of choice.
LATE TO THE PARTY, BUT AT THE PARTY NONETHELESS
By winning the Barracuda Championship on Sunday, Chris Stroud captured the first PGA TOUR victory of his career and seized the final exemption for the 99th PGA Championship. Stroud will be playing in his fourth career PGA Championship (also 2012-14), where his best finish came via a T-64 at Valhalla in 2014.
RELATED: Tee times, pairings
MAKING AN IMPACT
Earlier today, the 99th PGA Championship played host to its own hosts from the Charlotte community—representatives of the area’s four minority chambers of commerce: Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce; Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce; Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce; and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte. Key political and business leaders—including U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and local chamber representatives—joined PGA President Paul Levy, 2017 PGA Championship Director Jason Mengel, 2017 PGA Championship General Chair Ralph Breeden and PGA Historian Bob Denney for “Chambers on Course at the PGA Championship.” They addressed the gathering about the economic impact of golf, as well as the importance of diversity and inclusion on business growth. Officials estimate that this week’s PGA Championship will make an enormous impact on the region, to the tune of an estimated $100 million.