Players react to PGA Championship's move to May in 2019
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- What PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua acknowledged as the "worst-kept secret in golf," was made official on Tuesday: beginning in 2019 and onward, the PGA Championship will be played in May.
"As we turn the page to our 101st PGA Championship, we will be moving it to May, and we are doing this primarily for three reasons: It's in the best interests of the PGA Championship," Bevacqua said. "We feel it's in the best interests of the players who play in the PGA Tour, the PGA Championship, around the world, and maybe most importantly for our organization, it makes the most sense to our members.
"Such a large percentage of our members start and are active in their golf season in May and for an organization whose strategic mission is to grow this game, we feel May is a far more powerful date for us to contest our major championship," he added.
Early returns show that players are in favor of the move.
Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy believes it's great for the golf schedule.
"I think a May date for The PGA of America is a really good thing, and just from a player's perspective, to now have one really big tournament every month from March, The Players, to the Masters to the PGA Championship to the U.S. Open to the Open, and to have the FedExCup most likely at end of August or start of September; it just has a better flow to it, I think."
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson liked the idea of golf's biggest events all having a bit more breathing room.
"It's going to kind of space everything out a little bit more instead of it all being kind of crammed together," he said. "So it gives you a little bit more time to prepare."
Defending PGA Champion Jimmy Walker didn't see the move as a huge deal, but -- like the others before him -- was certainly appreciative of the spacing out of big events.
"Last year, it was very crazy with the Olympics thrown in there, and we had two majors in three weeks, and there's a World Golf Championships," he said. "It always kind of crammed in there. I mean, it's not a big deal, I don't think, but the spacing seems nice. It will be interesting to see if they can add some new golf courses to the rotation for May. I know that those northeast courses have a chance to play a lot different now. Especially you can catch a pretty chilly week up there in May, different weather. We'll see."
We're still two years from the change being implemented, but McIlroy thinks it will be for the best -- particularly for the American players who have a team event in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup every year.
"I'm excited to play a schedule like that going forward," he said. "It should be good. Especially with Presidents Cup and The Ryder Cup now obviously every year, I think it just gives especially the American guys who have to play a team event every year, as well, it just gives them just a little bit more time. Overall, I think it's a great thing."