The women have done it, but should the men's game have something to fill the void between the Open and the Masters? Our team give their verdicts
With the rescheduling of the majors we’re all now done by the third week of July which then leaves a huge chasm until Augusta in April. So do we need a fifth major? Alex Perry, Joe Hughes and Steve Carroll join me to add their two-penneth into how to best fill the void…
The fifth major debate
Alex: Nope. I’m a traditionalist and we’re keeping it at four, please. I am not a fan of current packed schedule, though, and would rather see them spread out. Since you’re asking: PGA Championship in February, keep the Masters in April and US Open in June, then push the Open back to August.
Only 125, then 70 and then 30 people care about the FedEx Cup Play-offs. Millions care about golf’s oldest major.
Joe: The majors in the new schedule didn’t disappoint. There was a bit of everything, with Brooks Koepka continuing to dominate, Shane Lowry triumphing in Northern Ireland, Gary Woodland fulfilling his potential and of course Tiger Woods’ 15th.
Would that fifth major have the same draw knowing that it was introduced just to fill a gap in winter? I would say no.
The section between the final major and Christmas leaves the spotlight free for the FedEx Play-Offs and the European Tour and I think golf is in a good place with this current schedule.
Steve: It’s a long time from the Open until the Masters but I’m not sure the schedule as it is suits a winter major. You need a build up to a tournament – something to create some tension and excitement – and plonking a fifth major amid some turn-of-the-year dross doesn’t do it for me.
I can barely muster the enthusiasm for a WGC in China and, yet, that’s exactly what those tournaments are supposed to do – make us want to watch golf.
My verdict: Next year is going to be fun with the Olympics at the end of July, then the FedEx bits and then Wentworth and the Ryder Cup in September, all coming after four majors. So you would imagine that there won’t be much clamour for a fifth major, rather a sit-down in a dark room for all concerned.
I still think that the PGA (the major one) is yet to find its best place on the calendar and none of us are ready for another major assault in May. In my ideal world, which will never happen, this would happen on an Australian sand-belt course with dust flying everywhere.