Should the PGA Championship be stripped of its major status?

The Scoop

Alex Perry and Mark Townsend lock horns in Alternate Shot

Admit it, you’ve thought this about the PGA Championship at one point or another. But should it actually happen? Two of our writers have their say…

Perhaps it’s time for a 5th major, writes Alex Perry

When as many people are talking about the PGA Championship not deserving of being a major, you have to think they are on to something.

There have been calls for as long as I can remember for the PGA Championship to be stripped of its major status.

But it would be wildly disrespectful to the players that have already won it.

I certainly don’t agree with the call to give it to the Players – I think that’s just a bit of arrogance on the American’s part that their flagship event should be a major.

If there was to be a change, I would instead create a brand new major. A major which features just the top 100 players in the world rankings and no one else, with defending champions getting, say, a three-year exemption. No invites like the Masters, or qualifying like the two Opens. Just if you’re in the top 100 two weeks before the event, you’re in.

I would then take it around the world, going to each of the continents. Take it to Australia, to New Zealand, to China, Japan, Scandinavia, South America.

The move to May will hopefully invigorate the PGA Championship – it’s always seemed a bit out on its own at the end of the season – so we’ll see how the change of schedule changes people’s general feelings towards it.

If – and it’s a huge if – they were going to get rid of one, it would be the PGA, wouldn’t it?

PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is just fine, writes Mark Townsend

Before the move, everyone always seems to be a bit hungover from the Open, it was very odd when it was moved forward due to the Olympics, and we’ll happily trot out that it’s all a bit PGA Tour-like and the courses are dull and we’ve got our minds on the Ryder Cup – but it’s still given us John Daly in ’91, YE Yang, Harrington beating Sergio again, half of Rory’s majors and, without it, Tiger would be stuck on 11.

Fair play it’s the worst of the four but it’s head and shoulders above the higher tier of the PGA Tour events, it’s just that we’re measuring it against the very big guns of Oakmont, Shinnecock, Augusta National and the Old Course.

How many of us can name the past 10 PGA venues? Clue: keep naming Ryder Cup venues. Would it be better as a matchplay event? Clue: no.

How many of us can name the past 10 PGA champions? Clue: there are no obvious clues to this one.

It needs a bit of a rocket up its arse but you can only have so much of a good thing. What it does outline is that there is no real need for a change – or a fifth major, as that would all be too exhausting to try and re-rank things.

It was an enjoyable PGA in its final August slot, now give her some love and send her on her way to May 2019.

Keep up to date with all the action from Bethpage with NCG’s dedicated PGA Championship website as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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