Beginning in 2019, the PGA Championship will move from its traditional August date to an undisclosed date in May, the PGA of America announced Tuesday.
Simultaneously, the PGA Tour will move its flagship event, the Players Championship, back to a March date after 11 years being held in May.
Of course, these moves will affect the date of the Wells Fargo Championship, which has been held in Charlotte in May, the week before the Players.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan would not comment about exact future dates, including that of the Players. Quail Hollow officials are hoping for a Wells Fargo date in 2019 – and beyond – two weeks before the PGA Championship.
Under the new schedule, the PGA Tour would condense its five biggest events once a month from March through July – the Players in March, the Masters in April, the PGA Championship in May, the U.S. Open in June and the British Open in July.
Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA of America, said one of the reasons to make the change involved the Olympics. The 2016 PGA Championship was moved to July to accommodate the Olympic golf competition. He said he didn’t look forward to having to do that every four years.
There is no concrete date for either the PGA Championship or the Players Championship for 2019. Bevacqua said the PGA Championship will be played “after Mother’s Day.”
Monahan would not comment on speculation that the Players will be held two weeks before the Masters.
“There are a number of dominos and there are a number of other decisions we need to make, and as you can imagine there's a fair amount of complexity within that and we have a number of constituents we have to work with,” Monahan said.
By and large, players have reacted positively to the announced change.
“I've been a big supporter of it from the first time I heard about it, and the announcement today I think has been very well received by a lot of the players in the locker room,” Rory McIlroy said.
“Obviously it's still a couple years away, but I'm excited to play a schedule like that going forward. 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.”