The second of the four major golf championships has been postponed, with the PGA of America announcing it is shelving the PGA Championship due to the coronavirus outbreak. The tournament was scheduled for May 14-17 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
The Masters was the first major championship event to become postponed when officials announced last week their decision to delay the April tournament to an as-of-yet undetermined date. The other two majors are the US Open, June 18-21, and the Open Championship, July 16-19. Both events are still scheduled to be played. Both postponed majors will try to be rescheduled in the fall.
PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said in a statement putting the PGA Championship on hold is the right thing to do.
“Throughout our evaluation process, we have been committed to following the guidance of public health authorities. Given the coronavirus shelter-in-place order in effect in San Francisco, postponement is the best decision for all involved,” Waugh said. “This is a reflection of a thoughtful process. We are, and have been, working in concert with Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners and friends at the PGA Tour to find an alternative date that works for all. We are all very hopeful for a great outcome.”
Rescheduling is Tricky
Waugh hinted at a fall date, but the golf calendar is already crowded — and is getting more so — with the postponement of the Masters. In addition to the Ryder Cup, which the PGA of America also puts on, the PGA Tour has an almost full slate of tournaments. If the 2020 fall series remains the same, the tour will have an event every week from the second week of September all the way until Thanksgiving. Six of the events in that time are scheduled to be held outside of the United States, and the only open date currently available is Nov. 7-10.
If the Masters takes that date, the PGA Championship might be left without a suitable spot on the calendar. Waugh did hint that he might try and conduct the PGA Championship during the summer. The problem is, there is no open date from June 3 until the Tour Championship on Aug. 27. And, if the Olympics proceed as scheduled, some golfers might be in Japan from July 24 to Aug. 9.
Rory McIlroy Favorite Now, but in Fall?
Several sportsbooks, especially those based offshore, and mobile apps are taking bets on both the Masters and the PGA Championship. Rory McIlroy is the 10/1 favorite in both of those major championships, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook USA. Jeff Sherman, VP of risk management and golf oddsmaker released odds for both the Masters and the PGA Championship. They are valid only if the tournaments are played in 2020.
Betting on either major championship now could be perilous to a gambler’s bankroll. Unlike April and May, when most top golfers are at the beginning of their year, a lot of high-intensity golf will have already been played this season if these events are contested in the fall. The US Open, Open Championship, FedEx Cup Playoffs, Tour Championship, Olympics, and Ryder Cup could all be contested before the Masters or PGA Championship.
At a time when many of the top players are looking to wind down their seasons, the could be asked to rev up again for two majors.