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PGA Championship outside the USA?

October 21, 2013

The PGA of America is considering holding the PGA Championship, the final major of the year, outside the United States for the first time in the next decade, according to a report in Golf Digest.

The PGA was first contested in 1916 and was played in the United States every year since, except 1917 and 1918 because of World War I, and 1943 because of World War II.

"This is an exercise we are going through, an analysis," PGA chief executive officer Pete Bevacqua told Golf Digest. "It is far from a fait accompli that we are going to take the PGA Championship international.

"When we sat down to map our strategic plan to service our members and grow the game, the question arose as to what impact it would have to take the PGA Championship to an international location once or twice a decade."

The PGA Championship will be played next year at Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Ky., and the venue is set for the tournament every year through 2019.

The other sites will be Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., in 2015; Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., in 2016; Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., in 2017; Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis in 2018, and Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., in 2019.

"We need to push ourselves to think outside the box," Bevacqua said. "What I have said internally is, 'Shame on us if we don't consider it and go through the exercise.' ...

"It would be something we would only do if we had the cooperation of quite a few groups. It would need to work for the PGA Tour, and it would need to work for the PGA Tour players."

The only one of the four majors played outside the United States is the Open Championship, the oldest golf tournament in the world, which is played in the United Kingdom.

Brian Thorburn, chief executive officer of the PGA of Australia, was the first and probably not the last golf official to offer his country as a possible site for the PGA Championship.






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