PGA Championship’s calendar shift paying off already

The PGA Championship is already reaping the rewards of its move from August to May. The golf major, which will be staged at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, on May 16-19, is sold out thanks in large part to Tiger Woods’ recent victory at the Masters.

Previously the final major of the season, the PGA Championship was often considered an afterthought in the golfing schedule but its move up the calendar – as part of a major restructure on the PGA Tour – has quickly led to new commercial benefits.

“We couldn’t be more excited both about the timing and the venue and kind of where the game is at this point,” said PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh in a conference call. “I don’t know if we could have the same momentum and count on [Woods] forever, but that momentum from the Masters into the PGA is extraordinary.

“Obviously Tiger has impact, sort of the Moon landing. It’s not golf; it’s where were you when, kind of stuff. The impact immediately afterwards was extraordinary in terms of ticket sales. We were basically sold out for the weekend, but the requests just poured in across the board in lots of ways.

“We think we made a great decision, but we’d rather be lucky than good. We thought it [the move to May] was smart; it looks brilliant, now.”