Detroit News writer Lynn Henning has an article on why the PGA Championship stands alone among the four majors. First, it’s the only one where there are no amateurs. It features the deepest field in golf, with 97 of the top 100 present. And it started as a match play event (and in my mind still should be one).
So much about golf’s major championships is pre-decided and even predictable.
The Masters is “azaleas and dogwood” and Wednesday’s par-3 tournament. It is four great rounds of golf that climax in the sunset of Sunday evening, with a green jacket presented by the defending champion at Augusta National Golf Club.
The U.S. Open is about rough that could bury the wheels of your car. It’s tight fairways and slick greens and pin placements decided by Jack the Ripper.
The British Open is wind and sea water and gorse and men rumbling “well played” from the gallery as they watch, appreciatively, a nervous man hole a 3-footer with a 40-mile gale in his face. British Isles patrons soak up the drama from another carefully defined sequence of specific courses deemed worthy of “The Open Championship.”
The PGA Championship is, different—delightfully different, for the most part. It might be played anywhere from Kemper Lakes in suburban Chicago to Sahalee outside Seattle, or, at a hallowed championship course that has hosted U.S. Opens and Ryder Cups: Oakland Hills, for example, where this year’s PGA Championship will be played.