Women’s PGA may need to make historic leader shift

There have been many changes put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now the PGA of America are faced with a new headache when the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship tees off later this week.

Originally planned for June, the major tournament, won last year by our very own Hannah Green, was moved to October and with it the inherent loss of daylight heading into the winter months.

Hannah Green In 2019 Hannah Green became the first Australian to win a women’s major since Karrie Webb in 2006 (Credit: LPGA Tour)

Pennsylvania receives 15 hours of daylight in June but that falls to 11½ hours by October…almost the length of a full round of 18 holes.

On top of the lack of daylight hours is the fact that many other sports are vying for the television audience’s attention this time of year in the US and that means that the Women’s PGA Championship has been given a new weekend time slot which wraps up at 2pm.

So what do you do when your leading players will be teeing off at the same time as the television coverage ends? Well, you move the leaders.

“In some ways we could be making history this week because we will have the leaders not teeing off at the end of the wave on Sunday. And if we don’t finish on Friday, they will not be teeing off last on Saturday, either.”

“We feel it’s important that everyone watching the telecast will see the leaders, see the leaders play all 18 holes, and we think that is important,” said the PGA’s Kerry Haigh.

“And although it’s a little different and out of the box, we as partners with the LPGA and KPMG are prepared to make those changes for what we think will be a greater and a better championship for everyone to observe.”

The Masters is also in the same predicament with almost two hours lost between April and November, however, with just 90-odd players in the field (there’s 132 at the Women’s PGA) they thankfully have a little more leeway than the Women’s PGA.

Interesting times.