2016 PGA Championship moved to July because of Rio Olympics


(Associated Press)

The PGA of America announced Wednesday that it’s moving the 2016 PGA Championship to July in order to accommodate the Rio Olympics, which will feature a golf event for the first time since 1904. It’s the first time the PGA Championship won’t be held in August since 1971, when it was played in February in order to avoid the oppressive summer climate in Florida.

The event will be played July 28-31, 2016, at Baltusrol in Springfield, N.J. The Olympics begin Aug. 5.

“I would tell you that we view it as a positive,” Pete Bevacqua, the PGA of America’s chief executive officer, said Wednesday at Valhalla in Louisville, site of this year’s PGA Championship. “We think that the end of July at Baltusrol just outside of New York City is actually a better time of year than August. We think the temperatures will be better, also, in terms of really the activities of the residents of that area. Quite honestly, less people are on vacation, more people are in town and we think it will work out as a real benefit to the 2016 PGA Championship.”

Last month, the International Golf Federation announced the qualification system to be used for the golf event at the 2016 Olympics. That year’s PGA Championship apparently won’t have any impact on the 60 players to qualify. Golf.com has the details:

All players within the top-15 of the rankings as of July 11, 2016, will be eligible, with one big caveat: No more than four players can come from any one country. The rest of the field will be determined by the world golf rankings, with a maximum of two players per country for countries that don’t have more than two players in the top-15. If the Olympics were held today, then Bubba Watson (World Rank 4th), Matt Kuchar (5th), Tiger Woods (7th) and Jordan Spieth (10th) would make the U.S. team, while top-15 players Jim Furyk (11th), Phil Mickelson (13th) and Zach Johnson (14th) would be left out. No other country has more than two players in the top 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

As the host country, Brazil will be guaranteed one Brazilian female and male golfer, if not otherwise eligible.
Also of the five continents of the Olympic Movement (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania) will have at least one golfer in each of the men’s and women’s events.

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