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SBD/August 11, 2014/Events and Attractions
PGA Of America Pledges To Return To Valhalla After Another Successful Tournament
Published August 11, 2014
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN: GOLF WORLD's Geoff Shackelford notes yesterday's final round finished in the dark after play was suspended 100 minutes due to rain, and "behind the scenes, frustration had been building over the PGA's decision to keep Sunday's starting times at 8:25am despite a forecast calling for afternoon storms." PGA of America Chief Championship Officer Kerry Haigh indicated that "no consideration was given to moving up the times because Sunday's forecast was the same as Saturday's, when little rain fell." However, there was the thought that an "epic tournament was tainted" by the decision (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 8/11). GOLF DIGEST's Sam Weinman gave the PGA of America a "bogey" for the move. He wrote it was not that the organization "risked a Monday finish by declining to move up the tee times with dicey weather in the forecast." It instead was that the event "was decided in virtual darkness." Weinman: "The 18th hole was a fiasco, with McIlroy hitting into the group ahead in the interest of expedience, and then needing to navigate a difficult two-putt from 33 feet without the benefit of sight" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 8/10). However, in N.Y., Bill Fields notes it is "not rare for a golf tournament, even a major championship, to be in a race to beat darkness in the final round." This is "especially true in the last couple of decades" as majors have been "eager to extend the broadcasts of their events into prime time to try to attract maximum ratings" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/11).
WHAT A TOURNAMENT: USA TODAY's Christine Brennan writes the "wild and most unusual ending to the tournament will be remembered for as long as people recall these things, but it should never for a moment overshadow the wonderful drama of Sunday's golf itself" (USA TODAY, 8/11). In N.Y., Bill Pennington notes the first three majors of the year "had been notable for their lack of drama." But yesterday's final round "was a taut battle more like a heavyweight prizefight." Four men -- McIlroy, Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson -- "climbed into the ring and exchanged birdies at a sizzling pace in close quarters" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/11).