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PGA Championship moves to July for 2016

HAVING been played in August since 1971, the PGA Championship moves to July in 2016 to cope with golf's return to the Olympic Games.

GOLFERS will play three major championships in a span of 46 days in the run-up to the sport's return to the Olympic lineup at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

The PGA of America announced on Wednesday that it will move the 2016 PGA Championship, scheduled for Baltusrol in suburban New York, from the event's traditional August date to July 28-31.

The Wanamaker Trophy will be awarded only five days before the start of the Rio Olympics, the August 5-21 event in Brazil to be the first Games to feature golf since 1904 at St Louis.

"It's a condensed schedule," PGA of America chief executive officer Pete Bevacqua said. "Obviously with the Olympics, it's also a Ryder Cup year, you throw in the (PGA playoffs), so it's a very congested schedule."

FULL COVERAGE: PGA CHAMPIONSHIP MICROSITE

The 2016 US Open will be played at Oakmont on June 16-19 and the British Open at Royal Troon on July 14-17, leaving only one week between the awarding of the Claret Jug and the first PGA practice session.

Not since 1971 has the PGA Championship been played outside August and that was because the time of year was considered too hot to stage the event in Florida, where it was won by Jack Nicklaus in February.

"We actually feel really good about it," Bevacqua said of the move out of the traditional American holiday period.

"We think an end of July date in that part of the country and the major metropolitan area just outside of New York makes a lot of sense."

The move was made in conjunction with fellow major sanctioners the Royal and Ancient, Augusta National and the US Golf Association.

PGA of America president Ted Bishop said officials were concerned that the PGA will lose prestige not being a part of the qualifying period for the Olympics because it comes so close to Rio.

"We are very sensitive about the fact that the PGA Championship needs to have relevance in an Olympic year," Bishop said.

AAP

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