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Sunday, May 26, 2024

PGA Championship Setting Revenue Records, but LIV Drama Still Looms

  • Golf’s second major of the year begins Thursday in Louisville.
  • More than 200,000 fans are expected to attend the tournament.
The Courier-Journal

The PGA Championship tees off Thursday morning at Valhalla Golf Club, with fans in Louisville making this a historic tournament financially. The PGA of America says that this is the highest ticket-revenue-generating edition of the event’s history, with sellout crowds expected to draw 200,000 spectators over the next four days.

This week marks the fifth time the PGA Championship will be played in May since moving from August in 2019 (the ’20 edition was played in August due to the COVID-19 pandemic). While the transition may still feel awkward for some longtime fans who were used to the PGA concluding golf’s major season in late summer, it’s clear that business is booming for spring’s newest tradition. 

Valhalla has also set a record for the most hospitality sold at any PGA Championship, breaking the previous mark set at the 2017 tournament at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, the site of next year’s PGA Championship. Popular offerings this year include 100-person chalets and 75-person premium suites.

LIV Still in the Spotlight

During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh lamented the ongoing feud between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, reiterating his hope that a deal to unify the pro game comes soon. “I don’t think the game is big enough for two tours like that, and I think we are diluting the game in a way that is not healthy,” Waugh said while calling the current state of the game “an unsustainable business model.”

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy called Jimmy Dunne’s resignation from the PGA Tour policy board a huge loss, and said the Tour is in a worse place because of it. “Jimmy was basically the relationship, the sort of conduit between the PGA Tour and PIF,” said McIlroy. “It’s been really unfortunate that he has not been involved for the last few months, and I think part of the reason that everything is stalling at the minute is because of that.”

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