Talk about timing.
The first US PGA Championship to take place in its new May slot just so happens to be taking place a matter of weeks after Tiger Woods ended an 11-year winless drought in golf’s majors by winning the Masters.
The folks at the PGA of America couldn’t have scripted it better. And yes, the impact has been tangible.
“Obviously Tiger, you know, he has impact,” said the organisation’s CEO Seth Waugh. “It’s sort of like the moon landing. It's not golf; it's “where were you when” kind of stuff.”
Waugh added that Woods’ long-awaited 15th major victory had significantly ramped up interest in the latest edition of the US PGA, which takes place at Bethpage – site of Woods’ 2002 US Open win – in a fortnight’s time.
“The impact immediately afterwards was extraordinary in terms of ticket sales,” he revealed. “We were basically sold out for the weekend but the requests just poured in across the board in lots of ways.
“We really expect to have an amazing championship at an amazing place and couldn't beat a better kind of story: “Every Man's Country Club”, Tiger, with his history, where he came from, obviously having won there, as well.
“We thought [moving to a May date] was smart; it looks brilliant now. We’re excited.”
Waugh added that he hopes the interest in golf created by Tiger’s most recent major win will have a similar impact as Woods’ first victory in 1997.
“We absolutely now know that the fan base will be cranked up and we hope that it will have the same effect that he had in his first go-around on participation,” he said. “Hopefully, we can ride not only the wave and excitement about watching him play, but others, you know, wanting to play.
“Hopefully that knock-on effect has a long-term effect.”