0

Charlotte is awarded 2017 PGA Championship

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Since Quail Hollow Club returned to the PGA Tour in 2003, big-name golfers from Tiger Woods to Phil Mickelson have said the Charlotte course could be the site for a major championship.

That will come in 2017 when it will host the PGA Championship, the final major of each pro season.

A state government official with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Monday that the PGA of America will make a formal announcement on Tuesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt the official announcement.

Quail Hollow's difficult but fair old-style layout has drawn one of the top non-major fields of the year. Tiger Woods, who won there in 2007, chose Charlotte as his first non-major tournament after he missed much of the beginning of this season when his extramarital affairs were exposed.

While Woods missed the cut, he said a year earlier that Quail Hollow would be a good spot for a U.S. Open or PGA Championship.

"You add rough, make it a par-70 and there you go," he said.

Added Geoff Ogilvy during last May's event: "It's a course that feels a step above, challenge-wise. ... I think if we all turned up here and had a U.S. Open or PGA (Championship), it would feel like a normal U.S. Open or a PGA. It does feel like a major kind of place."

Gov. Beverly Perdue, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and club president Johnny Harris all are expected at Tuesday's announcement, a public relations firm said.

Quail Hollow's first major will be part of a busy time for the Carolinas hosting golf's biggest events. The 2012 PGA Championship will be at Kiawah Island, S.C. In 2014 Pinehurst, N.C.'s famed No. 2 course will host the men's and women's U.S. Opens in consecutive weeks.

Harris said in May he was interested in Quail Hollow hosting a big event, whether it was a PGA Championship or Ryder Cup. PGA officials have made numerous trips to the course as they decided on the tournament in 2017, the earliest year in which the course hadn't been picked.

Quail Hollow will have a slightly different look because the calendar year's last major is in August.

The warm, late-summer date will mean the course will be entirely played on Bermuda grass. The May PGA Tour event is played on overseeded rye. That would mean what's now called the Wells Fargo Championship continues past the bank's title sponsor deal of 2014, it likely wouldn't be held at Quail Hollow in 2017 so officials can prepare for the PGA.

The course will also likely make other changes -- some in response to Mickelson's criticism earlier this year. While he's said the course is major-worthy, Mickelson was critical of the 12th and 18th greens. Harris has said he would consider tweaks to both.

Getting picked for the PGA Championship is a coup for the private club and the city of Charlotte, a banking city hit hard by the financial crisis. It's expected to being in thousands of visitors and pump millions of dollars into the economy.

Next year's PGA Championship will be held at Atlanta Athletic Club.