The post-Open Championship blues are kicking in

Mark McGowan

A dejected Rory McIlroy (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Blue Monday officially falls in January, the most depressing day of the year we’re told, and it’s easy to see why. Typically cold, damp, dark and dreary, Christmas is just far enough in the rearview mirror to be fading from memory.

If you’ve started a ‘new year, new you’ health kick, you’re over the initial honeymoon period and likely starting to have doubts if salads and water are sustainable, and if you get paid monthly, there’s still the best part of two weeks to go before your depleted bank account gets the injection it desperately craves.

The term may have been coined up by a UK-based travel company, doubtless hoping to coerce those who haven’t drained the funds entirely to consider jetting off for a spring break to stave off the melancholy, but there’s still merit in the notion.


In recent years, however, Blue Monday’s had competition and that day is today. Ever since the PGA Championship was moved to May – a drastic solution to a mythical problem – the Monday after the Open Championship seems to land with all the subtlety of a kick in the ‘you know whats’ as the realisation dawns that (mens) major championship season is over and the Masters is 259 days away.

Yes, I checked. 259 days. Eight-and-a-half months. Blessedly, the Ryder Cup intervenes every other year, but still, eight-and-a-half months seems like a lifetime. Yeah, the stars of the PGA Tour have the FedEx cup to look forward to – and maybe this year’s format will add a little juice to the lemon with the top 70 players on the season-long race keeping their cards for 2024 and gaining access to the designated event – but it’s still hard for the average fan to get overly excited about the big money spinner.

The PGA Championship has been the red-headed stepchild of the four majors for a long time now, but with the ‘Glory’s Last Shot’ tagline, it had significantly more appeal than it does when sandwiched between the Masters and the U.S. Open.

Part of the reason, or at least so we’re told, was that temperatures get too hot in some parts of the United States in August and that meant certain courses just weren’t feasible for selection. But at New York’s Oak Hill in May, we saw a near-two-hour delay for frost on the opening morning and the tournament organisers were fortunate that the cold temperatures didn’t persist for rounds two through four or a Monday finish would’ve been a near certainty.

As a result, moving forward, it’s likely that courses in the north east will be excluded much the same way that courses in the south were for the August staging, so if inclusion was the goal, then it’s most likely backfired.

With the history and the global appeal of Augusta National, the Masters’ standing speaks for itself, as do the storied Open Championships held in the United States and Britain, but even recently during the U.S. Senate Investigation into the global merger with the Public Investment Fund, documentation showed that in making their demands, the Saudi sovereign fund had listed major championship participation but felt it necessary to add “including the PGA Championship” in their wording. A kick in the teeth for the PGA of America, no doubt, but the fact that it even needed the qualifier speaks volumes.

A return to a U.S. venue and an August date would be an improvement in stature, but taking the Championship global would potentially bring the tournament as close to being on par with the other three as it is ever likely to get.

The Blue Monday vibes would be significantly eased if there was a PGA Championship at Royal Melbourne in November to look forward to.

I’d even take a PGA Championship at Saudi’s Royal Greens. Anything but a majorless eight-and-a-half months

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