Birthday boy Rory McIlroy turns 31 today (Monday) with good news that Harding Park, venue for the rescheduled PGA Championship, will reopen for play later today.
McIlroy is a two-time PGA Championship winner while he’s also no stranger to victory at Harding Park having defeated current US Open champ, Gary Woodland in the final, five years ago yesterday of the 2015 WGC – Cadillac Match-Play Championship.
The San Francisco club has been closed since March 26th but put out a 27-word Tweet on Saturday saying the course will be open to the public for golf beginning Monday, May 4th.
Harding Park had been set to host the 2020 PGA Championship from 14th to 17th May before the coronavirus pandemic forced a rescheduling to 6th – 9th August.
However, California Governor Gavin Newsome says the prospects of mass gatherings in the state before September would seem unlikely and thus the Championship, if it takes place, will be without spectators.
PGA of America CEO, Seth Waugh, says the PGA Championship organising body is reviewing all contingencies including what could be a first-ever spectator-free golfing Major in the history of the ancient club-and-ball game.
“If the safest and/or the only way to hold the PGA is to do it without fans, we’re fully prepared to do that,” said Waugh.
“We believe that having it as a television event is worth doing regardless of whether there’s fans there or not.”
It will be quite a birthday celebration for McIlroy with just he and wife, Erica to celebrate the occasion.