The Masters has Augusta National.
The U.S. Open has its blue blazers.
The Open Championship has the R&A.
And, the PGA Championship has Kerry Haigh.
In a game in which tastes and preferences are as varied as paint swatches at a hardware store, Haigh is universally appreciated for his ability to set up a major championship without extremes. If golf were American politics, Haigh would be the rare person standing in the aisle, reaching one hand to each side.
Given the chance to set up TPC Harding Park in San Francisco for its first major championship (it has previously hosted the Presidents Cup and two World Golf Championships), Haigh, chief championships officer for the PGA of America, had the rare opportunity to put his touches on a fresh canvas.
He never imagined it would happen the way it has.
“It has certainly been different,” Haigh said recently about his off-again, on-again preparations for the PGA Championship.
On-site planning was replaced by video calls.
Just getting to the first tee at Harding Park on Thursday morning will be an accomplishment given the ever-changing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the best of times, major championships don’t spring to life in a few weeks. They are years in the making, six years in the case of Harding Park.
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