Having a major golf championship used to be a yearly occurrence in Rochester.
On August 17th, 2014 Inbee Park won her second straight LPGA Championship. It was the last day Rochester hosted major championship golf. Even then, the community was unsure if a major would be back again.
“For Rochester, it’s kind of a sad day from a local perspective. I’d like to think they’ll be back at some point in the future but it won’t be an annual event like it’s been,” said golf fan Brian Connelly.
The wait for another major was not long. In 2015 the PGA of America announced the PGA Championship would return, but eight years away in 2023. Then in April 2017, another announcement. The Senior PGA Championship was coming to Rochester in May 2019.
Kerry Haigh is the PGA of America Chief Championship Officer,
“We are honored to be at a venue with the history and the tradition of Oak Hill and to be in a community where we’re welcomed. It’s a great team effort. We love it,” said Haigh.
Buzz continues to grow for the SeniorPGA Championship in May. When registration for volunteers began, the Rochester golf community shattered the PGA’s expectations by filling 1,500 spots in less than 48 hours.
Bryan Karns, the Senior PGA Championship Director says, “I love that the people take such ownership in Rochester being a professional golf town hosting major championships. That’s the one thing I tell people, that I never get tired of hearing that.”
Live television coverage is expected to bridge the financial gap that comes from bringing a major to a market such as Rochester. The fans can take care of the rest.
Kevin Horey is also a Senior PGA Championship Chairman,
“The eyes of the golf world are on Rochester when we do this. This is our major league sport. We love the Amerks, and the Knighthawks, and the Red Wings, but this is the major league sport for Rochester,” said Horey.