Frost delays start of US PGA Championship

Frost delays start of US PGA Championship

Frost delayed the start of the 105th US PGA Championship, the year’s second major, by almost two hours on Thursday.

Play had been scheduled to get under way at 7am local time (1200 BST), but predictions of an overnight frost at Oak Hill in Rochester proved accurate.

Tournament organisers released a statement early on Thursday morning which read: “Due to frost, all Oak Hill Country Club practice facilities and the golf course are currently closed.

“To protect playing surfaces, everyone on-site must stay off any grass and gates will not open until the frost clears.”

With the temperature slowly rising, officials subsequently announced that practice facilities would open at 0735 local time (1235BST).

The first group were now set to tee off at 0850 from the first and five minutes later from the 10th, a total delay of one hour and 50 minutes.

The possibility of weather delays had been on the cards since the US PGA was moved from August to May in 2019, with Oak Hill having already been selected as this year’s venue.

Justin Suh
Justin Suh hits from the fairway on the second hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship at Oak Hill (Abbie Parr/AP)

Speaking on Tuesday, the PGA of America’s chief championships officer Kerry Haigh said: “Wherever the championship is (in May) appears as though it will bring some more variety to the weather than we’re used to having when we played in August.

“There is the possibility of a frost again on Thursday morning. We had a frost Tuesday morning. We had a couple of frosts last week. That may delay the start. Hopefully it won’t. But if it does, we’ll adapt.

“We’ve got the chance of rain on Saturday and hopefully clear on Sunday. That’s sort of the fun of golf. It’s an outdoor game and we can’t wait to see what Mother Nature brings as well.”