The PGA Championship is headed back to Southern Hills next year, the Oklahoma course that gets its eighth major championship earlier than expected after the PGA of America cut ties with former President Donald Trump.
The 2022 PGA Championship originally was to be played at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. The PGA voted to terminate that contract, signed in 2014, after the Trump-fueled riot at he U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress was certifying the election victory of President Joe Biden.
Southern Hills was not scheduled to host the PGA Championship until 2030.
The club was announced Monday as the 2022 host, which means it will get back-to-back big events starting with the Senior PGA Championship this May. That was one of the reasons it was appealing to move up Southern Hills in the PGA Championship rotation. The PGA of America already has a staff on site in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with an operations blueprint that won't need much work.
Kerry Haigh, the chief championships officer for the PGA of America, said the contract with Southern Hills for 2022 replaces the one for 2030. He said Southern Hills would remain in the mix to also host in 2030. It is not unusual for the PGA Championship to return to a course in eight years or fewer.
“We have a Senior PGA Championship there this year. We also have a staff onsite for Southern Hills, who now will be able to stay on through for the PGA Championship,” Haigh said. “All of these are important factors when we're less than 16 months away from playing. And we think Southern Hills is a wonderful golf course. It always has been.”
Southern Hills previously hosted the PGA Championship in 1970, 1982, 1994 and most recently in 2007, when Tiger Woods won his 13th major — and fourth PGA title — with a two-shot victory over Woody Austin. Woods finished at 8-under 272, one of only five players who finished under par.
The course recently went through a restoration project led by Gil Hanse, with greens and bunkering a big focus of his work on the original Perry Maxwell design. The club opened in 1935.
The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which led the House to impeach Trump for a second time, prompted the PGA of America board to review its contract and it ultimately voted to leave Trump National.
It was the second time since Trump entered politics that the PGA of America left one of his courses. They mutually agreed to cancel the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National LA in 2015 after Trump announced his candidacy.
Since the decision to leave Trump National in 2022, Haigh said the PGA received invitations from about 30 golf clubs wanting to host the PGA Championship next year.
The temperature was in the low 100s Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) during the last PGA Championship at Southern Hills when it was held in August. That will no longer be an issue now that the century-old major has moved to May.
Southern Hills previously hosted U.S. Opens in 1958, 1977 and in 2001.
The PGA Championship this year will be at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, which last hosted the major in 2012 when Rory McIlroy won by eight shots. After Southern Hills, it goes to Oak Hill in Rochester, New York.