'Great chance' for another Ocean Course major, says PGA president
KIAWAH ISLAND — Everyone wants high drama on a pleasant Sunday, a classic end to a PGA Championship week layered with thrills, wind, rain and clogged roads.
“The ideal finish is six to 12 guys coming down the stretch, all with a chance to win,” PGA of America President Allen Wronowski said Saturday.
It might happen. Saturday's weather-shortened third round ended with Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh clinging to a two-shot lead over a colorful field of dreamers.
Wronowski said whatever unfolds today, the Ocean Course has a “great chance” of following South Carolina's first golf major with another.
He praised the “tournament portion” of this 94th PGA Championship, noting all the charity and military appreciation parts attached.
“Certainly, things look great on TV,” Wronowski told The Post and Courier. “Our partners TNT and CBS both have had a great time telecasting it. Everybody — the officials, the spectators — have had a great time, and it's been a wonderful championship.”
But Wronowski indicated improved traffic access from Charleston to the Ocean Course is a must before another major is discussed.
“All growth happens,” he said.
Friday snarls included rides of nearly three hours from Charleston to Kiawah Island for some spectators.
The rush after Saturday's suspended rounds created waits of as long as two hours just to get off Kiawah Island.
“We knew going into it that (traffic) would be a little bit of an issue getting on and off the island,” Wronowski said. “They have done a great job of minimizing it to make it the best scenario possible.”
There is plenty to like about today's leaderboard, starting with intriguing variety:
McIlroy, the dashing 23-year-old from Ireland, dates tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, winner of the 2011 Family Circle Cup on Daniel Island.
Singh, 49, wants to become the oldest player to win a major since Julius Boros won the 1968 PGA Championship at 48.
Adam Scott, a popular Aussie, is one shot back. He blew a chance to win the British Open last month but aims for redemption, and a $1,445,000 first prize.
Carl Pettersson, hero of the elastic pants crowd, is two shots behind. After he won the 2012 RBC Heritage Tournament, the Swedish-born former N.C. State player promptly touted his diet of “10 beers and a tub of ice cream.”
Lurking five shots back: Tiger Woods, winner of 14 majors and chasing Jack Nicklaus' record of 18.
Enjoy today because future PGA Championship sites are booked through 2018. Future U.S. Open sites are booked through 2019.
Bubba Watson, the defending Masters champion, likes the idea of a U.S. Open on Kiawah Island.
“The (United States Golf Association) wants a difficult golf course, and this one is tough,” Watson said. “They want a challenging course and they've got it here without having to work very hard. This is a championship-level course.”
Reach Gene Sapakoff at 937-5593 or on Twitter @sapakoff.