US PGA Championship start delayed due to frost

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Frost has delayed the start of the 2023 US PGA Championship at Oak Hill in upstate New York.

Action had been due to begin at the Rochester course on Thursday morning, with the first group due to tee off at 7am local time (12pm BST).

But a statement from tournament organisers confirmed that the first round’s start would be pushed back with the East Course currently closed.

“Due to frost, all Oak Hill Country Club practice facilities and the golf course are currently closed,” the statement confirmed.

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

“Starting times for round one will begin approximately 1hr and 15 minutes after practice facilities open.”

The USPGA’s place in the calendar was shifted in 2019, with the tournament moved from August to May.

A visit to the upper reaches of New York at this time of year always risked an encounter with adverse weather, though Kerry Haigh, the PGA of America’s chief championships officer, played down the impact the conditions might have.

“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,” Haigh said ahead of the tournament’s start.

“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.”