Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Jerry Pate Should Turn Down PGA Championship Invite
Every major championship has the right to invite players into their event. Occasionally the British or PGA Championship will give honorary invites to those deserving of them, and 57-year-old Jerry Pate is definitely the type of guy that deserves one last hooray in his home state of Georgia.
The problem is, as the AP's Doug Ferguson points out, Pate already got that chance 10 years ago, when the PGA offered him a special invite at the age of 47 and Pate shot rounds of 73-70 to miss the cut. That was Pate's last major championship, but he sent in a letter to the PGA of America asking for one last farwell to tournament golf, and he got it, making it the second time he's going to wave goodbye at the exact same golf course.
Pate's a good guy. He won the 1976 U.S. Open at this same golf course, the Highlands at Atlantic Athletic Club. It was brilliant playing back then, and he deserves credit for that. But asking and receiving a spot in 2011 at a golf course that he won't be able to play, taking a spot from guys like Paul Goydos and Chad Campbell, seems rather unfair, and while it is the PGA's decision on who gets the invites, allowing a man that last made a cut before I was born when you already did it seems shortsighted.
I'm not the only one that thinks this. Check out what PGA Tour player Joe Ogilvie said on Tuesday:
Exactly. You gotta turn this down. There are people out there that might have a chance, and while Pate is still a talented golfer, having someone prance around AAC for some goodbye tour for the second time seems like overkill.
Hopefully Pate will do the right thing and let someone in that has a chance at making the cut and competing.
Top photo Getty Images