SAN FRANCISCO – Captain Francesco Molinari and Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington retired from the PGA championship next week at TPC Harding Park, costing the first major of the year a pair of previous champions.
Neither of them gave a reason, and both of the main champions have not played since the coronavirus pandemic led to the closure of golf for three months. Molinari is about to move to California.
They were replaced by Troy Merritt and Talor Gooch.
The withdrawal of Molinari, champion of the British Open 2018 which is the number 33 in the world, means that the PGA championship will have 95 among the top 100 in the world. Lee Westwood, Shugo Imahira, Thomas Pieters and Eddie Pepperell previously chose not to play.
Harrington won the PGA championship in Oakland Hills in 2008 and won the British Open in 2007 and 2008.