So much for that notion of a 54-hole lead giving players more time to sleep in.
The PGA of America had to get creative with an October date for the Women's PGA Championship at Aronimink in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, not only with about three fewer hours of daylight but with NBC having other programming commitments on the weekend.
Kerry Haigh, the chief championships officer for the PGA, says the tee times will be adjusted Sunday so that the final four groups will be at the bottom of the pack. Provided there are no weather delays or incomplete rounds, the leading threesome will tee off on No. 1 at 8:43 a.m. The last group will tee off at 9:27 a.m.
The TV window for the Women's PGA on Sunday is 10 a.m. to noon on Golf Channel, and noon to 2 p.m. on NBC. The network has a NASCAR race in the afternoon.
"If you have the opportunity to see a three-hour telecast and see the leaders all through that three hours, to me as a spectator, that is a lot more appealing than watching everyone but the leaders tee off and you never get to the leaders to see a shot," Haigh said Tuesday.
Saturday's TV schedule is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Golf Channel, with NBC picking up the rest of the coverage until 3 p.m. There is no need to adjust the starting times for the third round because the last group is to start at 9:32 a.m. and should finish ahead of the TV window.
That, too, is subject to change.
The 132-player field means that tee times on Thursday and Friday start at 7:10 a.m., roughly four minutes after sunrise. Haigh is not certain the second round will be completed by sunset (6:32 p.m.) on Friday, in which case the cut could not be made until Saturday morning. If that were the case, the PGA of America is prepared to rearrange starting times for the third round so the leaders are shown in the TV window.
"In some ways, we could be making history this week because we will have the leaders not teeing off at the end of the wave on Sunday," Haigh said. "And if we don't finish on Friday, they will not be teeing off last on Saturday, either. ... And although it's a little different and out of the box, we as partners with the LPGA and KPMG are prepared to make those changes for what we think will be a greater and a better championship for everyone to observe."