Why is the PGA Championship still a Major?
Some of the discussions on other threads about the compressed Majors schedule shows that a majority of fans seem to like the new schedule, but some are complaining that having the Majors held from April to July is too compressed. These people seem to care almost entirely about the four majors and dismiss the Players Championship and the FedEx playoff tournaments. But why are people so caught up on if a tournament is called a "Major" or not? I love the Open and the US Open because they are national championships with outstanding fields played on usually great courses that you don't often see with different setups and challenges than regular Tour events. I love the Masters for all the reasons that people love the Masters. None if it is because they are called "Majors". And while the PGA at Bethpage was excellent this year, in prior years it really hasn't been anything any more special than any other good Tour event. In most years, I've enjoyed watching the Players Championship more than the PGA and the Tour Championship probably just as much.
So the question- why is the PGA Championship still a "Major"? Historically (prior to 1968), the PGA Championship effectively WAS the Tour Championship, as the Tour was part of the PGA. I think its status as a Major tournament comes directly from the fact that it was the championship tournament of the association that had the greatest golfers in the world. Once the Tour broke off, the PGA Championship no longer is that. The PGA Tour has its own championship tournaments now. The PGA Championship for many years has had 4th rung status among the "Majors".
So then- Why is the PGA Championship still a "Major"?