San Francisco: Brian Harman hit the opening shot at the PGA Championship on Thursday, and it was clear as he looked down the first fairway at TPC Harding Park that it was a historic moment.
The fairway was lined by trees, not people.
The COVID-19 pandemic that forced the PGA Championship to move from May to August also led to this being the first major championship without spectators. That includes family members of the 156 players in the field, and limited media.
A few volunteers took out mobile phones to capture the moment. The starter announced in a microphone, "From Sea Island, Georgia, Brian Harman." And there was no applause. There was no need for a microphone, either, but old habits die hard.
Harman pulled his tee shot into the rough. At least he found it. There is only one marshal for each hole, down from 12.
This is the first major of the year, with the Masters moved to November, the US Open moved to September and the British Open moved to 2021.
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods were among those playing in the morning.