The PGA Championship 2018 is set to tee off tomorrow and there is a lot more than a major title on the line for some.
This years PGA Championship is being hosted at the Bellerive Country Club. It will be the third time this venue has hosted a Major Championship. Located in the suburbs of St Louis, this course stands at an impressive 7,317 yards par 70. The course has plenty of water in play, so it will be imperative for players to hit accurate approach shots. The first three holes all offer birdie opportunities for a quick start, but are also dangerous with water guarding the second and third greens.
This weeks defending champion, Justin Thomas, is coming into the week after an impressive win last week at the WGC Invitational. Thomas will be hoping to replicate last years PGA Championship in which he was able to hold off a stacked leader board in order to bring home his first major title.
Only Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson have as many wins on tour this season as Thomas, putting all three in the hunt for the Golfer of the Year award. Of course each of them will be looking to hoist The Wanamaker Trophy this week and is a far more significant a prize, of course. But any of the aforementioned players hoisting it would be a defining mark on a tremendous season, and give said player a leg up on the honor.
Grand-slam At Stake
Another chance at history for Jordan Spieth this week as he attempts to become the second youngest golfer to reach the career Grand-slam. He won the Masters and the U.S. Open three years ago—both before turning 22—and last year’s Open Championship a week before he turned 24. Since Birkdale he has yet to record another tour win, coming close numerous times, most notably a couple of weeks ago at Carnoustie where he attempted to retain his title. Spieth insists his game is not far off from where it needs to be and it is only a matter of time before he breaks through again.
It is yet another stacked field for the years last major. The bookies favorite is world No. 1 Dustin Johnson but you can very well make a case for a number of golfers teeing of this week. McIlroy will be looking to break his Major drought which has been ongoing since 2014. The Irishman has shown real glimpses this year of what he can do but his final day rounds seem to be letting him down. This course and setting looks to suit Rory so write him off at your peril. Everyone’s nearly man Rickie Fowler has, again, been one of the most consistent golfers on tour but his first major title has still eluded him. He came close at this years Masters and some think it looks finally time for him to join the Major Club. You have Europeans then such as Rahm, Fleetwood, Rose and Molinari who is fresh off winning The Open and the finest stretch of golf he has every played. All capable winners on any given day so it will be interesting to see who can put a performance together over the week. It wouldn’t be right to forgo mentioning Tiger Woods after a stellar finish at The Open. I’m sure the golfing world were all pinching themselves for a short while when Woods’ name was a-top the leader-board on Sunday afternoon at the Open. No stranger to this event, Woods is one of the favorites and you won’t be surprised to see his name in contention over the weekend.