PGA Championship Preview
Posted on August 05 2018
This year marks the 100th edition of the season’s final major championship, the PGA Championship, which will be held at Bellerive CC in St. Louis, Missouri. Last year, Justin Thomas won his first major championship title by two strokes over Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen, and Francesco Molinari. This year, he will defend his title against the strongest field of any golf tournament, which often features the top 100 players in the world golf ranking. It’s the only major championship in men’s golf that is professionals only, and the notable players are endless: two-time winner Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Jason Dufner, and Jimmy Walker have won the last four editions, and are joined by fellow PGA Champions Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, and four-time winner Tiger Woods. With so many of the world’s best players in the field this year, picking a favorite is harder in this event than any other golf tournament in the world.
One of the most interesting features of the PGA Championship is it allows PGA of America members an opportunity to play against the best golfers in the world. Fifteen club professionals will tee it up this week, hoping for an opportunity to represent their clubs and the PGA of America.
Bellerive CC is one of the most historic golf courses in America. Originally opened in 1897, the course’s current location was established in 1959 in the west suburb of Town and Country. A Robert Trent Jones design, it has hosted two previous major championships: the 1965 U.S. Open Championship, won by Gary Player, and the 1992 PGA Championship, won by Nick Price. It was scheduled to host the 2001 Ryder Cup, but the attacks during September 11th canceled the event and moved it to England the next year.
This will be the last year the PGA Championship will be held in August. Starting in 2019, the tournament will be played in May, in between the Masters in April and the U.S. Open in June.
Players to Watch:
Dustin Johnson: He’s tied for the season high with three wins, leads the FedEx Cup standings, and is easily the favorite going into this championship. He’s had close calls in this championship before. A controversial rules violating after he unwittingly grounded his club in a bunker lead to a triple bogey after taking a one stroke lead. His tie for fifth is his best finish in this championship, but the way he’s playing now, it’s hard to bet against him earning his second career major title at Bellerive.
Rory McIlroy: A runner-up at the Open Championship followed by a great showing at last week’s WGC Bridgestone Invitational illustrates the Irishman is rounding into the kind of form that makes him tough to beat. If the 2012 and 2014 PGA Champion can keep up his great driving and putting, he can add a third Wannamaker Trophy to his collection.
Bubba Watson: With three wins on the season, the two-time Masters champion has had close calls at the PGA Championship, including a playoff loss to Martin Kaymer in 2010. A win in the season’s final major would make him the easy favorite for Player of the Year.