Coverage Presented by The TriState PGA.
Pittsburgh, PA: On the eve of the 100th PGA Championship, the best in the game are looking to grab the final major of the year. The reigning PGA Champion Justin Thomas is looking for back to back wins in this great tournament. He is also looking for back to back wins in as many weeks as he comes off a victory the Bridgestone.
The conditions at Bellerive are interesting from a players perspective as they are seeing some slower greens especially when you compare them to Carnoustie a couple weeks back. The course itself is a bit soft and those soft conditions really can keep the players with the heavy sticks under control.
Another interesting aspect of the course is the fact that it is dogleg heavy. There are many doglegs left and right and because of that it is a complete crap shoot on who it could favor. David Duval stated as much today on TheGolfChannel.
Justin Thomas and Other Repeat Winners
When you look at players that have won this tournament in consecutive years, the list is short. The guy chasing that second consecutive win is Justin Thomas, and because of his win last week he now has the top spot in the Fed EX Cup Points Chase. Here is a list of the other players that have won in consecutive years.
- Gene Sarazen 1922-23’
- Walter Hagen 1924,25’,26’,27’
- Leo Diegel 1928-29’
- Denny Shute 1936-37’
- Tiger Woods 1999-2000, 2006-2007
There are some other players chasing history this week either looking to become a multi Major Winner or players looking for their first win.
One players looking for his first PGA Tour Victory, is Tommy Fleetwood. He has been very close in recent weeks and it would be no surprise to see him raise the trophy this week.
There is Tiger Woods who has proven he can play well for two or three rounds but has not put four good rounds together this year. IF he is able to do that this week, he could win.
Jim Furyk, who will be competing this week was asked about Tiger and the Ryder Cup and he stated that he is anxious to see him perform in the coming weeks, although he would qualify for the team outright if he were to win this week.
Dustin Johnson won two weeks ago, was close last week and is a threat to win every week.
Patrick Reed is another guy I think could play well this week and grab his second Major of the season.
A Player like Tony Finau has a tremendous opportunity this week with his length and slower greens. He is a players that has been in the top ten at each of the Majors this season including a 5th place finish at the US Open.
I have three players this week that I believe will not only all play well, but we will see them all in the top 10 with one winning.
Ricki Fowler – The story is there. He is the best player in the world to not have a Major. He has the game to win several… its just when will he break through.
Tony Finau – is one of the best up and coming players in Golf. He has not hit his prime and is sitting as the 10th best player in the world. He could win this week with his length regardless how soft the conditions are.
Dustin Johnson – Just lost his position in the Fed EX Cup Points race as the number one player. Would it not be interesting for him to take it right back with a win this week?
As for my sleeper, I am a fan of Aaron Wise and he was lurking last week and has a win this year. That could be just enough to propel him this week.
Brooks Koepka- There is just a big event feel, where he gets up for the bigger events. Koepka had a great weekend at Firestone Country Club which was masked a bit by some lip outs. It seems that Bellerive will have soft greens early and then firm up, which suits his game well.
Jon Rahm- Rahm’s long game sets up well and he has turned the page from some tragic family events which occurred around The Open Championship. On a course where a lot of the field does not have any past history, Rahm is as good of a pick as any.
Tony Finau- Another player who will get him game up for this occasion. I like Finau’s mental and physical make up.
Sleeper Thorbjorn Olesen- I think this is a sneaky pick in a sense. Olesen comes into this event in fantastic form with at least a top-12 finish in his last three events. He is giving me a Francesco Molinari vibe but this pick is not as obvious. This past weekend may have served as an introduction to some but there is a very good chance that he is holding a trophy at week’s end. Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy will be the popular picks, but Olesen has just as good of a chance and has the game to prove it.
Tee No. 1
8:01 a.m. — Austin Cook, Carig Hocknull, Alexander Bjork
8:12 a.m. — Yusaku Miyazato, Bob Sowards, Scott Brown
8:23 a.m. — Rafa Cabrera Bello, Thomas Bjorn, James Hahn
8:34 a.m. — Billy Horschel, Ben An, Shane Lowry
8:45 a.m. — Brian Harman, Yuta Ikeda, Adam Hadwin
8:56 a.m. — Padraig Harrington, Jimmy Walker, Vijay Singh
9:07 a.m. — Bryson DeChambeau, Andy Sullivan, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
9:18 a.m. — Ryan Armour, Cameron Smith, Peter Uihlein
9:29 a.m. — Paul Dunne, J.B. Holmes, Dylan Frittelli
9:40 a.m. — Charles Howell III, Jason Schmuhl, Brian Gay
9:51 a.m. — David Muttitt, Ollie Schniederjans, Troy Merritt
10:02 a.m. — Shawn Warren, Mikko Korhonen, J.J. Spaun
1:20 p.m. — Johan Kok, Brandon Stone, Whee Kim
1:31 p.m. — Matt Wallace, Matt Dobyns, Beau Hossler
1:42 p.m. — Chris Wood, Alex Noren, Matt Kuchar
1:53 p.m. — Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott
2:04 p.m. — Tommy Fleetwood, Satoshi Kodaira, Marc Leishman
2:15 p.m. — Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari
2:26 p.m. — Gary Woodland, Sergio Garcia, Kevin Kisner
2:37 p.m. — Brendan Steele, Adrian Otaegui, Kevin Na
2:48 p.m. — Aaron Wise, Paul Casey, Zach Johnson
2:59 p.m. — Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Pieters, Bill Haas
3:10 p.m. — Jason Kokrak, Joaquin Niemann, Daniel Berger
3:21 p.m. — Omar Uresti, Justin Harding, Andrew Landry
3:32 p.m. — Matt Borchert, Chris Stroud, Andrew Putnam
Tee No. 10
7:55 a.m. — Jamie Lovemark, Rich Berberian, Jr., Shugo Imahira
8:06 a.m. — Brandt Snedeker, Sean McCarty, Haotong Li
8:17 a.m. — Jim Furyk, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele
8:28 a.m. — Davis Love III, Martin Kaymer, Rich Beem
8:39 a.m. — Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Ian Poulter
8:50 a.m. — Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Pat Perez
9:01 a.m. — Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley
9:12 a.m. — Shubhankar Sharma, Jordan Smith, Scott Piercy
9:23 a.m. — Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods
9:34 a.m. — Matthew Fitzpatrick, Webb Simpson, Jhonattan Vegas
9:45 a.m. — Stewart Cink, Branden Grace, Ryan Moore
9:56 a.m. — Ross Fisher, Alexander Levy, Patton Kizzire
10:07 a.m. — Julian Suri, Sungjae Im, Craig Bowden
1:15 p.m. — Danny Balin, Chesson Hadley, Russell Henley
1:26 p.m. — Marty Jertson, Like List, Kevin Chappell
1:37 p.m. — Jaysen Hansen, Nick Watney, Kyle Stanley
1:48 p.m. — Ted Potter, Jr., Emiliano Grillo, Jorge Campillo
1:59 p.m. — Ryan Fermeer, Paul Broadhurst, John Daly
2:10 p.m. — Si Woo Kim, Brice Garnett, Tyrrell Hatton
2:21 p.m. — Y.E. Yang, Jason Dufner, Shaun Micheel
2:32 p.m. — Thorbjorn Olesen, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Cantlay
2:43 p.m. — Brendan Steele, Adrian Otaegui, Kevin Na
2:54 p.m. — Chez Reavie, Charley Hoffman, Russell Knox
3:05 p.m. — Zach J. Johnson, Michael Kim, Seungsu Han
3:16 p.m. — Brian Smock, Anirban Lahiri, Mike Lorenzo-Vera
3:27 p.m. — Ben Kern, Chris Kirk, Ryuko Tokimatsu