Five to watch at the US PGA Championship

If you were betting your house on a victor of this week’s 100th PGA Championship at the storied Bellerive Country Club in Missouri‚ you wouldn’t put it on one of the six South Africans in the field.

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Sure, the PGA Championship is the last of the four majors to be played this year, but there’s a lot more than the Wanamaker Trophy and personal legacies at stake for numerous players who’ll tee it up in Thursday’s opening round. The Masters, born in the 1930s, is the youngest of the four.

A year ago, Thomas was one of those guys who had yet to win a major, and he wasn’t getting much attention because it had been seven months since his last victory.

Holmes was already planning to play with Thomas Wednesday, and the Kentucky duo got linked up with Koepka and Woods ahead of the first tee.

Bellerive has also hosted the inaugural Mid-Amateur Championship in 1981, the US Senior Open in 2004, the 2008 BMW Championship, the 2013 Senior PGA Championship and now the 100th PGA Championship.

The Robert Trent Jones-designed course opened in 1960 and has received two facelifts from his son Rees over the years.

Others who are here covering the week-long event are bringing their own memories with them. Look for the 17th (creek-guarded par 5) and 18th (tight landing fairway) to play a role in the late stages of the tournament. And when Johnson became engaged to Paulina Gretzky, many of those fans became fans of the former U.S. Open champion, too. Woods ImpactThere are 156 golfers teeing it up at the year’s final major and it is likely every one of them has, at one time or another, been asked about Woods’ impact on their careers. He gives his thoughts on this week’s tournament. It’s hard to see how it would not be successful commercially while at the same time it fulfils the responsibility of the US PGA as an organisation – and its sibling bodies worldwide – to promote the game. The new technology, 4D replay will debut this weekend at Bellerive. Suddenly a golf tournament no longer seemed important.

Zach JohnsonJohnson is more accustomed to playing midwestern golf than nearly anyone on Tour and has a proven track record at courses that set up like Bellerive.

The Englishman says it’s nothing he worries about, but he has taken notice.

“I needed that day off, ” Woods said.

I don’t think there is any way you can stop this.

A return to matchplay – the format of the tournament until 1957 – would certainly fit the bill but in the TV age it simply won’t happen. “I’m excited to be in another one”.

Bellerive has 11 dogleg holes that move from right to left. “It’s not as if my game’s in bad shape at all”.

You could forgive Thomas Bjorn a look of mounting satisfaction as he assesses the Ryder Cup reckoning. He changed that delivery.

Bjorn also confirmed that he will remain at Bellerive Country Club to watch the year’s final major starting on Thursday as he prepares to make his four captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup to played next month in Paris. They don’t play their favorite shot. It was just a reality that his status as one of the greatest golfers ensured a hoopla of distractions wherever he went. What’s the key to playing greens that size? “I was not in the mob – I was trying to help Hideki Matsuyama’s caddie get his credentials, and we were actually going against the mob!” “I guess it focuses you straight away”. “Green reader technology is going to make the putts on the green come alive”, he continued.

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I had a tendency to wander. So I think he’s an easy pick from that regard. Justin Thomas won it past year at Quail Hollow, and is coming off of a dominant performance last weekend, where he won the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

Tiger Mc Ilroy in'deep end early in 100th PGA duel

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