The US PGA Championship, the second Major Championship of the year, takes place at Bethpage State Park BK Course, New York. Here we bring you several key storylines to look out for.
Tiger Woods completed arguably the greatest sporting comeback of all-time when he clinched his fifth Green Jacket by winning the Masters Tournament at Augusta National last month. The 43-year-old will now go in search of back-to-back Major Championships, a feat he last achieved 13 years ago when he consecutively won The Open Championship and the US PGA Championship.
Tiger’s win at the Masters last month has set him on the trail of completing the elusive Grand Slam - winning all four professional Majors in a single calendar year, something no golfer has ever done. The term 'Tiger Slam' was coined when Woods held all four Major Championships at the same time in 2000 and 2001. He became the first player to ever do so when he won the Masters in 2001 after collecting the other three Majors the previous year.
New date, new venue
This year marks a new era for the US PGA Championship as it has moved from its traditional August slot to this week’s May position in the calendar. The new date also coincides with a new venue, with Bethpage State Park BK Course being given the hosting honours for the first time in the tournament’s 101-year history.
Bethpage is no stranger to Major Championships, however, as it has previously hosted the U.S. Open Championship on two occasions, which were won by Tiger Woods in 2002 and Lucas Glover in 2009. The Black Course comes with a warning that it is ‘an extremely difficult course for highly skilled golfers’.
Brooks Koepka will attempt to defend a Major for the second time in his career when he tees it up at Bethpage this week. The American has triumphed at the U.S. Open in each of the last two years, before adding the US PGA Championship to his trophy cabinet last year. Having come close to winning this year’s Masters, where he finished in a tie for second at Augusta National, expect Brooks to be challenging again this week.
Trio of Major players
There will be an all-star grouping at Bethpage on Thursday, when all three current Major Champions tee it up together. Woods, the reigning Masters Champion, Koepka, the current U.S. Open and US PGA, and Open Champion Francesco Molinari will all play the first two rounds together this week. The trio will head out together at 13.24 BST for their first rounds while World Number Two Justin Rose will play alongside Americans Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler at 13.02 BST.
Race to Dubai winners descend on New York
This week’s US PGA Championship almost made history by being the first Major to have the top 100 players in the world in the field, however World Number Five Justin Thomas withdrew on Monday due to a wrist injury. Thomas’ withdrawal means the field will feature 33 Major Champions and 11 players who have been ranked Number One in the world. A total of 60 European Tour members are competing this week, along with 13 of the 19 winners from the 2019 Race to Dubai, with three of those champions making their US PGA Championship debuts: Justin Harding, Kurt Kitayama and David Lipsky.