Our Clients:

Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

May 15, 2024 5:07 pm

No shortage of storylines, intrigue at PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler

With storylines ranging from Scottie Scheffler’s return to the course to Rory McIlroy’s quest to end his major drought to Tiger Woods’ latest attempt to recapture the magic, golf’s greatest questions and most compelling figures have converged at the PGA Championship.

Usually considered the sport’s least popular major, the PGA Championship has plenty going for it this week when the competition gets underway Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

Scheffler is the prohibitive favorite to win even as he comes back from a multi-week break to attend the birth of his first child, a son named Bennett. When the golfing world last saw Scheffler, he was winning everything in sight, including the Masters and the RBC Heritage (a signature event) in back-to-back weeks.

Scheffler has obtained two green jackets but has yet to win any other major. If he prevails this week at Valhalla, the calendar Grand Slam wouldn’t be pie in the sky.

“I may win a lot of major championships. I may be stuck at two the rest of my career. It doesn’t really concern me in the moment,” Scheffler said. “I’m just trying to prepare as best as possible for this week.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is McIlroy, the Northern Irishman who is filing for divorce and hasn’t won a major in 10 years. He’s arrived at the site of his last major triumph, the 2014 PGA, riding the wave of the consecutive wins at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (a team event won with Shane Lowry) and last week’s Wells Fargo Championship, where he led the field in driving and ranked top-10 in every relevant stat.

If Scheffler and McIlroy are the dueling favorites, Brooks Koepka should be right on their tails. Not only is Koepka the defending champion after a victory at Oak Hill last May, he has won three of the past six editions of the event.

“I’m just looking forward to a major championship,” the member of LIV Golf said. “That’s kind of my — (it) gets my excitement going. Something I look forward to all year. So yeah, look, I always enjoy competing against these guys, and anytime you get the best, it’s always good, and you just want them to play their best, too. You want to go out and win it.”

Something Scheffler, McIlroy and Koepka have in common this week besides major pedigree is the ability to drive the golf ball better than the rest. Valhalla, a par-71 course, will measure 7,609 yards this week, and players will need to be both long and straight to contend.

“I think this is a golf course that allows you to play with freedom because it’s a big golf course,” McIlroy said. “The corridors are wide, not too dissimilar to last week at Quail Hollow, so you can open your shoulders up off the tee and try to take your chances from there.”

McIlroy isn’t the only star who’s proved himself at Valhalla. Woods won the 2000 PGA Championship here, the third leg of his 2000-01 “Tiger Slam,” by beating Bob May in a three-hole playoff.

Woods, 48, is sure to attract his own crowds this week as he plays the PGA for the second time since 2020 after a made cut at the Masters. He withdrew after making the cut at the 2022 PGA and did not play in 2023 as he needed post-Masters ankle surgery.

“My body’s OK. It is what it is,” Woods said. “I wish my game was a little bit sharper. Again, I don’t have a lot of competitive reps, so I am having to rely on my practice sessions and getting stuff done either at home or here on-site.”

Of the 156 players in the field, the top 70 and ties after two rounds will make the cut.

Players on the rise who could contend for their first major title include Xander Schauffele, Ludvig Aberg of Sweden, Max Homa, Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and Byeong Hun An of South Korea.

–Field Level Media

You may also like

Seattle Mariners
May 21, 2024 7:27 am

Mariners aim to ride momentum of rally into rematch vs. Yankees

While the Seattle Mariners talked up their ability to stage a comeback against Clay Holmes, the New York Yankees accepted the reality of a stunning loss. After an unlikely outcome…

Rafael Devers
May 21, 2024 7:09 am

Red Sox star Rafael Devers looks to stay hot in rematch vs. Rays

The Boston Red Sox will look to extend their winning streak to three games on Tuesday night when they continue their three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays in St….

nationals
May 21, 2024 2:50 am

Nationals try to build winning streak vs. Twins

The Washington Nationals will try to keep their offense humming when they host the Minnesota Twins in the middle game of their series on Tuesday. After mustering five runs over…

More News News

Seattle Mariners
May 21, 2024 7:27 am

Mariners aim to ride momentum of rally into rematch vs. Yankees

While the Seattle Mariners talked up their ability to stage a comeback against Clay Holmes, the New York Yankees accepted the reality of a stunning loss. After an unlikely outcome…

Rafael Devers
May 21, 2024 7:09 am

Red Sox star Rafael Devers looks to stay hot in rematch vs. Rays

nationals
May 21, 2024 2:50 am

Nationals try to build winning streak vs. Twins

Josh Bell
May 21, 2024 2:37 am

Marlins go for 3rd straight series win in rematch with Brewers

carlos carrasco
May 21, 2024 2:21 am

Ex-Met Carlos Carrasco set for shot vs. former team

Read all
fb-post
advertisment
title-icon

Upcoming events

See all odds