The 100th PGA Championship Kicks Off
The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) organized event links up players from the European, PGA, and Japanese tours for the PGA Championship.
70 par event that consists of 156 players with over 7,329 yards of golfing green to execute the perfect game plan. The weekend always offers so much for players and fans alike.
The players that competing are in categories of nine qualification routes. All former PGA champions, the last five master’s champions, the last five US Open champions, the last five Open champions, the last three Players Champions, the current senior PGA champion, the world top 15, the 20 lowest scorers in the 2018 PGA Professional Championship and top 70 leaders in official money standings.
Already qualified are past champions including USA’s Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Jimmy Walker.
The PGA Championship was first established in 1916 meaning it’s a lot younger than The British Open which is the oldest of all four major championships in professional golf and is the only major to be played outside of the US. Scotland’s Willie Park Sr was the first winner of the championship back in 1860.
This major is the third of the year following the US Open commence in early June while the British Open will commence in July.
Last year’s champion, Justin Thomas returns again looking for back-to-back wins after he won at Quail Hollow Club in North Caroline. He could become the first champion to regain their crown in eleven years following Tiger Wood’s triumphant return in 2007 following his 2006 win. He could also potentially become only the fifth player since the Open began to achieve this feat.
“For me, the PGA definitely had a special place in my heart. For this to be my first one and have my dad here, and I know grandpa was watching at home. I was able to talk to him and that was pretty cool.”
Justin Thomas spoke of his admiration of the PGA Championship following his win, he said: “For me, the PGA definitely had a special place in my heart. For this to be my first one and have my dad here, and I know grandpa was watching at home. I was able to talk to him and that was pretty cool.”
Prize money is a massive incentive for all competitors. This year’s winners will be very happy should they be victorious with the joint highest competition fee ever of £1.89 million up for grabs.
The oldest winner of the competition was Julius Boros who won the competition in 1968 aged 48 years old. While the youngest winner of the PGA Championship was Gene Sarazen in 1922 ages 20 years old.
Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen holds the honor of winning the most PGA Championship majors with an unprecedented five wins to their names. The wins for Nicklaus coming in 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975 and 1980. While, Hagen’s wins came in 1921, 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927.
The unluckiest player in the PGA Championship history also has to be Jack Nicklaus who shockingly came runner-up three times, in 1974, 1977 and 1983.
David Toms holds the record for the lowest absolute 72-hole score with a record of 265 shots in 2001. While Jason Day holds the record for the lowest 72-hole score in relation to par with a score of -20 in 2015.
The greatest winning margin in the stroke play era is currently McIlroy who won by eight strokes in 2012. While the record for the match play era is held by Paul Runyan when he beat Sam Snead by 8 & 7 in 1938.
If the golf betting odds are to be believed, this could be the closest major in years with all the prices very even. However, they currently see Dustin Johnson as the narrow favorite. Closely followed by Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Jordan Spieth.
You can be a part of this history-steeped event and watch the drama unfold in one of the sports oldest and grandest events with Sky Sports bringing you stroke by stroke action live throughout the weekend. BBC will also show extended highlights of every day of the event following the close of play on each day.