The second major of the year begins Thursday as the PGA Championship comes to New York’s legendary Black course at Bethpage State Park. The course is one of the toughest in golf, a fact proudly displayed on a sign outside the course that rightly warns prospective golfers that the public course is recommended only for “highly skilled” players. It has previously hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open, making this the 3rd major championship the course has hosted. This year represents the 101st PGA Championship and is the first since the event was moved from August to May to provide a stretch of 4 majors in 4 months. The tournament promises to be one of the season’s most competitive, with every golfer ranked in the top-50 of the world rankings playing this weekend.
2018 Champion Brooks Koepka
photo credit: CBS News
Last year’s PGA Championship became a showdown between the resurgent Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka. Woods began the final day a full 4 shots back from the leader, Keopka, in a tie for 6 with 5 other golfers. Tiger Woods played inspired golf, carding 6 under par. However, Koepka stole the storybook ending by holding his nerve on the way to his 3rd major championship win in 14 months. Woods would finish the tournament in 2nd while continuing to wait for his 15th major.
Koepka remains a favorite as his clutch performances in majors, combined with back-to-back U.S. Open wins, prove he is more than capable of winning this weekend. Woods also comes into the PGA Championship looking strong and will be competing in his first tournament since winning his 15th major at the Masters in April. Woods has already won a major at Bethpage, claiming the 2002 U.S. Open on the Long Island course. He remains 2 majors shy of tying Jack Nicklaus’ record of 17 major championships. Jordan Spieth looks to finish his career Grand Slam with a win. Spieth has come close before, finishing 2nd in 2015, and a win would make him only the 6th golfer to achieve this feat and the first since Tiger Woods in 2000. Phil Mickelson has finished runner up at Bethpage Black twice, and the veteran remains a contender as his February victory at Pebble Beach proved. There are many other strong players in the field including Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau that will all be looking to see their name engraved into the Wanamaker Trophy.
All the action will be televised by TNT and CBS, beginning on Thursday on TNT from 1-7pm ET. Friday coverage is 1-7:30pm ET on TNT. Coverage of Saturday and Sunday begins on TNT from 11am-2pm ET before switching to CBS from 2-7pm ET. Radio coverage will also be provided by PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM satellite radio.