This week marks the 100th playing of the PGA Championship, which boasts one of the deepest fields of any golf tournament this year.
Justin Thomas will be seeking to defend his title at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis after breaking through for his first major championship victory a year ago at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thomas, 25, is coming off a win at last week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, where he joined Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as the only players with titles at both a major and WGC before the age of 26.
Those three – Thomas, Woods and McIlroy — will play together in a marquee pairing during the first two rounds. For Woods, it will be his first appearance at the PGA Championship since 2015 at Whistling Straits. Woods will be making his 28th major championship start since his last major win at the 2008 U.S. Open and missed the cut in his last two PGA Championship starts (2014-15).
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson will be seeking to win his second major title and rebound from a missed cut at the British Open, while Jordan Spieth has a chance to complete the career Grand Slam.
Johnson is the 9-1 favorite, according to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, while Thomas and McIlroy are both listed at 12-1. Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka are 20-1, followed by Woods, who is in a group at 25-1 that also includes Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari.
All but two of the top 112 players in the world rankings are set to tee it up at the PGA Championship, which features a $10.5 million purse. Here are some other key numbers, facts and figures to know heading into the season’s final major championship:
2 – Justin Thomas won last year’s PGA Championship by two strokes, making three back-nine birdies to erase a two-stroke deficit to Hideki Matsuyama. Among those who finished two strokes back at Quail Hollow were Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed, who both claimed their first major titles this year.
2 — The number of Zach Johnsons in the field this week. The Zach Johnson who has won two major titles and is ranked No. 50 in the world is joined by another Zach Johnson who is an assistant pro at a club outside Salt Lake City. Take an extra look when setting your fantasy roster.
3 – Thomas can join Woods and McIlroy as just the third player to win at Firestone Country Club and then go on to win the PGA Championship the following week.
3 – Brooks Koepka is seeking to become the third player in the past five years to win two majors in the same year, joining Spieth (2015 Masters and U.S. Open) and McIlroy (2014 British Open and PGA Championship).
4 – The number of PGA Tour events that have previously been held at Bellerive, including the 1992 PGA Championship. The club also played host to the 1965 U.S. Open, 2001 WGC-American Express Championship and the 2008 BMW Championship.
5 – Only four players have won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year: Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. Koepka could become the fifth.
5 – Woods has a chance to tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen for the most PGA Championship victories, with five.
6 – Jordan Spieth is seeking to become just the sixth golfer to achieve the career Grand Slam, with a chance to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Player, by the way, capped his feat with a win at Bellerive in the 1965 U.S. Open.
7 – The last seven winners of the PGA Championship have advanced to the TOUR Championship, with Thomas going on to win last year’s FedExCup title.
8 – Justin Thomas last year became the eighth son of a PGA professional to win the PGA Championship. The last had been Keegan Bradley in 2011.
8 – The tournament’s largest winning margin was 8 strokes by McIlroy in 2012.
9 – Thomas notched his ninth career PGA Tour title last week with his three-shot win at Firestone.
9 – Molinari, who won last month’s British Open, has made nine previous starts at the PGA Championship and has yet to miss the cut.
10 – Thomas broke through for his first major victory in his 10th major championship start. He has only one other top-10 finish in a major though, with a T9 at the 2017 U.S. Open.
11 – It’s been 11 years since the PGA Championship last had a repeat winner: Woods in 2006-07.
11 – Since 1934, only 11 players on the PGA Tour have won the week before winning a major.
17 – Thomas’s best finish at a major this year was a T17 at the Masters Tournament. He tied for 25th at the U.S. Open and missed the cut at the Open Championship.
19 – There have been 19 players to win the PGA Championship more than once. McIlroy was the last to do so, in 2012 and 2014.
20 – The top 20 finishers from June’s PGA Professional National Championship are in the field this week.
28 – There will be 28 hours of live television coverage on TNT and CBS. On Thursday and Friday, the first two rounds will air on TNT from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (EST). It will also be broadcast on TNT from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday before coverage switches to CBS from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. both days.
34 – Since becoming a stroke-play event in 1958, the third-round leader/co-leader of the PGA Championship has gone on to win 34 times in 60 events, including three of the past four champions.
38 – Johnson will be making his 38th major championship start. He thus far has a total of 15 top-10 finishes in those appearances.
63 – The PGA Championship’s 18-hole scoring record of 63 has been recorded by 14 different players, from Bruce Crampton in 1975 to Robert Streb in 2016.
87, 90 – The only two players in the top 100 of the world rankings who won’t be in the field this week are No. 87 Bernd Wiesberger and No. 90 Joost Luiten. Both have wrist injuries.
101 – Next year’s 101st PGA Championship will be played at Bethpage Black in New York.
156 – The field of 156 players will be reduced to the low 70 scorers (and ties) following the first two rounds. If there is a tie after 72 holes, there will be a three-hole aggregate score playoff on holes 16, 17 and 18 at Bellerive.
265 – The PGA Championship’s 72-hole scoring record is 265 (15-under-par), set by David Toms in 2001 at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
7,547 – Bellerive is set to play at a distance of 7,547 yards and a par of 72 for the championship.
7,600 – The average square footage of the greens at Bellerive, among the biggest found at a major.
$1.89 million – The winner’s payout from the total purse of $10.5 million.
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