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PGA Championship 2017: Players to Watch & Tee-Times

The 99th edition of the US PGA Championship takes place this week at a reworked Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina and it will provide the field with a final shot at major glory this year.

2016 saw Jimmy Walker secure his maiden major win and the Texan now seeks to defend the Wanamaker Trophy at a golf course famed for its annual hosting of the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’ll be a tough ask; not only has Jimmy been battling Lyme disease this year but he has endured a few struggles around this track – missing the cut at five of eight tournaments he has played here.

If a Walker retention seems unlikely, who will we be keeping a close eye on this week? Let’s take a look at some of the contenders and the relevant tee-times.

For a further preview of the tournament, check out the video below:

Rory McIlroy - 1.35pm (T) & 8.25am (F) (w/ Rahm & Fowler)

Even before Rory’s much publicised recent sacking of JP Fitzgerald he most likely would have featured in our ‘Ones to Watch’ after a real rallying performance at Royal Birkdale – one which he had ironically lauded JP for catalysing after an abysmal opening six holes of his first round.

Now that news has broken that the nine-year partnership has come to an end, it will be interesting to see how the Northern Irishman fares at this year’s final major, on a course where secured his first win as a professional during the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship.

Jordan Spieth - 8.25am (T) & 1.35pm (F) (w/ Garcia & Koepka)

All eyes will be on Spieth come August 10th, as his first opportunity to complete the grand slam comes knocking.

In a recent interview, he stated a belief that there will be thirty-some similar chances to complete the final leg of such a historic achievement. His form at present suggests that we may be within touching distance of that becoming a reality in a somewhat shorter timeframe.

The Texan has form in going back-to-back in major championships after prevailing in 2015 at Chambers Bay just two months after having captured a first green jacket at Augusta National.

ICYMI: Check out the video below as Spieth tries 'something stupid' at last week's WGC in Akron.

Jon Rahm - 1.35pm (T) & 8.25am (F) (w/ McIlroy & Fowler)

Many were expecting to see an impressive performance from the young Spaniard in Southport after he had taken apart the links course at Portstewart Golf Club just a fortnight earlier.

Now that he’s back on American soil, and after a ho-hum performance at the WGC in Akron, Ohio last week, few would bet against Rahm making it a hat-trick of professional wins before too long – despite the fact that he has little more than one year as a professional under his belt.

Playing in his first PGA Championship, it will be interesting to see if he can improve on his T27 career high in major championships thus far.

Hideki Matsuyama - 7.45am (T) & 12.55pm (F) (w/ Els & Poulter)

The Japanese superstar has recorded nine wins or second places in his last 20 tournaments; that’s some seriously great golf. Last week’s five stroke win at Firestone Country Club included a historic nine-under-par 61 on the final round and has to be one of the finest golfing performances so far in 2017.

It seems only a matter of time before Hideki joins Y.E. Yang - Asia’s only major winner to date - at the top table of the men’s game and, while only three golfers have won a major championship after a win in their last outing, don’t rule out a solid showing this week at Quail Hollow from the current world number three.

Catch a recap of last week's win below:

Daniel Berger - 1.55pm (T) & 8.45am (F) (w/ Furyk & Kisner)

As well as having retained the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June, Berger recorded four separate top-five finishes in a span of just eight events ending with the Travelers Insurance Open back in mid-July.

All this positive play has led to a spot firmly within the top-20 of the Official World Golf Rankings and it does feel like an even bigger performance is just around the corner.

His long, straight drives could be a real weapon this week at Quail Hollow. If he can bring his A-game he could become the second of the class of 2011 to a major win (Jordan Spieth being the other).

Haotong Li - 2.20pm (T) & 9.10am (F) (w/ JJ Wood & Fox)

Li heads to Quail Hollow after an impressive performance at Royal Birkdale at the 146th Open Championship where he managed to capture sole third position following a seven-under-par final round 63.

It will be interesting to see if the Chinese number one can build upon this good form, and previous solid showings on the European Tour this year, by threatening in only his third career major championship. With all that said, he would be a surprise winner.

If you want to know a little more about Li, catch his golfer's profile below:

Who will you be keeping a keen eye on at the PGA Championship this week? Can Jordan complete the slam? Can Rory get back to major-winning ways? Let us know in the comments below.

FYI: You can find the complete field and group tee-times via http://www.pgatour.com/news/2017/08/04/pga-championship-tee-times-quail-hollow.html