Our PGA Championship Picks and Round 1 Tee-Times
It seems almost a lifetime ago that Shane Lowry gleefully lifted the highly-coveted Claret Jug at Royal Portrush on a memorable Sunday evening back in July. Little did we know back then that we'd be waiting a full 12 months to feast our eyes upon a first major championship in 2020.
Thankfully, that time has arrived, as a stellar field gets ready to tee it up at TPC Harding Park this week for the 102nd edition of the PGA Championship.
To help build-up to four days of great golf in the Golden State, we've selected our five PGA Championship picks and listed the full schedule of tee-times for Thursday's first round.
Say what you want about Koepka's recent form, but his domination of the current majors landscape over the past 2-3 years has proven that he's the man for the big occasion. Given that this recent success in major championships is unrivalled, it would be short-sighted in the extreme to dismiss the possibility of a fifth major title this week.
A solid performance last week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational pointed towards a game that's peaking just at the right time. After failing with a U.S. Open 'three-peat' bid in 2019, he now has the chance to keep hold of the Wanamaker Trophy for a third consecutive year if he prevails on Sunday evening in San Francisco. If he can get his putter to behave, we expect a strong showing.
Of the current crop of twenty-something golfers yet to shed their maiden tag, Xander Schauffele seems like a major champion in waiting more than most. A runner-up position at last year's Masters, and a T-3 at Pebble Beach point towards a growing level of comfort in the majors.
Although failing to catch the eye since the restart, he's posted a string of solid, yet unspectacular finishes along the way. A T-6 at TPC Southwind last week came thanks to four impressive rounds of golf, and when you factor in the commendable recent major record, he quickly becomes hard to ignore.
This week could see Schauffele come out on top, with the PGA Championship taking place in his home state of California.
Can it be the case that Dustin Johnson still only has a single major championship to his name? For a guy who has spent a cumulative 91 weeks at the top of the men's game, you could argue that his performances have not matched his talent when it comes to the four 'big' tournaments each year.
Two runner-up positions in 2019 at both Augusta National and Bethpage Black, as well as a recent win at the Travelers Championship, suggest we may not be waiting too much longer for D.J. to double his major haul.
He has excellent form when playing in Califonia, he bombs it off the tee, and his 10th placed position in strokes gained putting suggest that he has the short stick working nicely.
One of the most in-form golfers on the planet, both pre and post-lockdown, has been the current world number 20, Daniel Berger. The Floridian is now 27 years old, and that's right in the sweet spot when it comes to the ages of the last ten winners of the PGA Championship, an event now viewed as the 'young man's major'.
Performing impressively this season in both strokes gained tee-to-green, and strokes gained putting, Berger arrives at the 102nd PGA Championship with his game in great shape to better a career-best T-6 major finish (2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills).
Yeah, that's right, we said it... Tiger Woods could win his 16th major title this week. Can you ever truly him out of contention in a major championship? If your answer is 'yes', did you say the same before the stunning win at Augusta last year?
Woods has spent the last twenty-plus years rewriting history and defying expectation. Could he arrive ring-rusty and miss the cut? Yup. Could he manage to survive to the weekend and become a mere footnote on Sunday evening? Certainly. However... he could quite conceivably be hoisting the Wanamaker instead.
We'll never doubt the great man's ability to rise to the occasion, so let's just sit back and enjoy the ride, whatever happens.
Round 1 Tee-Times
(all times BST, players from USA unless stated)
15:00 Brian Harman, Jeff Hart, CT Pan (Tpe)
15:05 Scottie Scheffler, Danny Balin, Tom Hoge
15:11 Andrew Landry, Rod Perry, Nate Lashley
15:16 Mike Auterson, Rory Sabbatini (Svk), Nick Taylor (Can)
15:22 Sung Kang (Kor), John O'Leary, Dylan Frittelli (SA)
15:27 Tony Finau, Danny Willett (Eng), Patrick Cantlay
15:33 Erik van Rooyen (SA), Russell Henley, Carlos Ortiz (Mex)
15:38 Martin Kaymer (Ger), Jason Dufner, Jason Day (Aus)
15:44 Ryan Palmer, Kevin Kisner, Michael Thompson
15:49 Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Steve Stricker
15:55 Bud Cauley, Lucas Glover, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng)
16:00 Henrik Stenson (Swe), Collin Morikawa, Zach Johnson
16:06 Alex Beach, Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel
16:11 Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland, Shane Lowry (Ire)
16:17 Rafa Cabrera Bello (Spa), Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn), Jason Kokrak
16:22 Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose (Eng)
16:28 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Danny Lee (NZ), Vaughn Taylor
16:33 Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy (NI), Justin Thomas
16:39 Keith Mitchell, Matthias Schwab (Aut), Brendan Steele
16:44 Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Max Homa, Matt Fitzpatrick (Eng)
16:50 Joel Dahmen, Luke List, Victor Perez (Spa)
16:55 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Charl Schwartzel (SA) Joohyung Kim (Kor)
17:01 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra), Marty Jertson, Tom Lewis (Eng)
17:06 Corey Conners (Can), Zach J. Johnson, Chez Reavie
17:12 David Muttitt, Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Harris English
17:17 Scott Piercy, Alex Knoll, Andrew Putnam
20:25 Bob Sowards, Kurt Kitayama, Richy Werenski
20:30 Tyler Duncan, JR Roth, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (SA)
20:36 Haotong Li (Chn), Benny Cook, Jorge Campillo (Spa)
20:41 Lanto Griffin, Rich Berberian Jr., Joost Luiten (Ned)
20:47 Byeong Hun An (Kor), Talor Gooch, Sungjae Im (Kor)
20:52 Jim Herman, Rob Labritz, Shaun Norris (SA)
20:58 JT Poston, Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Harold Varner III
21:03 Adam Hadwin (Can), Brandt Snedeker, Xinjun Zhang (Chn)
21:09 Ken Tanigawa, Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Cameron Tringale
21:14 Kevin Na, Patrick Reed, Robert MacIntyre (Sco)
21:20 Brian Stuard, Jim Furyk, Billy Horschel
21:25 Matthew Wolff, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell (NI)
21:31 Matt Jones (Aus), Jazz Janewattananond (Tha), Kevin Streelman
21:36 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Viktor Hovland (Nor), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn)
21:42 Jimmy Walker, Davis Love III, Keegan Bradley
21:47 Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott (Aus)
21:53 Cameron Smith (Aus), Denny McCarthy, Cameron Champ
21:58 Jon Rahm (Spa), Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia (Spa)
22:04 Troy Merritt, Wyndham Clark, Chan Kim
22:09 Paul Casey (Eng), Ian Poulter (Eng), Webb Simpson
22:15 Doc Redman, Jason Caron, Brendon Todd
22:20 Matt Wallace (Eng), Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman (Aus)
22:26 Judd Gibb, Lucas Herbert (Aus), Mark Hubbard
22:31 Sepp Straka (Aut), Ryan Vermeer, Si Woo Kim (Kor)
22:37 Shawn Warren, Marcus Kinhult (Swe), Adam Long
22:42 Sebastian Munoz (Col), Justin Bertsch, Benjamin Hebert (Fra)
You can check out the round 2 tee times on the PGA Tour website.