One final major remains in 2018. Who will take home the trophy?
DJ Does a Comeback
And then, there was one. One major tournament left to play: the PGA Championship.
Heading into the Championship, no one has had a crazier two weeks on the PGA Tour than Dustin Johnson. The world’s top-ranked golfer missed the cut at the British Open and then celebrated a comeback with a sweet, sweet victory at the Canadian Open. Yes, you read that right. The best in the world overcame a bad weekend on the course to do what he does best: play near-flawless golf. So flawless that Johnson won at Glen Abbey in the Great White North by three strokes.
And while the odds were in DJ’s favor, missing a cut at a major isn’t always an easy mental hurdle to then clear. But he did, and it all puts him in a nice position as the favorite heading into the PGA Championship this week.
But last year, all talk was focused on a different American: Justin Thomas. Thomas shot a final-round 68 to finish the tournament at Quail Hollow eight under to earn his first major, all at age 24. He’s still a favorite to hoist this year’s Wanamaker Trophy, just not the favorite.
Molinari’s Championship History
The name Francesco Molinari may sound familiar. If it does, it’s because two weeks ago at the British Open, Molinari became the first Italian—male or female—to win a major title.
Before that, Molinari’s closest finish at a major was tied for second, just last year at the PGA Championships. He averaged a 73.5 for his Thursday-Saturday score in 2017 and tied for the best round twice, but had a difficult start to his third round that cost him the title.
And of course with Tiger Woods back in the mix, there’s always anticipation if this tournament will be his comeback story. Woods finished T6 at Carnoustie for the British Open, just three strokes back of Molinari. Woods didn’t play in the Canadian Open because he’ll tee off for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before a quick break and the PGA Championship.
Needless to say, there will be a loaded lineup of premier PGA talent including back-to-back U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, as well as Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
Bellerive’s Time to Shine
This year, the 100th PGA Championship will be held at Bellerive. Located in Town and Country, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis that includes some of the deepest bunkers and widest greens among championship courses. It’s one of the oldest and most elite clubs in the STL area. It’s history dates back to hosting the 1965 U.S. Open.
It lasted hosted the PGA Championship in 1992. You know, when Nick Faldo was the world No.1 and Tiger Woods had just become the first two-time winner of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
Since, Bellerive underwent a year-long, $9.5-million renovation from 2005 to 2006. There are 11 holes that feature water hazards, including a lake off No. 2 that was added in during the renovations. Rees Jones oversaw the year-long renovations—repositioning and rebuilding bunkers and tightening fairways.
A First For Everything
It’s hard to say just how the pros will handle a course they haven’t played a PGA event on since, well, most of them could hold a putter. But we’re excited to watch. We don’t think this is the course for Thomas or Koepka, but will Jordan Spieth finally break his frustrating year with a victory at the last major? He’s really just one good round away.
If Spieth would have won at the British Open, he would have joined Tiger Woods, Tom Morris and Bobby Jones as the only players to have won at least four majors before age 25. We like that company. Instead, he finished four shots back after a terrible final round in which he shot five over. Spieth turned 25 on July 27 and we’re hoping a new year around the sun is a new outlook for him on the course. We still like his chances at being one of the next great golfers.