PGA Championship Preview

2018 PGA Championship Preview

Dates: August 6-12, 2018
Course: Bellerive Country Club (par 72, 6,842)
Field: 156 players
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Purse: $10,500,000 ($1,890,000 to winner)
FedExCup: 600 points to winner
2017 champion: Justin Thomas

Five things you should know about the 2018 PGA Championship

  • Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis has hosted PGA TOUR events on four other occasions: 1965 U.S. Open (Gary Player), 1992 PGA Championship (Nick Price), 2001 WGC-American Express Championship (canceled due to 9/11) and the 2008 BMW Championship (Camilo Villegas). Jim Furyk (T3) was the top finisher at the 2008 BMW Championship among those players also competing in this year’s PGA Championship.
  • Last year’s PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas went on to become the second PGA Championship to also win the FedExCup that same season, joining Tiger Woods (2007). Thomas, winner of last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, looks to join Woods (2007) and Rory McIlroy (2014) as winners at Firestone Country Club who went on to win the PGA Championship the following
  • FedExCup leader and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson enters the PGA Championship just 147 points ahead of Justin Thomas in the FedExCup standings. Thomas is the only player that can mathematically move to 1 in the FedExCup, as he and Johnson have distanced themselves from the pack – Justin Rose is third in the standings, 737 points behind Johnson.
  • Four-time PGA Championship winner Tiger Woods will be playing in his first PGA since missing the cut at Whistling Straits in 2015. Woods, who sits 47th in the FedExCup, will be making his 28th major championship start since his last major win at the 2008 U.S.
  • Two rookies in the PGA Championship field – Austin Cook (27) and Aaron Wise (29) – are inside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings. A third, Special Temporary Member Joaquin Niemann, has four top-10 finishes in 11 starts including a career-best T5 at A Military Salute at The Greenbrier. These three players are at the top of this year’s class vying for PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. Niemann needs a win at the PGA Championship or Wyndham Championship to qualify for the FedExCup


How the PGA Championship was won in 2017

Beginning last year’s final round trailing Kevin Kisner’s lead by two strokes, Justin Thomas made six birdies and three bogeys in the final round to claim his first major championship title, fourth win of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season and fifth TOUR win overall. With the win at Quail Hollow, Thomas became the eighth son of a PGA professional to win the PGA Championship. Keegan Bradley (son of Mike Bradley) was the most recent before last year (2011).


2017 Final-Round Leaderboard

Justin Thomas               73-66-69-68—276 (-8)

Francesco Molinari        73-64-74-67—278 (-6)

Louis Oosthuizen           70-67-71-70—278 (-6)

Patrick Reed                 69-73-69-67—278 (-6)


More on Justin Thomas

  • Reigning FedExCup champion returns in 2018 hoping to become just the 20th player to win the PGA Championship multiple times, with Rory McIlroy (2012, 2014) the last to perform the
  • Thomas’ PGA TOUR victories (9): 2015 CIMB Classic, 2016 CIMB Classic, 2017 Sentry Tournament of Champions, 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii, 2017 PGA Championship, 2017 Dell Technologies Championship, 2017 THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, 2018 The Honda Classic, 2018 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone
  • Won in his third PGA Championship start: 1st/2017, T66/2016, T18/2015.
  • Won in his 10th major championship start. His only other top-10 finish came at the 2017 U.S. Open (T9).
  • In this season’s first three majors, finished T17 at the Masters, T25 at the S. Open and missed the cut at The Open Championship.
  • Claimed his ninth career PGA TOUR title in convincing fashion at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. With a 3-stroke lead headed into the final round at Firestone Country Club, closed with a 1- under 69 to win by four strokes. In doing so, became the youngest player to win the FedExCup, a major championship and a World Golf Championships event (25 years, 3 months, 7 days).


FedExCup and The PGA Championship

  • With only two weeks remaining before the FedExCup Playoffs, the PGA Championship will again play an important role in setting the field for the first Playoffs event at THE NORTHERN
  • Each of the top 10 in the current FedExCup rankings are in the field, led by Dustin Johnson (No. 1).
  • Each of the 10 different FedExCup champions are in the field: Tiger Woods (2007, 2009), Vijay Singh (2008), Jim Furyk (2010), Bill Haas (2011), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013), Billy Horschel (2014), Jordan Spieth (2015), Rory McIlroy (2016) and Justin Thomas (2017).
  • The last seven winners of the PGA Championship have advanced to the TOUR Championship. Last year’s winner Justin Thomas went on to win the FedExCup
  • The top five players in the FedExCup have accounted for a total of 13 wins and 35 top-10 finishes:


FedExCup Rank Player OWGR Wins Top-10 Finishes Starts
1 Dustin Johnson 1 3 10 15
2 Justin Thomas 2 3 7 18
3 Justin Rose 3 2 8 13
4 Bubba Watson 14 3 5 19
5 Jason Day 10 2 5 15


Field Notes

Dustin Johnson

  • World No. 1 and FedExCup points leader poised to make ninth PGA Championship start, finishing inside the top 10 four times (T7/2015, T8/2013, T5/2010, T10/2009)
  • Will be making his 38th major championship start, finishing inside the top 10 15 times and winning once (2016 U.S. Open)Claimed 19th career PGA TOUR win, and third of the 2017-18 season, at the RBC Canadian Open
  • At last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, tied the low round of the final round, a 6-under 64, to finish T3
  • Has claimed at least one TOUR victory each season since rookie year of 2008 (11 seasons)


Justin Rose

  • World No. 3 poised to make 16th start in the PGA Championship, having collected three top-10 finishes (4th/2015, T3/2012, T9/2008). Missed last year’s cut at Quail Hollow
  • Claimed eighth and ninth career PGA TOUR victories this season (2017 World Golf Championships/HSBC Champions, 2018 Fort Worth Invitational)
  • In 58 major championship starts, has collected 15 top-10 finishes and one win (2013 U.S. Open)
  • In season’s first three majors, finished T12/Masters, T10/U.S. Open, T2/The Open Championship

Brooks Koepka

  • Will be making his sixth PGA Championship start (T70-2013, T15-2014, T5-2015, T4-2016, T13-2017)
  • Seeking to become the first player since Jordan Spieth (2015 Masters, U.S. Open) and Rory McIlroy (2014 Open Championship, PGA Championship) to win two majors in one year. Overall, 19 players have won two majors in a season (32 times)
  • Players who have won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same season: Tiger Woods (2000), Jack Nicklaus (1980), Ben Hogan (1948), Gene Sarazen (1922)
  • In all, 19 players have won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in their career, most recently Martin Kaymer (2010 PGA Championship, 2014 U.S. Open) and Rory McIlroy (2011 U.S. Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship)
  • Comes to Bellerive Country Club on the heels of a fifth-place finish at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Patrick Reed

  • Will be making his fifth start in the PGA Championship with a T2 in 2017 his lone top-10 finish
  • Seeking to become the first player since Jordan Spieth (2015 Masters, U.S. Open) and Rory McIlroy (2014 Open Championship, PGA Championship) to win two majors in one year. Overall, 19 players have won two majors in a season (32 times)
  • Players who have won the Masters Tournament and the PGA Championship in same year: Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1975), Jack Burke Jr. (1956), Sam Snead (1949)
  • Looking for his second win of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season and seventh overall
  • In addition to Masters victory, has claimed six top-10 finishes in 2017-18

Francesco Molinari

  • Will be making his 10th PGA Championship start, with top-10 finishes in 2017 (T2) and 2009 (T10)
  • Has never missed a cut in the PGA Championship
  • Claimed first two official TOUR victories in 2017-18 season (Quicken Loans National, The Open Championship)
  • In last four starts on TOUR, has finished 1st (Quicken Loans National), T2 (John Deere Classic), 1st (The Open Championship) and T39 (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational)

Tiger Woods

  • Four-time winner of the PGA Championship
  • Making first start at the event since 2015
  • Can tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen for most PGA Championship victories (5)
  • Four top-10s in 13 starts during 2017-18 season (T2/Valspar Championship, T4/Quicken Loans National, T5/Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, T6/The Open Championship)
  • 47 in the FedExCup standings; two-time FedExCup champion has not qualified for the Playoffs since 2013


Jordan Spieth

  • Three-time major-championship winner (2015 Masters Tournament, 2015 U.S. Open, 2017 Open Championship) will be seeking the fourth and final leg of the career Grand
  • Will be making his sixth start at the PGA Championship. After missing the cut in his first two attempts (2013, 2014), he has since finished runner-up in 2015, T13 in 2016 and T28 last year
  • Remains in search of his first TOUR title of the season, with the 11th of his career and most recent coming at the 2017 Open Championship
  • In first three major championships this season, finished 3rd (Masters), MC (U.S. Open) and T9 (The Open Championship)


Justin Thomas and Andrew Putnam seeking to follow up with major championship victory

Since 1934, only 11 players on the PGA TOUR have won the week before winning a major. World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational champion Justin Thomas and Barracuda Championship winner Andrew Putnam are hoping to add their name to this list:

2014 Rory McIlroy won WGC-Bridgestone Invitational followed by PGA Championship
2007 Tiger Woods won WGC-Bridgestone Invitational followed by PGA Championship
2006 Phil Mickelson won BellSouth Classic followed by Masters
1988 Sandy Lyle won Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters
1971 Lee Trevino won the Canadian Open followed by the Open Championship
1959 Art Wall won the Azalea Open followed by the Masters
1949 Sam Snead* won the Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters
1946 Ben Hogan* won the Winnipeg Open followed by the PGA
1945 Byron Nelson* won the Chicago Victory Open followed by the PGA
1939 Ralph Guldahl won the Greater Greensboro Open followed by the Masters
1939 Henry Picard* won the Scranton Open followed by the PGA

* No event scheduled the week after first win. Major was the next event contested


A look inside the field

  • All 50 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by Dustin Johnson (1), Justin Thomas (2), Justin Rose (3), Brooks Koepka (4), Jon Rahm (5), Francesco Molinari (6), Rory McIlroy (7), Jordan Spieth (8), Rickie Fowler (9), Jason Day (10).
  • Every PGA Championship winner since 1997 (with the exception of David Toms, 2001): Davis Love III (1997), Vijay Singh (1998, 2004), Tiger Woods (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007), Rich Beem (2002), Shaun Micheel (2003), Phil Mickelson (2005), Padraig Harrington (2008), Y.E. Yang (2009), Martin Kaymer (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012, 2014), Jason Dufner (2013), Jason Day (2015), Jimmy Walker (2016) and Justin Thomas (2017). 1991 PGA Championship winner John Daly is also in the
  • 33 major winners, led by multiple winners Tiger Woods (14), Phil Mickelson (5), Rory McIlroy (4), Padraig Harrington (3), Vijay Singh (3), Jordan Spieth (3), John Daly (2), Zach Johnson (2), Bubba Watson (2).
  • Players with 10 or more PGA TOUR victories: Tiger Woods (79), Phil Mickelson (43), Vijay Singh (34), Davis Love III (21), Dustin Johnson (19), Jim Furyk (17), Rory McIlroy (14), Adam Scott (13), Zach Johnson (12), Bubba Watson (12), Jason Day (12), Jordan Spieth (11), Sergio Garcia (10).

Miscellaneous PGA Championship Notes

  • 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
  • Best 72-hole score: 265 (15-under-par) by David Toms (66-65-65-69) in
  • Largest winning margin: eight strokes by Rory McIlroy in
  • Lowest final-round Score by Winner: 64 (7-under-par) by Steve Elkington in
  • Most appearances:
    • 37 – Jack Nicklaus
    • Arnold Palmer
    • 33 – Tom Watson
    • 31 – Raymond Floyd
    • 30 – Davis Love III


PGA Championship Format (from PGA of America)

Seventy-two holes of stroke play, four rounds of 18 holes. Following the first 36 holes of play, the field of 156 players will be reduced to the low 70 scorers and ties. Those players will advance to complete the final two rounds. In the event of a tie for first place after 72 holes, there will be a three-hole aggregate-score playoff on holes 16, 17 and 18. If a tie still remains, there will be a hole-by-hole playoff beginning on No. 18, and, if necessary, on to holes 16, 17 and 18 repeated until a winner is determined.


PGA Championship Benefits to the Winner (including but not limited to)

  • A lifetime exemption into the PGA Championship
  • Five-year exemption on the PGA TOUR
  • Five-year exemption into The Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, THE PLAYERS Championship
  • Points for every $1,000 earned in the PGA Championship toward a berth on the 2018 Ryder Cup (provided he is American-born)


Additional Benefits to applicable PGA Championship finishers

  • The top four scorers and ties in the PGA Championship are eligible to compete in the 2018
  • The top 30 scorers and ties are exempt from local qualifying (but not Sectional) for the 2018 U.S.


Future PGA Championship Sites

  • 101st PGA Championship – 2019 (Bethpage Black, Farmingdale, New York)
  • 102nd PGA Championship – 2020 (TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California)
  • 103rd PGA Championship – 2021 (The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, South Carolina)
  • 104th PGA Championship – 2022 (Trump International Golf Club, Bedminster, New Jersey)
  • 105th PGA Championship – 2023 (Oak Hill Country Club, Pittsford, New York)


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