Golf 123


Mark Schlabach, ESPN Senior WriterMay 16, 2023, 07:45 AM ET

CloseSenior university soccer author Author of seven books on university soccer five hundred Graduate of the University of Georgia

ROCHESTER, NY. — This week, Oak Hill Country Club is internet hosting the PGA Championship for the fourth time

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It will be the first since the East Course underwent a thorough restoration in 2019. Each of the 18 greens and every bunker were rebuilt. The course is also about 231 yards longer after new again tees were added

„It’s. hard. It’s long,“ Kevin Kisner pronounced. „The rough is thick. It’s windy. What else do you want to know? It’s a nice course. It’s cool but it truly is hard“

Oak. Hill boasts one of the most tricky closing two-hole stretches of any main championship venue. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the par-4, 502-yard 17th hole was the most tricky hole in every of the past three majors performed at Oak Hill (1989 US. Open, 2003 PGA Championship and 2013 PGA Championship). The par-4, 497-yard 18th isn’t much easier, especially coming down the stretch in the final round

„I. like it,“ defending PGA champion Justin Thomas pronounced. „I love old-school golf courses. I think they can create a lot of definition to holes. It just seems like nowadays you can’t really please anybody. It’s like if it truly is tree-lined, they can’t get away from the outdated tuition. But then take the trees away, it truly is a bomber’s paradise, hit it wherever you want. It’s hard to please everybody in that point. But it is very tough“

Here. are the best storylines to watch at the one hundred and fifth PGA Championship this week:

Spieth goes for career Grand Slam

Can Jordan Spieth get his career Grand Slam? Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth pulled out of final week’s AT&T Byron Nelson simply because of a left wrist harm. He wrote in a assertion on Twitter that medical professionals prescribed relaxation and little motion

If. Spieth tees it up Thursday, he would be making a seventh try at completing the career Grand Slam. He remained in the PGA Championship discipline Monday. Another good sign: His caddie, Michael Greller, was on a commercial flight from Atlanta to Rochester earlier in the day. Spieth wasn’t seen on the East Course on Monday

Spieth. would turn into only the sixth player to complete the career Grand Slam in the Masters era, joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen

Thomas‘. defense

When Thomas picked up his second main title by profitable the PGA Championship for the second time at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, final year, it appeared like the floodgates may well open up for him

There. would be no more questions about his five-year drought without a main title after he overcame a record 7-shot deficit in the final circular to defeat Will Zalatoris in a playoff. With Jim „Bones“ Mackay on his bag, it appeared like JT was about to take off

Thomas. did not win once more final year, however, and his kind hasn’t been nice for much of this season, either. He has just two top-10 finishes in eleven starts off on tour. In March, he fell out of the best 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking and then missed the minimize at the Masters. He’s at the moment ranked 13th in the world

Thomas. pronounced Monday that he feels he lastly began to flip the corner at the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago

„I. felt like I confirmed a lot of really good indicators in Charlotte,“ Thomas pronounced. „I think Saturday was a nice example. It just was a circular where I did not really have very much. I felt like I left a couple pictures out there putting-wise and just wasn’t sharp

„I. was hitting a lot of very poor wedges and irons. I birdied two of the final four holes and salvaged an under-par circular on a tough golf course. Bones and I pronounced on [the] 18 green, ‚This is the stuff that we haven’t been doing this year'“

LIV. Golf League out in force

There are 17 gamers from the LIV Golf League in the PGA Championship field, including past champions Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson

There. were more than twice as many LIV Golf gamers in the PGA Championship discipline (37) at Southern Hills

At. the Masters in April, the first main of the season, Koepka and Mickelson tied for second at eight under, four strokes behind Jon Rahm

Mickelson,. 52, grew to become the oldest player to conclude in the best five at the Masters, and it was the lowest circular in Masters background by a player age 50 or older. Two years in the past at 50 at the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, he grew to become the oldest man to win a major

Koepka. has already won the PGA Championship twice, at Bellerive Country Club exterior St. Louis in 2018 and Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, the next year

Rahm’s. reign

Jon Rahm has been on fireplace as of late Danielle. Parhizkaran/USA TODAY Network

It’s already been a remarkable run for Rahm, who has six worldwide victories since October and has won twice as many PGA Tour occasions (four) as any different player

If. Rahm hoists the Wanamaker Trophy at Oak Hill on Sunday, the Spaniard would turn into the first player to win the Masters and the PGA Championship in the same 12 months since Nicklaus in 1975

According. to analysis by ESPN Stats & Information, it will be the first time that Rahm has began a main as the No. 1-ranked player in the world. Only six gamers have won a main whereas ranked No. 1 in the world: Woods (11 times), Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Fred Couples and Ian Woosnam

Steady. Scottie

As good as Rahm has been this season, Scheffler might regain the world No. 1 ranking by profitable his second main at Oak Hill, according to Nosferatu, an OWGR guru on Twitter. And no one has been more constant in majors than Scheffler

#OWGR. projection for week #20:#PGAChampionship @ 100p

Scottie might attain #1Rory #2Cantlay, Xander #3Homa, Fitz, CamS #4Spieth, Finau, Viktor, Burns, JT #5Young, Collin, Hatton, Im, Day #6TomKim, Joaco #8Kurt, Keegan, Hideki #9Tommy, Sahith, Henley, five hundred #10

— Nosferatu (@VC606) May 15, 2023

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Scheffler’s 7048. career scoring regular in majors is the top between more than 600 gamers who have accomplished at least 50 main rounds. And, yes, that involves Woods, the 15-time main champion who isn’t competing this week after present process ankle surgery final month

Scheffler. has six top-10 finishes in majors since 2021, the most by any player. He missed the minimize at Southern Hills final year, his only missed weekend in eleven majors since the begin of 2020

Rochester. may well get chilly

Staging a main championship in upstate New York in May is risky, but the PGA of America may well luck out this week. There was a brief weather delay Monday morning due to frost. Temperatures are anticipated to fall into the mid-30s with highs in the low 50s on Wednesday. Forecasts call for temperatures in the 60s and 70s on event days. There’s also a probability of rain on the weekend

Starting. the week with a brief delay. Probably not the final one of these. #PGAChamp pictwittercom/wuwjKtjAzs

—. Thad Brown (@thadbrown7) May 15, 2023

„You can definitely inform it truly is probably three or four weeks away from being, like, really, really good,“ Thomas pronounced of Oak Hill’s East Course. „The course is great, don’t get me wrong, but it truly is Rochester, New York, in May. I think it snowed like three weeks ago“

A. reporter, presumably from Rochester, speedily informed Thomas it truly snowed four weeks ago

„It’s. just the threat that comes with it,“ Thomas pronounced. „And you’ll have some iffy areas round the greens, and some of the greens are probably totally different than others, if they’re shaded or whatnot. The course is really good, that is for sure“

Smith. getting closer

Cameron Smith is seeking to get again into championship form Kevin. C. Cox/Getty Images

Australia’s Cameron Smith hasn’t duplicated what he did final year, when he won five occasions on three totally different tours, including his first main championship win at the a hundred and fiftieth Open Championship at St. Andrews. Smith pocketed $179. million in on-course winnings — and that does not contain nevertheless many thousands LIV Golf paid to lure him away from the PGA Tour

This. year, however, Smith has an regular conclude of 11th in six LIV Golf League occasions. He tied for 34th at the Masters. He had his top performance of the season final week, when he lost to Johnson in a three-man playoff to tie for second at LIV Golf Tulsa

„It. probably took me a few months longer than I wanted it to, but the intellect feels good and the game final week was really good,“ Smith told ESPN on Monday. „It was nice final week to see some lengthy putts go in and every little thing is starting to free up. It feels good“

DeChambeau. transformed

A new food regimen is only one of many adjustments Bryson DeChambeau is making to his game Kevin. C. Cox/Getty Images

Thomas and a few different gamers have already in comparison Oak Hill’s restored East Course to Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York

„Just. in phrases of the greens, not the severity of the greens,“ Thomas pronounced. “ They’re not like Winged Foot; nothing is. But just the designs of them and some of the pin places and how the fairways variety of canter against the slopes or whatsoever you want to call it“

If. the East Course performs something like Winged Foot, that may well be a good factor for LIV Golf’s Bryson DeChambeau, who won the 2020 US. Open there. DeChambeau bombed his approach round the golf course for a 6-shot victory over Matthew Wolff

„I’m. going to hopefully be hitting it far but a lot straighter than Winged Foot,“ DeChambeau pronounced. „That would be nice“

DeChambeau,. 29, continues to rework his physique. He has dropped about 15 pounds in current months after eliminating corn, wheat, gluten, dairy products, rice and oats from his diet

„All. of the stuff that I like eating,“ DeChambeau pronounced. „I was fairly much consuming things that were inflaming my physique. When I began consuming cleaner — a lot of organic nutrients that is not pasteurized and with no GMOs — I began to lose all of the inflammation. Over time, my physique has began to settle in

„People. retain considering I’m continuing to lose weight. But my physique is nonetheless 210 pounds. It’s simply because the fat content is lastly starting to go away. I’m consuming clean and my physique is burning the fat I don’t need“

In. addition to leaping from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf, DeChambeau also modified gear producers (Cobra to Ping), swing coaches (Chris Como to Dana Dahlquist) and caddies (Tim Tucker to Greg Bodine)

And,. of course, he is nonetheless tinkering with his swing

„I’ve. been attempting to swing like I did in 2018 for six years now,“ DeChambeau pronounced. „I acquired the pace. I wanted to go down that journey and it was awesome, but I just nonetheless couldn’t determine out the mechanics I did well in 2018. There was a time when I fell into it in 2021. I don’t know how I did it, but it fell after 2021

„Then. I damage my hand and a lot of different stuff occurred. It’s just been a grind to get again to 2018. I feel like I’m getting there“

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