Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #29
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Before I give you a preview of this weekends PGA Championship, a quick recap of last weekends tour stop, the Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. The heavy rains made the course soft and manageable, in fact in 2 of the rounds players were allowed to improve their lie in the fairway. This led to incredibly low scores, the lowest belonged to Korean golfer K.H. Lee who picked up his first PGA win. You would expect Jordan Spieth to play well since he was from Texas, and he did show flashes of greatness to shoot 18 under to tie for 9th but K.H. shot 25 under including a 66 on Sunday to capture the win.
The PGA at Kiawah Island will be the longest track ever for a major championship at over 7,800 yards. Couple that with the wind in the coast and the force carries over water and you shouldn’t expect the winning score to be anything close to 25 under. I’m thinking -5. The odds favorite is Rory Mcllroy, followed by Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas (I like his chances), and Dustin Johnson. Spieth only needs a PGA title to complete his career grand slam by winning each of the 4 majors at least once, I have to worry about the fatigue factor with Spieth though, the winds and the length will take its toll even on a 26 year old who was out of action almost 3 weeks with COVID. Mcllroy has already won 2 PGA championships. Collin Morikawa is the defending champion, but I’m not sure he has the length to tackle the holes into the wind. Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the most PGA titles with 5.
The ocean course at Kiawah does seem to favor the longer hitter, but the question is can DeChambeau keep the ball in play? I’m going to pick JT, Justin Thomas, with his boring control fade… boring as in driving through the wind, not disinteresting. He has the length, he has the short game, and he’s due. I think Mcllroy will contend, along with Xander Schauffele. The PGA is normally my least favorite of the 4 majors. The Masters is iconic, the British Open is historic, and the U.S. Open is brutal. The PGA is often vanilla compared to the other majors, but having it at Kiawah Island could be exciting.
If you’re able to get out on the course in the 80 degree weather this weekend, it ’em straight! Otherwise, settle in for a competitive major!