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Contenders aplenty as PGA Championship descends on Tulsa

Golf was very totally different in 2007, the final time the PGA Championship was performed at Southern Hills Nation Membership.

The PGA Championship was performed in August again then, and the temperatures throughout match week have been over 100 levels nearly day-after-day. The climate forecast is looking for temperatures some 20 levels cooler this week in Tulsa, Okla., for the 104th PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods dominated the world in 2007, successful that PGA within the oppressive warmth, which was his second begin in a outstanding 12-tournament run that produced 9 wins and prolonged into the 2008 season.

Phil Mickelson was one of the crucial revered figures within the recreation, having gained three of his six profession majors by then.

The world order is relatively totally different this 12 months at Southern Hills, which has been tweaked by renown course architect Gil Hanse.

Woods, 46, has performed as soon as since his near-death automobile crash in February 2021, making the lower final month on the Masters and ending tied for forty seventh. Woods’ 2007 PGA victory was his thirteenth main championship and certainly one of 4 Wannamaker Trophies he has gained because the PGA champion.

Mickelson, 51, withdrew from the championship amid the controversy surrounding derogatory feedback he made concerning the PGA Tour and a brand new Saudi-backed rival league. Mickelson has been in exile since his explosive and controversial feedback criticizing the PGA Tour and the Saudi-driven Greg Norman-fronted LIV Golf Invitational Sequence have been made public again in February.

Right here’s a take a look at the brand new order within the sport:

Scottie Scheffler gained the Masters in April for his first profession main title.
AP

Scottie Scheffler, who at age 25 had no PGA Tour victories till he gained the Phoenix Open in February, enters this week with 4 profession wins — together with, by the best way, the Masters — and is ranked No. 1 on this planet.

Jordan Spieth, 28, wants only a PGA Championship title to finish the uncommon profession Grand Slam, one thing simply 5 gamers have completed. Spieth has been in enhancing type; he gained at Hilton Head and has carried out effectively this previous week on the Byron Nelson.

Spieth stated he performed Southern Hills in a U.S. Newbie, “but it surely modified a lot and I used to be 15 or 16 years previous, so I simply wished to see it.’’

So, he went for a recon apply spherical not too long ago with Justin Thomas “to take perhaps some stress off apply rounds … and have the ability to perhaps do 9 every day as a substitute of feeling like I obtained to exit and study rather a lot.’’

Spieth favored what he noticed.

Jordan Spieth would complete the career grand slam with a victory at the PGA.
Jordan Spieth would full the profession grand slam with a victory on the PGA.
Getty Photographs

“I assumed the golf course was implausible,’’ he stated. “I cherished it. I believe the inexperienced complexes are completely becoming to the holes. It was an ideal take a look at. I actually loved taking part in it.’’

Your complete CBS expertise crew protecting the PGA — together with Jim Nantz, Dottie Pepper and Nick Faldo — all consider Spieth is coming into this week in sturdy form.

“I like the best way he’s coming into this, not simply because he gained at Hilton Head, however as a result of he’s not the lead story going for the profession Slam,’’ Nantz stated.

“I believe quite a lot of issues [are] trending, to get a win, and when the putter wasn’t [going well], however the scrambling was so darned good,’’ Faldo stated of Spieth successful Hilton Head despite his balky placing.

“I assumed the assertion of the whole week at Hilton Head [from Spieth] was that, ‘I gained with out a putter,’ ’’ Pepper stated. “It exhibits you the way proficient he’s and the way a lot his ball-striking has improved. That [he’s] coming in with some confidence from that win that was scratchy at finest actually places him in place to attempt to end the job right here and get that elusive final main.’’

Among the many different prime gamers who can’t be discounted this week is Jon Rahm, who had the No. 1 rating wrested away from him by Scheffler, however stays in terrific type after successful in Mexico not too long ago. Rahm tied for eighth at Kiawah Island finally 12 months’s PGA Championship and tied for thirteenth at Harding Park in 2020.

Viktor Hovland, who performed faculty golf at Oklahoma State, can have a home-state benefit.

Rory McIlroy, a two-time PGA Championship winner, who hasn’t gained a significant championship since 2014, is hungry and irritated at having to proceed answering questions concerning the drought. He’s coming off back-to-back top-five finishes on the Masters and Wells Fargo Championship.

Justin Thomas is one other prime participant who has publicly expressed disappointment in his efficiency in main championships. His solely main occurs to be the 2017 PGA Championship.

Cam Smith, the quiet Aussie, has two wins this season, together with The Gamers Championship.

Collin Morikawa can’t be neglected. He gained the 2020 PGA at Harding Park in his first PGA Championship begin and has six top-10s in 10 PGA Tour begins this season.

Patrick Cantlay has quietly nestled into the doubtful position because the among the finest gamers on this planet with out a main championship victory. He tied for third on the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black and, extra not too long ago, had sturdy performances at Hilton Hear and the Zurich Basic, which he gained with teammate Xander Schauffele.

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