US PGA Championship
The 103rd PGA Championship has teed off this weekend at the lovely Kiawah Island Golf Resort, who last hosted back in 2012. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort was designed by Pete and Alice Dye, with a visually pleasing 18 holes all together, that were raised in order to give players unobstructed views of the coastline. The Ocean Course has also hosted for the World Cup of Golf back in 1997 and 2003. Named “America’s Toughest Course” by Gold Digest, The Ocean Course is the perfect host to challenge this year’s golfers.
Last year’s winner, Collin Morikawa, took the win in only his second major appearance, making him a surprise win on a score of -13 (267), two strokes clear of Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey. At age 23, he’s the third youngest player to win the PGA Championship in the ‘stroke play’ era, and also the ninth golfer to win the event on his debut! Morikawa joins Tiger Woods as a Wanamaker Trophy holder at the age of 23, but the question is, will he join Tiger Woods in pulling off a back-to-back win by taking the trophy home again this year?
Making an impressive consecutive win, Brooks Koepka finished 1st in the Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green stats, gaining a staggering 17.354 strokes on the field average for the week! Koepka hit a PGA Championship joint record low score of 63 in the first round, and a 65 in the second, to have the lowest 36-hole score in major history, and the largest 36-hole PGA Championship lead in PGA Championship history – making him a deserving winner for the second year running.
Having won in 2018 also, this gives Koepka a slight edge on his competitors this year, as he’s back and ready to reclaim his place as winner. However, suffering with a knee injury and – according to his doctor – still being on a 6-month recovery plan, will this affect his ability to take home yet another trophy? He doesn’t seem to think so. In his press conference, he said: “I can deal with the pain, it’s not an issue”, “out here it’s pretty easy, all you gotta do is play golf, that’s not very difficult, it’s what I’ve done for 26 years.”
He seems confident in himself, are you confident in him?
This Year’s Discussions
With Dustin Johnson being runner-up for the past two years in a row (joining Jack Nicklaus as the only golfer to do so), will this year finally be the year that Johnson comes out on top? With the Championship being hosted at his birthplace in South Carolina, Johnson is very eagerly looking for his first home victory.
Will it be a comeback year for Koepka? I’m sure he wants to prove to everyone watching, as well as himself, that he can perform despite his injury setbacks.
Alternatively, Morikawa might surprise us all again with a consecutive win, being able to add more achievements to his fast-growing portfolio of successes.
However, it could also turn out to be a not so expected or predicted winner, the same as last year. We can only know as the games continue and the weekend unfolds. What do you think? Place your bets here with us today!