The First Look: PGA Championship
4 Min Read
Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley
Patrick Cantlay's eagle hole-out leads Shots of the Week
The PGA Championship heads to Southern Hills Country Club for the first time since 2007.
FedExCup leader and world No.1 Scottie Scheffler leads the field as he looks for his second major championship victory of the season.
FIELD NOTES: Tiger Woods is set to return to action. Just 14 months after a horrific car accident Woods teed it up at the Masters in April and made the cut. The PGA Championship will mark Woods’ second start of the season. Woods has won the Wanamaker Trophy four times (including the last time the PGA was hosted at Southern Hills) and has finished runner-up three times – as recently as 2018… FedExCup leader Scottie Scheffler will look to win his second major championship of the year. Scheffler, who won the Masters by three shots, has won four times on TOUR already this season. He also has won a Big 12 Conference title at Southern Hills while playing for the University of Texas… Brooks Koepka, a two-time PGA Champion, withdrew from last week's AT&T Byron Nelson but is set to compete at Southern Hills. Koepka has never missed the cut at the PGA in nine starts… Rory McIlroy is looking to keep some major momentum going at Southern Hills. McIlroy shot an 8-under 64 in the final round of the Masters – tied for the lowest final-round score in tournament history… The reigning FedExCup champion, Patrick Cantlay, is looking to win his maiden major championship… Fifteen PGA Champions are teeing it up… Bryson DeChambeau is set to return to action. He missed the cut at the Masters in his last start on TOUR as he recovers from injury… Twenty PGA of America club pros earned their way into the event via qualifiers… Talor Gooch, who won his first PGA TOUR title at this season's RSM Classic, is teeing it up in his own backyard. Gooch is from Midwest City, Oklahoma – less than 90 minutes from Tulsa. Other Oklahoma State alums in the field include Viktor Hovland and Rickie Fowler. Abraham Ancer is representing the University of Oklahoma in the field.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 600 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Southern Hills Country Club, par 70, 7,556 yards. Southern Hills, an established major championship venue, was not the original host club of the 2022 PGA Championship but was more than ready to welcome some of the world’s best when it was called upon. The redesigned Southern Hills hosted last year’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship (won by Alex Cejka who finished at 8 under). Originally a Perry Maxwell layout that opened in the late 1930s, the course was re-worked by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner in 2018 and re-opened in 2019. They removed trees, added bunkers, restored fairway widths, and removed rough near the edges of greens. There will be only two par-5s in use for the PGA Championship, both measuring more than 630 yards. The course is set to play more than 300 yards longer than it did in 2007. All seven of the previous men’s major championships hosted at Southern Hills all came in the serious heat of July or August (in 2007 the temperature reached triple digits every day) but that’s not set to be a factor this year with the PGA taking place in May.
Tiger Woods and Raymond Floyd have the Southern Hills Country Club course record. Floyd shot 63 at the 1982 PGA, while Woods matched the score in 2007.
STORYLINES: Phil Mickelson will not defend his title, the PGA of America announced. Mickelson, who has won 45 times on TOUR and has four PGA TOUR Champions victories, has not played competitively since stepping away from the game in late February. He is the third PGA Champion not to defend his title in the last 75 years (Tiger Woods, 2008 and Ben Hogan, 1949)… Will this year’s PGA Championship be won by someone looking for their second major title like Scheffler (two top-10s in a row at the PGA), Jon Rahm, or Justin Thomas (on the five-year anniversary of his first major win)? Or will one of the game’s top golfers break through for his first like Cantlay, Viktor Hovland, or Xander Schauffele?... RBC Heritage winner Jordan Spieth is again looking to capture the career Grand Slam. He is coming off a runner-up finish at his hometown AT&T Byron Nelson… Collin Morikawa has played only two PGA Championships in his young career, but so far, so good. He won his debut and finished T8 at Kiawah Island… McIlroy is looking to break a major championship drought that spans eight years. He’s a two-time winner of the Wanamaker Trophy… Woods, Adam Scott, and Justin Rose are the trio of golfers who finished inside the top 15 at Southern Hills in 2007 who are returning in 2022… Americans have won the last six PGA Championships.
72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Brooks Koepka (2018 at Bellerive CC)
18-HOLE RECORD: 63, Bruce Crampton (2nd round, 1975 at Firestone CC), Raymond Floyd (1st round, 1982 at Southern Hills), Gary Player (2nd round, 1984 at Shoal Creek), Michael Bradley (1st round, 1993 at Inverness), Vijay Singh (2nd round, 1993 at Inverness), Brad Faxon (4th round, 1995 at Riviera CC), José María Olazábal (3rd round, 2000 at Valhalla), Mark O’Meara (2nd round, 2001 at Atlanta AC), Thomas Bjorn (3rd round, 2005 at Baltusrol), Tiger Woods (2nd round, 2007 at Southern Hills), Steve Stricker (1st round, 2011 at Atlanta AC), Jason Dufner (2nd round, 2013 at Oak Hill), Hiroshi Iwata (2nd round, 2015 at Whistling Straits), Robert Streb (2nd round, 2016 at Baltusrol), Brooks Koepka (2nd round, 2018 at Bellerive; 1st round, 2019 at Bethpage Black), Charl Schwartzel (2nd round, 2018 at Bellerive).
LAST TIME: Phil Mickelson became the oldest major winner in TOUR history as well as becoming the first major champion after age 50 when he lifted the Wanamaker Trophy at Kiawah Island. His 45th TOUR title moved him to T8 on the all-time TOUR wins list, and he became just the fourth player to win TOUR events in four different decades. Mickelson came into the 2021 PGA Championship having not notched a top-10 result in 16 TOUR starts and not contending in a major in about four years. Mickelson, who was paired with two-time PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka for the final round, started with a struggle. He three-putted for bogey on the first hole while Koepka birdied, giving Koepka a one-shot lead. But Koepka made double bogey on No.2 and Mickelson birdied – jumping back ahead again. On the long par-3 fifth, Koepka landed safely on the green while Mickelson landed in a waste bunker. But Mickelson’s short-game magic returned again – as it so often does – and he pitched in for a birdie. Despite shooting a 1-over 73 in his final round, Mickelson won by two shots and claimed his sixth major title. Koepka and Louis Oosthuzien finished second at 4 under, while Shane Lowry, Harry Higgs, Paul Casey, and 49-year-old Padraig Harrington finished T4.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-8 p.m. ET (ESPN). Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (ESPN), 2 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS)
Thursday: ESPN+ broadcast 8 a.m.-2 p.m., 8 p.m.-finish. Featured Groups: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Featured Holes: 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Joe Buck/Michael Collins ESPN broadcast 1 p.m.-2 p.m.. Joe Buck/Michael Collins ESPN2 broadcast: 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
Friday: ESPN+ broadcast 8 a.m.-2 p.m., 8 p.m.-finish. Featured Holes: 8:15 a.m.-7 p.m. Featured Groups: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Joe Buck/Michael Collins ESPN broadcast: 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Joe Buck/Michael Collins ESPN2 broadcast: 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: ESPN+ broadcast 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Featured Groups: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Joe Buck/Michael Collins ESPN broadcast: 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Joe Buck/Michael Collins ESPN+ broadcast: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Holes: 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Editor's note:The PGA of America, which owns and operates the PGA Championship, controls all digital streaming and broadcast rights to this event. PGA TOUR LIVE coverage will resume next week at the Charles Schwab Challenge