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2018 PGA Championship Preview

Photo Credit: Golf Magasinet

WHERE: Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis, MO

WHERE TO WATCH: First and second round action will be carried on TNT from 2 to 8 p.m. The weekend also picks up on TNT with Saturday and Sunday coverage from 11 a.m to 2 p.m., with the end of each round in prime time on CBS from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. All times on this schedule are eastern.

WHO TO WATCH: Odds on Favorites

World Number One player Dustin Johnson tops the field at 8-1. Followed by:

Rory McIlroy: 12-1

Defending champion Justin Thomas: 14-1

Jason Day: 18-1

Back to back U.S. Open Champion Brooks Koepka: 18-1

Jordan Speith, who looks to complete his career grand slam: 20-1

Fan favorite Rickie Fowler, who is trying to capture his first major: 20-1

Red hot Tommy Fleetwood: 25-1

Tiger Woods, who is trying to end a 10-year major drought: 25-1

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

The first PGA Championship took place in 1916, but this is only the 100th time it’s been played after having skipped the tournament in 1917, 1918, and 1943 due to World War I and II, respectively.

Jim Barnes took home the first-ever PGA Championship with a whopping 500 dollars to go along with his Wanamaker Trophy. It was an originally a match play format event, and would remain so until it was converted to a stroke play format in 1958. The Wanamaker trophy is named for the founder of the championship, Rodman Wanamaker.

The most victories at the PGA Championship is a tie between the legendary Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus, with five each. Nicklaus was also a runner-up on four times, the most ever.

Bellerive last hosted the championship in 1992, where Nick Price captured the first of his two PGA Championships, firing a six-under 278.

Winner’s share that year was $280,000, but this year’s champion will take home 1.89 million.

THE COURSE

Bellerive Country Club is a par 71 course that features 7,547 yards of challenging championship golf. It was built in 1897 but has only been at its current location since 1959. The creek it was built around is a hazard on nine holes, and the club has 11 water hazards total.

This forces today’s longer players to be more careful in approaches. The shorter driving era of 1992, when the championship last graced St. Louis saw only eight players finish the tournament under par. For comparison, last year’s PGA Championship, at par 71, 7,600 yard Quail Hollow saw only 12 players finish under par.

Championship conditions, at the toughest of courses, should produce a difficult four days even for the best in the world.

But that’s why we watch. Enjoy the tournament and check back this Monday for a recap of all the action of the year’s final major championship, as the field has more at stake than just a major title, with crowded standings for both the Ryder Cup teams and FedEx Cup playoffs are on the line.

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