Ten days ago, Henrik Stenson walked off the 18th green at Royal Troon as the “Champion golfer of the year.” Now the world’s best players will be competing for the final major of the year, the PGA Championship. This week will be the last shot players have at glory, the last chance they’ll have to win a major until next April, eight months from now.
Baltsurol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey is the track that is hosting the year’s final major. It is a course that is 7,428 yards, tree-lined, par 70. The front nine bolsters seven par-4s and two par-3s. The finish is what presents the most intrigue, with the final two holes being both a par-5 and averaging a tick over 600 yards in distance. If someone could string together six good shots, they could pick up four shots, making for an entirely exciting finish on the weekend.
Baltusrol Golf Club sits at the base of the Baltsurol Mountain and has been synonymous with championship golf since 1903 when it hosted its first U.S. Open. Established in 1895 and renovated by A.W. Tillinghast in 1919, the golf course has hosted seven U.S. Opens, four U.S. Amateur Championships, two U.S. Women’s Open Championships, two U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships, and now, its second PGA Championship.
All eyes will be on Dustin Johnson as he is a popular pick to hoist the Wannamaker Trophy by Sunday’s end. Even Vegas has him picked as an 8-1 favorite for the weekend. The win would be DJ’s second major of the season and the second of his career; the first being the dismantling of Oakmont and the field during this year’s U.S. Open. However, you can bet that Phil Mickelson will have something to say about DJ adding to his trophy collection, as he won the last PGA Championship hosted at Baltusrol back in 2005.
This is it. Glory’s last shot. The last time in 2016 that a golfer can etch their name into the history books, and be considered a major champion. Will it be a repeat champion of the past, like a Spieth or McIlroy? Or will a new face emerge on top and make it a clean sweep for first-time major winners in 2016? Right now, no one can answer that question; only the 72-holes navigated this weekend at Baltusrol Golf Club will have the final say.
FORECAST FOR THE WEEKEND
|Wind: 8 mph out of the South||Wind: 9 mph out of the N. Northeast||Wind: 6 mph out of the N. Northeast||Wind: 6 mph out of the E. Southeast|
|81* F||77* F||78* F||74* F|
|Partly Cloudy||Thunderstorms||Partly Cloudy||Chance of Thunderstorms|
|56% Humidity||75% Humidity||56% Humidity||69% Humidity|
|20% Chance of Rain||90% Chance of Rain||20% Chance of Rain||60% Chance of Rain|
FIRST ROUND FEATURED GROUPS
|7:40 AM EST||Ernie Els||Rickie Fowler||Zach Johnson|
|8:30 AM EST||Phil Mickelson||Rory McIlroy||Jason Day|
|1:05 PM EST||Jason Dufner||Y.E. Yang||Martin Kaymer|
|1:25 PM EST||Sergio Garcia||Jordan Spieth||Bubba Watson|
|1:45 PM EST||Danny Willett||Dustin Johnson||Henrik Stenson|