Glory’s Last Shot. This is Major. Whatever slogan you want to use, we have come to the point in the schedule where the season’s final major is here. So, without further adieu, here is who we like this week at the 100th edition of the PGA Championship.
From what we have gathered over the past two days, Bellerive is playing long and the greens are incredibly receptive. As a result, my pick this week is a no-brainer.
Forget about the fact that he already has three wins this season, including two weeks ago in Canada. The description above is the literal epitome of his game. He can bomb the ball a mile off the tee, making the course playing long meaningless. Then, while other guys might be playing mid irons into greens, he can play short irons/wedges. With the receptiveness of the greens, he can go pin hunting. All this lines up perfectly for DJ to lock down another major and that’s why I’m picking him this week.
I have a sneaking suspicion that we are going to get a winner that comes out of left field. Someone of Rich Beem or Shaun Micheel or Y.E. Yang’s ilk. But that is just the nature of the PGA Championship sometimes. Picking from a group of journeymen players seems like an exercise in futility, so I’ll instead pick from the group of big boys.
On paper, Bellerive is a course that favors so-called “target practice” golf. Bombers off the tee will be at a giant advantage if they keep it in the fairway. It also appears that the greens will be receptive and slow. For more on the course, you should definitely check out The Fried Egg’s review here.
If you throw out the quirkiness of this championship, the winner SHOULD come from the group of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, or Justin Thomas. I’ll take Thomas as his win last week showed he might just be the best “target practice” player in the world right now.
Alright, so here’s the deal, this course is going to be perfect for Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Rory McIlroy. All three of them are long off the tee, accurate with their wedges, and have been playing great golf as of late. With over 10,000 square feet of greens, Bellerive is a bomber-wedge guy’s paradise.
However, I’m not picking any of those guys this week even though I probably should. I’m going to take a guy who has been resurgent this year. A guy who already has a PGA Championship win. A guy who has two wins this season and ranks first in strokes gained putting.
Yep, this week I think Day wins. After a disappointing 2017 season in which he had no wins and finished in the top 10 in only one major, I think this course sets up really well for him. He’s long off the tee, ranks second in strokes gained around the green, and his putting has been money.