It is probably not fairly what we’re used to, however main golf is lastly again as Brooks Koepka defends his PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in California this week.
The worldwide coronavirus pandemic worn out The Open Championship for 2020, whereas every of the opposite three majors needed to be rescheduled.
A 3-month enforced break of the PGA Tour maybe got here at an opportune second for some whereas halting the momentum of others.
As golf gears up for its first main of 2020, behind closed doorways after all, we check out the gamers we count on to be competing in California.
PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Odds, betting favourite, professional picks
It has been some return to type over the previous couple of years for the 2012 U.S. Open victor, who slipped as little as 90th within the rankings following the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship earlier than his triumph on the Gamers Championship a few years in the past kick-started a profession that seemed at risk of stagnating. Much more promisingly, Simpson has wins both aspect of lockdown on the Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage. Throw in top-10s on the Sony Open and Rocket Mortgage Traditional and he definitely has the shape to contend.
Since profitable the 2017 PGA Championship, issues have not fairly occurred within the majors for Thomas, whose solely different top-10 in golf’s massive 4 since then got here on the identical match a 12 months later. However this man is a serial contender on Tour and has 4 wins to his identify up to now 12 months, the newest after all coming on the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday. Thomas is now again at world No. 1 because of his triumph in Memphis and has three different top-10s since golf’s hiatus was lifted, so don’t be stunned to see him in rivalry come Sunday.
He splits opinion, however one factor that can not be argued is how supremely gifted DeChambeau is. After bulking up throughout lockdown, he now seems to have much more weapons in his arsenal. Previous to lacking the lower on the Memorial, DeChambeau made eight top-10s in 9 begins, which included a win on the Rocket Mortgage Traditional. He has the sport to win a serious.
A reputation maybe not too acquainted to the informal golf fan, however since turning professional in 2019 Morikawa has climbed from 1,039th on the earth to 12th. After ending second on the season-restarting Charles Schwab, he received the Workday Charity Open by beating Thomas in a playoff. His different outcomes have admittedly been blended however for individuals who like an out of doors guess the 23-year-old might take your fancy.
Admittedly, tipping the person who was world No. 1 till Thomas’ win final weekend to be a contender doesn’t precisely scream creativeness. However the gifted Spaniard was not precisely in peak type previous to profitable the Memorial final month, which topped his ascension to the highest of the rankings. Previous to that he had gone CUT, T-33, T-37, T-27 at his 4 earlier occasions post-lockdown. Absolutely Rahm will finally earn his first main and this weekend might be the time.
Koepka, Rory, Woods and the same old suspects
Some gamers you simply count on to see concerned on the majors. Koepka is aiming to be the primary man in 64 years to win the identical main three years working and confirmed loads of promise in Memphis over the weekend, the place he completed runner-up to Thomas. Rory McIlroy has misplaced his No. 1 standing after struggling to rediscover his glorious type previous to golf’s suspension however the Northern Irishman has had success at Harding Park, the place he received the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play. Tiger Woods actually has not performed sufficient golf in 2020 to evaluate the place his type and health are — he has performed simply as soon as because the season restarted — however by no means, ever write off the 15-time main winner. Dustin Johnson’s type has been somewhat erratic, although he did win the Vacationers Championship on the finish of June.