The 94th edition of the PGA Championship tees off Thursday, August 9, at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. 52 groups of pros will all be vying for the top spot in the last major of the year. This year’s championship, known as “Glory’s Last Shot,” is shaping up to be an exciting one, with big names participating.
First- and second-round groupings and tee times were announced by the PGA on Friday, August 3, with many star-studded groups taking on the daunting, seaside course. The defending PGA Champion, and winner of this year’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Keegan Bradley, has been grouped together with the winner of the 2010 PGA Championship, Martin Kraymer, and four-time PGA Champ Tiger Woods.
After minor relapses in his legendary game at the British and U.S. Opens, Woods has had no wins thus far in any of this year’s major championships, something that has intensified his struggle to reach Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories. Tiger has been stuck on 14 major titles after winning his last at the 2008 U.S. Open.
Despite his mistakes at recent majors, Woods has pulled out three victories in this year’s PGA tour, and hopes to turn his luck around at the Championship. Bradley, Kraymer, and Woods tee off from Hole No. 10 at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, and begin their second round from Hole No. 1 at 1:40 p.m. on Friday, August 10.
Following a PGA championship tradition, the winners of this year’s first three majors, have been grouped together, making another exciting trio to watch. Webb Simpson, U.S. Open Champion, Ernie Els, British Open Champion, and Bubba Watson, Masters Champion, will play from Hole No. 1 at 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, and from Hole No. 10 at 8:10 a.m. on Friday. The remaining fifty groups, filled with past winners of the PGA Championship and other golf pros, will hit the course throughout the four-day major, with television coverage broadcast on either TNT or CBS Sports.
This year’s championship will be held on the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, a course renowned for being terribly affected by the wind sweeping in off the ocean. The Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere, exposing players and their shots to the area’s brisk and unpredictable sea breeze. According to the PGA’s official website for Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, players must have a “tremendous amount of ingenuity, imagination and adaptation in shot making” to be successful, and every hole “demands a high level of both accuracy and finesse.”
The first group of pros tees off at 7:20 a.m. on the morning of August 9, and the championship runs through Sunday, August 12. Frequent rain and thunderstorms are forecast for the surrounding area during the tournament, making concerns over the wind even more prevalent in the days to come. This year’s PGA Championship promises to be a worthy final to the 2012 golf year, with big names attending and big stories of success and failure in the making.
As is to be expected with an event this popular, grounds tickets have already sold out for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, according to the PGA website. Fans will now turn to the secondary market in search for tickets to the weekend rounds.