Winner: Brooks Koepka by two shots over Dustin Johnson.
A major championship comes back to Bethpage Black in Long Island, New York. On May 16-19, the 101st PGA Championship will be contested on, what can I say, a ferocious golf course.
I spent two days in 2010 walking around Oakmont. If you hit the ball straight and putt, you’ll do alright. I’ve seen the Pine Valley flyover on Youtube. Same thing. But Bethpage Black, that course scares me. Watch this.
The U.S. Open was played here in 2002, won by Tiger Woods by three strokes over Phil Mickelson. Woods was the only competitor to finish under par. In 2009, Lucas Glover on the Open by two over Mickelson, Ricky Barnes, and David Duval, in the most dramatic final round at the Open I have ever seen. Only those four and Ross Fisher finished under par.
The PGA likes birdies, though, and the rough will definitely not be U.S. Open style. I’m guessing the winning score will be -10.
Read this fascinating article about why The PGA at Bethpage will be different from a U.S. Open at Bethpage.
Moving the PGA to May was a stroke of, well, not genius, but of common sense. It was once a highly respected major championship, and can return to that status by being in the middle of the majors crunch instead of on the tail end. Playing it at the finest courses will help, too.
Patrick Reed has commented that this course challenges every club in the bag. I believe him. The winner will be determined by who makes the fewest big mistakes.
One thing everybody is hoping for is that Phil doesn’t wear these pants again. (Who dresses him???)