Between them they have won five out of the last nine PGA Championships. Now, the 2021 edition will boast Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka in one of the featured groups, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
McIlroy heads into this week’s showdown having made a long overdue return to form with his win at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship. The Northern Irishman famously triumphed with PGA Championship victories back in 2012 and 2014, part of three golden years for McIlroy winning four Majors.
The venue for this week is the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island where McIlroy famously won the event for the first time. He is set to be tested once again, though, with the bookies favouring him to secure a third triumph.
Thomas won the event back in 2017 in his only Major triumph to date. The American has the chance to leapfrog Dustin Johnson for the world No 1 position should he win this week, with his recent form also not too shabby.
The 28-year-old Thomas continues to edge to another breakthrough with a consistent run of form so far this year. Having won the PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in March, he will be looking to a similar performance in South Carolina this week.
Koepka’s record at the PGA Championship, on the other hand, is as good as it gets. The 31-year-old is one of only a handful of players who have managed to successfully defend their crown. Bellerive Country Club in 2018 and Bethpage Black Course in 2019 were the settings for his coming of age in what proved to be a very successful run of Major wins.
Koepka will, however, face a stern challenge from Thursday onward, having only recently recovered from injury. His ‘forced’ return at Augusta last month didn’t go to plan as he failed to make the cut at the Masters, while he also missed out on the action at this past weekend’s AT&T Byron Nelson.
Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas & Brooks Koepka
Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau & Hideki Matsuyama
Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson & Will Zalatoris
Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed & Tommy Fleetwood
Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott & Tyrrell Hatton
Phil Mickelson, Jason Day & Padraig Harrington