The second Major of the year will tee off at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina on Thursday. ANDRE HUISAMEN details four things you need to know about the 2021 PGA Championship.
Another star-studded and competitive field will headline the all-important Major, which returns to its traditional May timeslot. World No 1 Dustin Johnson will be back in action as will defending champions at the event Justin Thomas (2017), Rory McIlroy (2012, 2014) and Brooks Koepka (2018, 2019).
49 out of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings will be part of the field with Matthew Wolff withdrawing from the event due to a bad run of form over the past six months.
South African contingent
A record-breaking 11 South African golfers will make their way to the Ocean Course for the PGA Championship. A total of 10 of them are currently placed within the top 100 of the OWGR, with the likes of Garrick Higgo, Dean Burmester, Brandon Stone and Daniel van Tonder particularly impressive recently. Higgo and Van Tonder will make their first appearance at a Major in what promises to be an exciting week for both players.
George Coetzee, Branden Grace, Dylan Frittelli, Erik van Rooyen, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Louis Oosthuizen complete the local charge with Charl Schwartzel also in the field with an exemption. It’s the most South African players to ever compete at a PGA Championship event.
Last year, under extremely strange circumstances and with the world of golf in recovery mode after months of lockdown, the ‘California Kid’ introduced himself on the big stage. Collin Morikawa produced one of the finest showings in recent PGA Championship history with a final round that secured him his first Major title in only his second start.
At the age of 23, Morikawa announced himself to the rest of the world with a mature performance at TPC Harding Park that surprised many throughout the event. In decent form and that memory still fresh in his mind, he will be oozing with confidence ahead on Thursday’s tee-off.
For the first time ever in professional golf, rangefinders will be in play at the PGA Championship and it’s set to cause some debate. Organisers announced earlier this year that it will be allowed in order to speed up play around the course, but a number of golfers have already signalled their unhappiness with it. Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are just some of the players who already indicated he will not make use of a rangefinder.
The device will be allowed for usage at the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA and the KPMG Women’s PGA.