5 Huge Names Set To Challenge At The 2023 PGA Championship

We look at five TaylorMade staffers who are all highly fancied to contend for the Wanamaker Trophy this week

Five golfers in a montage
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The second men's Major of 2023 is upon us as up state New York's Oak Hill Country Club hosts 99 of the world's top 100 players as they fight it out for the iconic Wanamaker Trophy.

Oak Hill hosts for the third time and first since Jason Dufner won his only Major to date in 2013. The club also hosted the 1995 Ryder Cup, won by Bernard Gallacher's Europe by 14.5-13.5, as well as three US Opens.

Justin Thomas defends the title he won last year, when he defeated Will Zalatoris in a three-hole playoff following Mito Pereira's agonising double bogey on the 72nd hole to lose out after taking a one stroke lead to the final hole.

The Major is wide open with plenty of players set to contend come Sunday evening, including the likes of past winners Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa as well as Scottie Scheffler, who is arguably the most in-form golfer in the world right now.

PGA Championship Key Info

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CourseOak Hill Country Club (East Course), Rochester, New York
Yardage/Par7394 yards/Par 70
DatesMay 18 - 21
Defending championJustin Thomas (-5)

5 Players To Watch This Week

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler hits a fairway wood

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  • World Ranking: 2
  • PGA Tour wins: 6
  • PGA Championship starts: 3
  • Best PGA Championship finish: T4 (2020)

View Scottie Scheffler What's in the bag?

The World No.2 enters the PGA Championship on an incredible run of form, which includes two victories (WM Phoenix Open and The Players Championship) and no finishes outside the top-12 in his last 13 starts! Scheffler was T5th at the AT&T Byron Nelson last week so is coming in with confidence as he seeks his second Major title after winning the 2022 Masters.

For the 2022/23 PGA Tour season, the Texan ranks 1st in Strokes Gained off the tee and tee to green, is 1st in greens in regulation and 2nd in Strokes Gained: total. Is there a golfer in better form on the planet? Possibly not.

He has come close to winning the Wanamaker Trophy before, when he played in the final group with Dustin Johnson in 2020 at TPC Harding Park. He ended up T4th that day and followed it up with a T8 in 2021 at Kiawah Island.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy hits a drive

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  • World Ranking: 3
  • PGA Tour wins: 23
  • PGA Championship starts: 14
  • Best PGA Championship finish: 1st (2012 and 2014)

View Rory McIlroy What's in the bag?

The two-time PGA Champion comes into this week slightly under the radar, compared to The Masters anyway, after a missed cut at Augusta National and then a T47 at the Wells Fargo Championship in his only start since.

The Northern Irishman took last week off so comes into Oak Hill, where he is also a member as his wife Erica is from the city of Rochester, rested and fresh in a tournament that he loves. He was T3rd in his PGA Championship debut and then won the Wanamaker Trophy in 2012 at Kiawah Island and in 2014 at Valhalla. It's the only Major he has won multiple times and he'd love to add a third title this week.

McIlroy knows Oak Hill better than most and his long hitting (he ranks 1st on the PGA Tour with an average of over 328 yards) should benefit him as he looks to win Major number five.

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa hits an iron shot

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  • World Ranking: 16
  • PGA Tour wins: 5
  • PGA Championship starts: 3
  • Best PGA Championship finish: 1st (2020)

View Collin Morikawa What's in the bag?

Morikawa incredibly won the PGA Championship in his tournament debut and his career has gone from strength to strength since. The American is now a two-time Major champion with five PGA Tour titles to his name, and he's always a huge Major contender due to his laser-like iron play that is considered to be the best in the world.

He ranks 4th in Strokes Gained: Approach on the PGA Tour this year, which will be key to finding the correct portions of the greens this week, and he has an impressive driving accuracy of 69.90% on tour this season, meaning he'll be able to find the short stuff most of the time and avoid the brutal Oak Hill rough.

The 26-year-old started the year with a 2nd in Hawaii before a 3rd at Torrey Pines, with his other best result a T6th at Riviera in the Genesis Invitational. He could be saving his best stuff for the summer, so look out for him this week at Oak Hill.

Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood hits a tee shot

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  • World Ranking: 23
  • DP World Tour wins: 6
  • PGA Championship starts: 8
  • Best PGA Championship finish: T5 (2022)

View Tommy Fleetwood What's in the bag?

No Englishman has won the PGA Championship since 1919 but Fleetwood is one of the best contenders to end that curse.

Fleetwood recorded his best ever finish in the Major last year, where he was T5th at Southern Hills. He has had a very solid start to the year on the PGA Tour with a T3 at the Valspar Championship and a T5 at the designated Wells Fargo Championship in his last start so he's entering Oak Hill in great form.

On the PGA Tour this season he ranks 5th in SG: Around the green and is in the top 10 for both SG: Total and tee to green. Those stats make for very good reading ahead of a Major championship.

Is this the week he puts it all together? There's every chance.

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler cleans a club on his golf bag towel

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  • World Ranking: 49
  • PGA Tour wins: 5
  • PGA Championship starts: 13
  • Best PGA Championship finish: T3 (2014)

View Rickie Fowler What's in the bag?

Rickie is back in the Major frame after re-finding his form and returning to the world's top 50. The popular American is quietly playing some excellent golf, having not missed a cut all year and finishing inside the top-17 in all of his last five starts.

He has a great record in the PGA Championship, with his best finish of T3 coming at the 2014 championship at Valhalla. He was also T5th in 2017 at Quail Hollow, T8th in 2021 at Kiawah Island and T23rd last year at Southern Hills.

A win this week would validate an incredible career and would push him back towards the top echelons of the game and the US Ryder Cup team for Rome 2023.

We'd love to see it.

For more on all of TaylorMade's Tour Staff and the company's products, visit the TaylorMade Golf website

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV