6 Big Storylines To Follow At The PGA Championship

Big Storylines To Follow At The PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Here are some big storylines to look out for this week at TPC Harding Park as Major golf is back!

6 Big Storylines To Follow At The PGA Championship

The PGA Championship gets underway this week from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco for the first Major of 2020.

As always with one of golf's big four, there are plenty of interesting storylines going into the week - we pick out five of the biggest:

Brooks Koepka three-peat?

The 2018 and 2019 PGA Champion could become the first man since Walter Hagen in 1927 to win three consecutive PGA Championships.

The four-time Major winner is favourite to win this week alongside Justin Thomas after Koepka finished T2nd at the WGC-FedEx St Jude.

The course setup looks to be fairly similar to Bethpage Black last year with thick rough and narrow fairways - that could suit his game.

Jordan Spieth goes for career slam

At the 2017 Open, Jordan Spieth won his third Major title to leave just a Wanamaker Trophy missing from his Major trophy cabinet.

The Texan could become just the sixth man to complete the traditional four Major career slam after Woods, Nicklaus, Player, Hogan and Sarazen.

Spieth hasn't won since he lifted the Claret Jug three years ago.

He was T3rd last year at Bethpage so don't go ruling him out just yet.

Rory McIlroy's first Major in six years?

The former World No.1 could win his first Major in (can you believe it?) six years!

Rory's last Major triumph came in August 2014 at Valhalla when he edged out Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler to win his second PGA Championship.

McIlroy's form hasn't been superb since golf resumed in June but perhaps that will help him as he isn't coming into this under the usual pressure.

Related: PGA Championship golf betting tips 2020

Tiger Woods winning no.16?

Woods shocked the world last year with his phenomenal comeback in winning The Masters.

That was his 15th Major and victory this week would put him just two behind Jack Nicklaus' total of 18 in the all-time list.

It's very hard to back against Tiger, who is building his schedule these days around competing in and winning Majors.

If he were to win, he would also join Nicklaus and Hagen as the only players to win five PGA Championships.

He would also overtake Sam Snead to win his 83rd PGA Tour title, which would be the most in history.

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The World No.1 spot

Justin Thomas comes into the week top of the Official World Golf Ranking for just the fifth week in his career after leapfrogging Jon Rahm with his WGC victory.

Rahm only just got there himself a couple of weeks ago after Rory McIlroy had held the position since February.

This week it is up for grabs once again, with Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson and Dustin Johnson all having a chance.

Webb Simpson, the World No.4, won the 2012 US Open in San Francisco at the nearby Olympic Club and would reach the World No.1 spot for the first time in his career if he were to win.

Related: Where is the 2021 PGA Championship?

A first-time Major winner?

Golf has some incredible talents near the top of the game right now and the likes of Rahm, DeChambeau, Schauffele, Cantlay, Morikawa, Fleetwood, Hatton, Matsuyama and co. all are yet to taste Major glory.

For the last three years, 50% of the Major winners have been first-timers and in the last 20 years, 50% of PGA Championship winners have been first-time Major champions.

Could we see a first-timer win this week? Quite possibly!

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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