In Review

On the prowl for No.16: Tiger Woods is geared up for PGA Championship challenge

First major of the year will be held behind closed doors at TPC Harding Park

2020 PGA Championship
  • When: 6-9 August 2020 
  • Where: TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California 
  • TV: daily live coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 6pm BST

Despite a lack of playing time and the absence of his fans, Tiger Woods is ready to challenge at this week’s PGA Championship.  

Bidding to win a career 16th major and 83rd PGA Tour title, Woods is grouped with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas in Thursday’s opening round at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the world No.15 has played only four PGA Tour rounds since February, but speaking to the media the four-time champion said: “I feel good. Obviously I haven’t played much competitively, but I’ve been playing a lot at home. 

“The results that I’ve seen at home, [I’m] very enthusiastic about some of the changes I’ve made and so that’s been positive. Keep building, keep getting ready and be ready come Thursday.

“This is what I’ve been gearing up for. We’ve got a lot of big events starting from here, so looking forward to it. This is going to be a fun test for all of us. The rough is up. Fairways are much narrower than they were here in 2009.”

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‘It’s still a major’

Postponed from May because of the coronavirus, the PGA Championship is the first major of the season and will take place behind closed doors. 

When asked if a lack of fans will play a big part throughout the weekend, the 44-year-old said: “As far as the focus part of it, I haven’t had a problem with that. Those four rounds [at the Memorial], I was pretty into it. It’s different than most of the times when you go from green-to-tee, people yelling or trying to touch you. That part is different. 

“As far as energy while I’m competing and playing, no that’s the same. I’m pretty intense when I play and pretty into what I’m doing. 

“I don’t know if anyone in our generation has ever played without fans in a major championship. It’s going to be very different. But it’s still a major championship. 

“It’s still the best players in the world. We all understand that going into it, so there’s going to be plenty of energy from the competitive side.”

Brooks Koepka poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2019 PGA Championship

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Brooks eyes a triple

World No.1 Justin Thomas goes into the championship as the bookies’ favourite, according to Oddschecker, but the man to beat will be two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka. 

Teeing off in the first round with Shane Lowry and Gary Woodland, American Koepka believes if he plays to the best of his ability he can take home the Wanamaker Trophy for a third successive year.   

“I feel very confident in myself,” said the 30-year-old. “I don’t put any expectations on myself. Just go out and play golf exactly like I know how and, if I do that, then yeah I probably should win.”

First round groups to watch 

Live on Sky Sports Golf (all times BST) 

  • 4.11pm: Brooks Koepka, Shane Lowry, Gary Woodland 
  • 4.22pm: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose 
  • 4.33pm: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas 
  • 9.47pm: Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Bryson DeChambeau 
  • 9.58pm: Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia
2020 PGA Championship winner betting odds
  • Justin Thomas: 10/1  
  • Brooks Koepka: 11/1  
  • Jon Rahm: 14/1  
  • Rory McIlroy: 14/1  
  • Bryson Dechambeau: 17/1   
  • Xander Schauffele: 18/1  
  • Dustin Johnson: 22/1 
  • Patrick Cantlay: 25/1  
  • Webb Simpson: 28/1  
  • Collin Morikawa: 35/1  
  • Tiger Woods: 35/1 
  • Hideki Matsuyama: 40/1  
  • For the full price list see oddschecker.com  

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