PGA CHAMPIONSHIP ’18: Facts about final major of the year

Darrell Kestner

Darrell Kestner

Fleetwood played with eventual champion Justin Thomas in his opening two rounds at Quail Hollow a year ago and says he learned "a few things" from watching the American on the way to his first major title.

We have had four separate winners of the PLAYERS (Webb Simpson), Masters (Patrick Reed), U.S. Open (Brooks Koepka) and Open Championship (Francesco Molinari).

Quoteworthy: "I've had a really good year so far".

"That's the hardest thing. now, I'm tearing up".

The 14-time Major victor finished second behind Paul Casey in the Valspar Championship in March and was in contention at Bay Hill the following week before driving out of bounds on the 16th hole of the final round.

McIlroy says he's trying to figure out what steps he has to take to go from contending to playing in the final group to lifting trophies.

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"As long as I can compete and have some fun", he said, "and not get in the way". In fact, 98 of the top 100 players in the world rankings are at Bellerive this week.

Usually by the time the PGA Championship comes around the talk of PGA TOUR Player of the Year is settling into a tight race.

Bellerive champions: Gary Player (1965 U.S. Open), Nick Price (1992 PGA Championship), Camilo Villegas (2008 BMW Championship).

The 34-year-old American, however, raced into the turn with birdies at eight and nine then rode that momentum into an error free back nine featuring five birdies.

- Dustin Johnson on winning the PGA. It's really cool to be a part of that conversation, and I think you have to embrace it, you have to relish it, you have to just go at it and know that, if you do win this week, you're going to join a very, very elite club.

Lousy weather also accompanied the U.S. Senior Open in 2004, turning parking lots into mud puddles and dousing part of the second round.

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Bellerive is busier than usual on the final day of practice for the PGA Championship.

"The grip-it-and-rip-it approach is probably closer to how I play every week anyway".

"Without a doubt, the next step in my career is to win in America and win a major", he said. "It is their major championship".

For most of the day Fowler had ruled the leaderboard after launching his quest for his first major with a 65 but could only watch as Woodland mounted an unexpected charge.

The former world number one would have been the youngest player to achieve the feat if he had won the title past year, but could only finish 28th at Quail Hollow as his close friend Justin Thomas lifted the Wanamaker Trophy.

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