2018 PGA Championship Preview – Players to Watch

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Before the PGA Tour shakes up the schedule in 2019, the Robert Trent Jones designed Bellerive Country Club, in St. Louis, Missouri, plays host to the 100th edition of the PGA Championship.

At just over 7300 yards, the par-70 Bellerive is a tough test and danger lurks on every hole. The greens are some of the largest by square footage on Tour, but finding the right section will make all the difference between a birdie opportunity and a very challenging 2-putt for par. Bellerive also features some of the longest greenside bunker shots, further adding to the importance of length and accuracy off the tee and putting scoring irons in a players hands on approaches into the greens.

This will be the final time the PGA Championship will be played in August and as the last major of the season. Nestled between the Open Championship and FedEx Cup playoffs, the PGA Championship for one reason or another has lacked a bit of panache and cachet deserving of one of the four major golf championships.

bellerive-country-club-course-preview-pga-champ

In 2019, the PGA Championship will take up its new mantle in May, situated between the Masters in April and the U.S. Open in June. The implementation of these changes is an effort to streamline the Tour schedule and bring some much-needed buzz to the PGA Championship.

In accordance, to further balance the schedule, the PLAYERS Championship is returning to March. The new schedule should be highly anticipated by golf fans, serving up one premier or major golf tournament a month from March through August.

Though, more transparently, with the amount of sponsorship dollars invested into TV rights and the FedEx Cup playoffs, this is an opportunity to conclude the playoffs before Labor Day. Finishing the playoffs prior to Labor Day is important because it concludes the PGA season before the college football and NFL seasons get into full swing and dominate viewer’s attention in the fall.

The PGA has put together a great series of preview videos for the 2018 PGA Championship, including a full course tour, history of Bellerive Country Club and hole by hole flyovers. Their full coverage can be found here.

This is a look at the hole by hole Drone Flyover provided by the PGA:

2018 PGA Championship Tournament Info:

  • Venue: Bellerive Country Club

  • Par: 70

  • Yardage: 7316 yards

  • Defending Champion: Justin Thomas

Current Odds (Top 53 Players) and Players to Watch:

  • Dustin Johnson is a favorite to win the PGA Championship

    Dustin Johnson 9/1

    Rain in St. Louis on Tuesday and (predicted for) Wednesday favors players who can carry the ball longer than their peers. Dustin Johnson is not only a long hitter, his ball flight is remarkably straight. Finding fairways and hitting wedges into soft, receptive greens will be a huge advantage Dustin should enjoy.

  • Justin Thomas 12/1

  • Rory McIlroy 12/1

  • Tiger Woods 16/1

  • Jordan Spieth searches for the career Grand Slam at the PGA Championship

    Jordan Spieth 18/1

    Jordan Spieth has won three major championships to date. The PGA Championship being the only major he is yet to win. Still with plenty of time to complete the career Grand Slam, he sits alongside two legends of the game, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, as players who have won a Masters, US Open and Open Championship.

  • Brooks Koepka 20/1

  • Jason Day 20/1

  • Justin Rose 20/1

  • Rickie Fowler 20/1

  • Francesco Molinari 25/1

  • Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood are two young stars on the PGA

    Jon Rahm &
    Tommy Fleetwood 25/1

    These two European stars have taken the golfing world by storm the last couple of seasons. Rahm, the passionate, long-hitting Spaniard and Arizona State product, has won 2 times on the PGA Tour and 3 times in Europe. Tommy has yet to breakthrough on the PGA Tour, but has won 4 times in Europe and captured the Harry Vardon Race to Dubai trophy in 2017.

  • Hideki Matsuyama 40/1

  • Patrick Reed 40/1

  • Xander Schauffele 40/1

  • Henrik Stenson 45/1

  • Alex Noren 50/1

  • Bubba Watson 50/1

  • Paul Casey 50/1

  • Tony Finau's length makes him a favorite at the PGA Championship

    Tony Finau 50/1

    Tony Finau may have only won once on Tour, but that hasn’t stopped him from amassing 23 top-10 finishes in his 114 career starts. Ranking third in driving distance on Tour this season, Tony has to be a favorite this week. If the conditions stay soft, his firepower should be enough to hit shorter irons than most players into these tough par 4 greens.

TV Coverage:

Thursday and Friday rounds can be seen on TNT from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET

Saturday and Sunday rounds can be seen on TNT from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET and on CBS from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET

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Keith Schneider

Web Content Manager at GolfDiscount.com
Keith Schneider Age: 33 Handicap: 6.3 Introduction to golf: Age 14 Playing years: 19 Rounds per year: 75+ Hole in Ones: 1 WITB Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero 10.5° Project X Even Flow Blue 75 X-Stiff 3 Wood: Tour Edge CBX T3 15° Project X HZRDUS Black 75 6.5 2-Iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi KBS Tour C Taper Lite Stiff 1° weak 1.5° upright Irons: Mizuno MP-68 (4-PW) +1/2" Dynamic Gold X100 2° upright Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7 51° 8° bounce Dynamic Gold S400 F Grind Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge Works 56° 14° bounce Dynamic Gold S400 F Grind Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge Works 60° 6° bounce Dynamic Gold S400 K Grind Putter: Wilson Staff 8802 35" Balls: Titleist ProV1x, TaylorMade Tour Preferred X or Callaway Chrome Soft X
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