In an epic first for a major championship — or any golf tournament, for that matter — every single player in the current Top 100 ranking will compete at Bethpage Black for next week’s PGA Championship.
It’s a remarkable statistic, given the prevalence of injury WDs that can often happen right before a tournament is played. There’s still time, of course, for a player to bow out, but at the moment each player in the top 100 is committed. The total field size is 156, and will be finalized on Sunday. The winner of this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson will receive an exemption if he is not already qualified.
Tiger Woods is the current favorite at 8/1 though he hasn’t teed it up competitively since his epic Masters win in April. He arrived at Bethpage this week to get an early start on preparing for the year’s second major. The Big Cat is currently ranked sixth in the world. He is seeking his 16th career major title and fifth PGA championship.
Lots of eyes will also be on world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who is seeking his 21st career Tour victory and second major championship. DJ previously won the 2016 U.S. Open, and has four top-10 finishes at the PGA since 2009.
Two other names to keep an eye on? Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlory. Koepka is the defending champion. Though he only has five PGA Tour victories on his resume, an impressive three of those wins are major championships. He’s currently ranked third in the world.
Rory McIlory is ranked fourth in the world, and has four major championships under his belt, including two PGAs (2012 and 2014). It’s been nearly five years since Rory’s last major victory, but he’s has eight top-10 finishes in the years since.
In addition to the top 100-ranked players, the PGA Championship field also includes 20 club professionals, who qualify for the opportunity to tee it up with the tour pros at the annual PGA Professional Championship.
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