The second major of the year combines Pete Dye genius with the best field in the golf.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island hosted the 2012 event and will take center stage again this week.
The deepest field in golf will be challenged by the longest track in major championship history this week at The Ocean Course at Kiawah to decide the 103rd PGA Championship.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina, will host 99 of the top 100 players in the world and they will be challenged by arguably Pete and Alice Dye’s toughest test. Stretching to 7,876 yards (Par-72), the Ocean Course at Kiawah overtakes Erin Hills as the longest major championship set-up in history.
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The PGA Championship was hosted here in 2012 and became the first major championship contested on Seashore Paspalum grass from tee thru green. The putting surfaces average 6,000 square feet and will run at tournament speed and there are 28 acres of fairway to swing at off the tee. Conversely there are 30 acres of sandy areas running along, behind and in front of most holes. The rough is Bermuda but will be over-seeded with ryegrass (up to three inches) to thicken and green it up.
The 2021 edition will play 200 yards longer and in the month of May, not August like 2012. Springtime in the Carolinas will bring cooler temperatures and more consistent breezes to add to this already difficult Dye challenge.
When the wind blows, the fairways and greens will shrink so controlling the golf ball in the breeze is required. While there will be spectators, there won’t be any grandstands to obstruct views or knock down errant shots. Closely mown areas around the sandy areas greenside will provide more decisions to be made to get it close. Getting up and down to grind out pars will be paramount.
For more on the course design and history read THIS from our Sean Martin.
As with any major championship examination mental toughness will also factor this week. While not many races have been run on Kiawah Island, there are many Pete Dye examples to examine, especially Whistling Straits, host of three previous PGA Championships. Those who have embraced the Dye designs and have found past successes on these layouts will feel they have a leg up on the rest of the field.
The field of 156 players was completed with KH Lee after his win last week at AT&T Byron Nelson. Also, 20 PGA Professionals are entered this week along with any former champions. The purse for the event in 2020 was $11 million with $1.98 million plus 600 FedExCup points and a five year exemption on TOUR to the winner.
Recent Event Winners Stats
|Total Birdies||1 (20)|
|Total Bogeys||T1 (7)|
|Doubles or Worse||0|
|Greens in Regulation||T13|
|Putts per Round||T8|
|Birdie or Better Percentage||4|
|3-Putt Avoidance||T9 (1 three putt)|
Recent Winners and Notables
Recent Winner and Notables
2012: Rory McIlroy (-13, 275)
Fired a bogey-free 66 to win his second major championship. … Set the PGA Championship record for margin of victory as he won by eight shots. … Only needed 24 putts in the final round. … Carded 67 in Round 3 to lead by three after 54 holes. … Signed for 75 in Round 2, three shots better than the average that day, to sit two back after 36 holes (-2). … Opened with 67, one of four players one off the lead. … One of three players to card less than 10 total bogeys. … Second major win and second by eight shots. … First top 10 in a major since his 2011 U.S. Open triumph. … Hits the podium for the third time in four starts (Win-T40-T3-T3) at the PGA Championship. … 2012 majors finishes: T40 (Masters), MC (US Open defense) and T60 (Royal Lytham & St Annes). … Played the week before (T5) WGC-FESJC (WGC-Bridgestone at the time), his seventh top five of the season. … Won Honda in March.
Notables Entered This Week:
Defending champion Keegan Bradley (T3) was playing in just his second PGA Championship. … Ian Poulter (T3) picked up his best PGA Championship check to this day. … Justin Rose (T3) led the field in GIR and was T2 Birdies (18). … Steve Stricker (T7) was one of nine players who played both weekend rounds in the red. … Adam Scott (T11) ranked T2 Putting. … Bubba Watson (T11) made nothing but was T8 GIR. … Louis Oosthuizen (T21) also circled 18 birdies (T2). … McIlroy and Rose both posted 66 on Sunday, one off the best round of the week. … Perfect weather in Round 1 saw 44 players break par. … Round 2 scoring average was 78.1 and only four golfers broke par (49-year old Vijay Singh 69, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter, 71). … Cut was +6 and only 10 players were under par after 36 holes. … Round 3 had eight rounds in the 60s as a thunderstorm halted play in the afternoon. … Round 4 had 18 rounds in the 60s. … 74.6 scoring average for the week. Of 72 players making the cut, 24 hit 71 percent or better Fairways. … Rose was one of only seven players to hit 50 or more GIR. … There were only six Americans in the top 17. …
Others playing in 2021:
T18 John Daly (1991 winner)
T18 Padraig Harrington (2007, 2008 winner)
T21 Jimmy Walker (2016 winner)
T27 Jason Dufner (2013 winner, 2011 runner up)
T27 Marc Leishman
T36 Rich Beem (2002 winner)
T36 Phil Mickelson (2005 winner)
T36 Vijay Singh (1998, 2004 winner)
T36 YE Yang (2009 winner)
T42 Martin Laird (led the field in Total Driving)
T42 Gary Woodland
T48 Dustin Johnson
T54 Francesco Molinari
T59 Charl Schwartzel
T62 Chez Reavie
T66 Alex Noren
70 Zach Johnson
72 Cameron Tringale
Shaun Micheel (2003 winner)
Martin Kaymer (2010 winner)
Kevin Na (DQ)
Key stat leaders
Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.
|Strokes-Gained: Tee to Green||Player|
|Strokes Gained: Putting||Player|
|7||Si Woo Kim|
|10||Si Woo Kim|
Horses for Courses
|Player (Starts/Cuts Made)||Top 10s||Top 25s||Most Recent||Recent Others|
|Collin Morikawa (1/1)||1||1||Win (2020)||Joined Keegan Bradley as only recent debut winner|
|Dustin Johnson (9/11)||6||7||T2 (2020)||Back-to-back runner ups best of the bunch|
|Paul Casey (12/18)||2||5||T2 (2020)||T10 2016; T30 or better in 5 of last 6|
|Tony Finau (5/6)||2||2||T4 (2020)||T10 2015 debut at Whistling Straits|
|Jason Day (9/11)||6||9||T4 (2020)||Winner 2015, 2nd 2016; T23 or better last 8 PGA|
|Bryson DeChambeau (2/4)||1||1||T4 (2020)||T33 other|
|Scottie Scheffler (1/1)||1||1||T4 (2020)||Rounds of 65, 66 and 68 at TPC Harding Park|
|Justin Rose (12/18)||4||9||9 (2020)||4th 2015; T3 2012 is best|
|Xander Schauffele (3/4)||1||2||T10 (2020)||Each start since his 2017 debut has improved|
|Cameron Champ (2/2)||1||1||T10 (2020)||T54 2019|
|Joel Dahmen (2/2)||1||1||T10 (2020)||T71 2019|
|Brooks Koepka (8/8)||4||6||Win (2019)||Winner 2018; T4 2016, T5 2015|
|Matt Wallace (3/3)||1||2||T3 (2019)||T19 2018|
|Patrick Cantlay (4/4)||1||1||T3 (2019)||T27 next best|
|Jordan Spieth (6/8)||2||4||T3 (2019)||2nd 2015; cashed 6 straight|
|Gary Woodland (7/9)||2||4||T8 (2019)||T6 2018|
|Matt Kuchar (6/12)||4||6||T8 (2019)||T9 2017; T7 2015; T10 2010|
|Adam Scott (16/20)||6||13||T8 (2019)||3rd 2018; T22 2020; 5 straight and 10 of 11|
|Rory McIlroy (11/12)||6||8||T8 (2019)||Win 2012, 2014; T3 2010|
|Jon Rahm (3/4)||1||2||T4 (2018)||T13 2020|
|Stewart Cink (11/19)||3||7||T4 (2018)||First visit since 2014|
|Francesco Molinari (11/11)||3||4||T6 (2018)||T2 2017|
|Thomas Pieters (3/4)||1||2||T6 (2018)||T23 2019|
|Tyrrell Hatton (4/6)||2||3||T10 (2018)||T10 2016|
|Justin Thomas (5/5)||2||3||Win (2017)||T6 2018; T18 2015 debut|
|Louis Oosthuizen (8/11)||1||4||T2 (2017)||T15 next best|
|Patrick Reed (5/7)||1||3||T2 (2017)||T13, 2020; T13 2016|
|Hideki Matsuyama (8/8)||2||5||T5 (2017)||T4 2016|
|Rickie Fowler (9/11)||2||4||T5 (2017)||T3 2014; 7 straight broken 2020|
|Kevin Kisner (4/6)||1||4||T7 (2017)||T19 or better in 4 of 6|
|Branden Grace (4/8)||2||2||T4 (2016)||3rd 2015|
|Martin Kaymer (6/12)||3||4||T7 (2016)||Winner 2010|
|Henrik Stenson (10/14)||5||8||T7 (2016)||3rd 2013; T3 2014|
|Robert Streb (3/3)||2||3||T7 (2016)||T10 2015, T22 2017|
|Others||Top 10s||Top 25s||Most Recent||Recent Others|
|Phil Mickelson (25/28)||9||14||2 (2014)||Winner 2005; Only top 10 in last 12 starts|
|Jason Dufner (7/12)||3||3||Win (2013)||Lost playoff 2011; T5 2010|
|Keegan Bradley (8/10)||2||3||T3 (2012)||Winner 2011 on debut; no top 25 last 7|