It’s the first full week of August and we’ve reached the point in the calendar for our first major golf tournament of the season. Man, that was weird to type. All of the best players in the world are out in San Francisco at TPC Harding Park playing for the very robust purse of $11 million.
The west coast edition means that those of us on the eastern block will be getting some night golf on ESPN and CBS. Brooks Koepka is looking to become this tournament’s first ever three-peat winner while Jordan Spieth will be looking to complete the career Grand Slam and Tiger Woods will be competing for his 16th major title. There will be plenty to follow out in San Fran.
Can Brooks Make History?
The play for Koepka hasn’t been great this season, but the 30-year-old is fresh off a runner-up finish in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and sits at sixth overall in the World Golf Rankings. The Florida State product has won four major titles since 2018 and two of them came in this event. He’ll be looking to make history this weekend at TPC Harding.
In the Stroke Play Era, only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods own three-plus Wanamaker Trophies and Koepka will look to join them this weekend. No one has ever won this tournament three years in a row, but the world’s best major player will be looking to make a run at it this weekend. As a matter of fact, no player has a won a major tournament three years in a row since the 1950s.
Everyone will be on Brooks Watch throughout the weekend as he looks to become just the 15th golfer with five major championships to his name.
The worst thing about a golf tournament can be the end of the daylight. Sunlight is a necessity to play a round and it causes the PGA Tour to finish their events before 6:00 or 6:30pm very often. That means a lot of us are unable to see the action on Thursday and Friday while any plans on Saturday or Sunday can take you away from seeing how the tournament plays out.
Thank goodness for the west coast.
Similar to last year’s U.S. Open, the 2020 PGA Championship will be played in California and that means plenty of time to consume some golf after work on Thursday/Friday and in the evening on Saturday/Sunday. The action will be going until 10pm on the first three days and we should be crowning a champion around 9:00pm on Sunday night in the eastern time zone.
We get some golf after work and our afternoons free with primetime golf on Saturday and Sunday. This right here is the good stuff, my friends.
JT’s Hot Hand
Well, Jon Rahm’s run as the No. 1 golfer in the world did not last very long as Justin Thomas reclaimed the top spot after recording his third win of the season and the 13th of his PGA Tour career. Each has occurred since 2015 and there is no real denying that the Oldham County native is the best golfer on the planet right now.
At just 27 years of age, the St. Xavier High School alum is searching for his second major championship and he is currently listed as the co-betting favorite along with Brooks Koepka at 10-1. JT’s only other major title occurred at the PGA Championship in 2017 and he’ll be looking to collect his second Wanamaker Trophy this weekend.
Thomas has been excellent for the last couple of seasons and has quietly passed both Koepka and Jordan Spieth as the best thing at 30 or under going in golf. We should expect him to be in contention in every tournament he competes in from here moving forward.
Rory McIlroy had no shot at the win last weekend, but Daniel Berger came up big for us with a 65 on Sunday to finish tied for second and cashing that top-10 ticket. We will look to find another winner this weekend for the first major of the year and I have a feeling a ton of you are going to hate this pick.
This will be the first major tournament held at TPC Harding Park, but some are speculating that it could play out similar to what we saw at Bethpage Black last year. That means hitting bombs off the tee will be the most important attribute and the winner will most likely come from that group. I’m looking at you, Bryson, but you better bring some bug spray.
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) July 30, 2020
DeChambeau currently leads the PGA Tour in driving distance and in strokes gained off-the-tee. He hasn’t been great in his two tournaments since winning in Detroit, but the structure of the PGA Championship should fit him well. We need his putter to get hot, but we’re riding on the 26-year-old and the No. 7 ranked golfer to give us a win at 11-1.
It seems like he’s been around for awhile now, but this will actually be the first major that Matthew Wolff has competed in. The young phenom has three top-25 finishes in his last five starts and he gets the ball off the tee. Wolff ranks eighth on the tour in driving distance and 15th in strokes gained. This course should suit him well and he has a chance to make a run and win if things bounce right.
We’re riding him on 8/1 odds to finish in the top-10 and -182 to make the cut. It’s time to ride the long ball this weekend.