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PGA Championship capsules
Champions Tour

PGA Championship capsules

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 8:29 p.m. ET

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — A capsule look at 10 top contenders in the 101st PGA Championship, to be played May 16-19 on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park (listed in predicted order of finish):


Age: 34.

Country: United States.


World ranking: 1.

Worldwide victories: 21.

Majors: U.S. Open (2016).

PGA Championship highlight: Not realizing he was in a bunker at Whistling Straits in 2010, grounding his club in the sand and getting a two-shot penalty that kept him from being in a playoff.

Bethpage history: Best finish was a tie for 3rd at The Barclays in 2012. Tied for 40th in the 2009 U.S. Open and tied for 18th at The Barclays in 2016.

Backspin: Victories this year in Mexico City and Saudi Arabia. With Johnson, it always seems there should be more, especially majors. He lost a one-shot lead in Hilton Head. He was runner-up at the Masters, but only because he finished strong. One major in 12 years is not enough for his talent.


Age: 43.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 6.

Worldwide victories: 92.

Majors: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019), PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007), U.S. Open (2000, 2002, 2008), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006).

PGA Championship highlight: The only player in the stroke-play era to win the PGA in consecutive years. Woods did that twice.

Bethpage history: Won the 2002 U.S. Open for the second leg of the calendar Grand Slam. Tied for 6th at the 2009 U.S. Open and tied for 38th at the 2012 Barclays, the first visible sign of back trouble.

Backspin: His victory at the Masters puts Woods on top of the golf world in the eyes of fans given the magnitude of his comeback. The last time Augusta National and Bethpage Black were the opening two majors, he won the both in 2002. Woods has not played since winning the Masters, the first time he won a major having to contend with so many players on the back nine.


Age: 30.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 4.

Worldwide victories: 23.

Majors: PGA Championship (2012, 2014), U.S. Open (2011), British Open (2014).

PGA Championship highlight: Set the PGA Championship record for margin of victory at Kiawah Island in 2012 when he won by eight shots.

Bethpage history: Tied for 10th in his U.S. Open debut in 2019. Tied for 19th and tied for 34th in his two appearances at The Barclays.

Backspin: His shot at the career Grand Slam gone for the year, McIlroy looks to add to his major championship total. Along with his win at The Players Championship, he has finished in the top 10 in every tournament he has played this year except for the Masters.


Age: 29.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 3.

Worldwide victories: 8.

Majors: PGA Championship (2018), U.S. Open (2017, 2018).

PGA Championship highlight: Held off Tiger Woods and Adam Scott to win the PGA Championship last year at Bellerive in St. Louis.

Bethpage history: Tied for 70th at The Barclays in 2016 in his only appearance at Bethpage.

Backspin: Will try to join Tiger Woods has the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship in stroke play. Woods did it twice. He is 47-under par in his last five appearances in the PGA Championship. In six of his last nine majors, he has three wins, a runner-up finish and has not finished worse than a tie for sixth.


Age: 25.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 39.

Worldwide victories: 14.

Majors: Masters (2015), U.S. Open (2015), British Open (2017).

PGA Championship highlight: Finishing runner-up at Whistling Straits in 2015 in his bid to win the American slam of majors.

Bethpage history: Tied for 10th, four shots behind, in 2016 at The Barclays.

Backspin: No one has ever completed the career Grand Slam at the PGA Championship, and Spieth has not been trending in that direction. His last victory was the 2017 British Open. More telling is that he was No. 3 in the world at this point a year ago.


Age: 48.

Country: United States

World ranking: 23.

Worldwide victories: 47.

Majors: Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), PGA Championship (2005), British Open (2013).

PGA Championship highlight: Getting up-and-down for birdie on the 18th at Baltusrol to win the PGA in 2005.

Bethpage history: Twice a runner-up in the U.S. Open, to Tiger Woods in 2002 and to Lucas Glover in 2009. Tied for 38th and tied for 13th at The Barclays.

Backspin: Mickelson loves majors at Bethpage and they love him. Both times he had a chance in the U.S. Open, he dropped shots over the closing stretch to fall out of serious contention. Would be quite the coincidence if he were to finally win a major at Bethpage without it being the one major (U.S. Open) he lacks.


Age: 36.

Country: Italy.

World ranking: 7.

Worldwide victories: 8.

Majors: British Open (2018).

PGA Championship highlight: A late surge and a runner-up finish at Quail Hollow in 2017.

Bethpage history: Tied for 27th in the 2009 U.S. Open and missed the cut at The Barclays in 2016.

Backspin: If he didn't get enough respect in his British Open victory, he should have from his run at the Masters. He has four wins and two runner-up finishes in the last year, and dating to the '17 PGA at Quail Hollow, he has four top 10s in his last six majors.


Age: 24.

Country: Spain.

World ranking: 11.

Worldwide victories: 7.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship highlight: Going into the final round at Bellerive just three shots out of the lead. He tied for fourth.

Bethpage history: He will be making his Bethpage debut.

Backspin: He tied for fourth in the PGA last year and tied for ninth in the first major of the year at the Masters. He has won in each of his three years as a pro, though that includes a team victory two weeks ago in New Orleans. He has a big game for a big course at Bethpage.


Age: 26.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 5.

Worldwide victories: 10.

Majors: PGA Championship (2017).

PGA Championship highlight: Winning his first major in the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in 2017.

Bethpage history: Tied for 10th, four shots behind, in 2016 at The Barclays.

Backspin: Tied for 12th at the Masters, but hasn't played since because of a wrist injury. How bad it is remains somewhat of a mystery, but Thomas chose to withdraw from the Wells Fargo Championship and will join Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau as top-10 players who haven't competed since Augusta National.


Age: 39.

Country: Spain.

World ranking: 26.

Worldwide victories: 4.

Majors: Masters 2017.

PGA Championship highlight: Trailing by five shots on the back nine at Medinah in 1999 and pushing Tiger Woods to the very end.

Bethpage history: Played in final group and finished fourth in the 2002 U.S. Open, tied for 10th in the 2009 U.S. Open, and lost a two-shot lead in the final round and tied for third in the 2012 Barclays.

Backspin: In an otherwise rough year marked by damaging greens in Saudi Arabia and mixing it up with Matt Kuchar over a tap-in at Match Play, Garcia is starting to show some form. He reached the quarterfinals at Match Play and tied for fourth at the Wells Fargo Championship. He usually contends at Bethpage.


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