Posted 1 years ago

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Justin Thomas Defends US PGA Championship at Oak Hill

Justin Thomas Defends US PGA Championship at Oak Hill
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The American world number 13, Justin Thomas will defend his title when the 105th US PGA Championship takes place at Oak Hill Country Club, New York from May 18-21.

Thomas is bidding to win his third US PGA title at a venue that last staged the event in 2013 when it was won by Jason Dufner.

Thomas, who rallied from a record-tying seven shots back to win his second major championship last May, hasn't won a tournament since.

He's also dealt with some rather serious health issues that led to a new special diet he's been trying in recent months.

Now at Oak Hill Country Club this week in Rochester, New York, Thomas feels like he's near the point where he can win a tournament again. Whether that means he can successfully defend his title at this year’s major championship, however, remains to be seen.

This year, 94 pros turned up, including 12 of the world's top 20, and Thomas beat them all alongside his playing partner, Mike Walrath. 

Davis Love III once referred to it as the first major of the year. No one seriously counts it as such, though Justin would probably like it if they did.

The main contenders for the year's second major championship.

a) Jon Rahm - Masters champion Jon Rahm will be seeking a third major title in the 105th US PGA.

Rahm's brilliant early-season form had taken a slight dip before the Masters as he finished 39th in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, withdrew from the Players Championship due to a stomach virus, and failed to reach the knockout stages in the WGC Dell Match Play

b) Brooks Koepka - Koepka won back-to-back US PGA titles in 2018 and 2019 in a run of eight major appearances which yielded a total of four victories and a runners-up finish in the 2019 Masters.

The big-hitting American also recorded three top-six finishes in majors in 2021, but was not a factor in 2022 as he struggled with injuries and a loss of form.

Admitted recently his decision to join LIV Golf would have been much harder if he had been fully fit but looked close to his best as he threatened to lead from start to finish in the Masters before being overhauled by Rahm.

c) Scottie Scheffler - Scottie Scheffler has won twice and finished no worse than 12th this season on the PGA Tour.

He was unable to join Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods in winning back-to-back Masters titles, although a share of 10th at Augusta ensured his worst result in 2023 remains a tie for 12th in the Genesis Invitational.

He has played just three times in the US PGA, finishing fourth in 2020 and eighth in 2021 before missing the cut at Southern Hills last year.

d) Rory McIlroy - Despite losing his semi-final of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play from two up with three to play, McIlroy left Austin Country Club feeling "really bullish" about the state of his game and his chances of completing the career grand slam at Augusta.

McIlroy finished eighth in defense of his title at Oak Hill in 2013, is a member of the club, and is also a fan of the recent renovation of the East Course.

e) Matt Fitzpatrick - Began the Masters stressing the need for low expectations after an injury-hit start to the season, but finished 10th at Augusta and seven days later defeated Jordan Spieth in a thrilling play-off for the RBC Heritage Title.

Had a poor record in the US PGA before finishing fifth last year, missing the play-off by two shots after playing the final round in the last group.

A month later found himself in the same position in the US Open at Brookline and produced a brilliant bunker shot on the 72nd hole to seal a first major title.

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