These are not the names of the only three men in contention for the US PGA, indeed, two are shrouded in much doubt. Rory McIlroy, the defending champion, returns from a serious ankle injury, and it is anyone’s guess what Tiger Woods will shoot over the first two days.
Though he is the defending champion, Rory McIlroy faces an uphill battle to retain the title, after suffering a total rupture of ligaments in his left ankle in July. It is certainly within his capability to put together four astounding rounds of golf, as he has repeatedly blown away the rest of the field in numerous tournaments.
After missing the US Open due to his injury, McIlroy will be at Whistling straits from Thursday through (hopefully for him) Sunday. The Northern Irishman played practice rounds over the weekend in addition to nine holes yesterday in the rain. He will tee off alongside this year’s major winners Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson on Thursday in the 97th edition of the US PGA.
Tiger Woods is garnering much media attention yet again, after some flashes of brilliance at the Quicken Loans National, where he strung together many a birdie. However, he still has to rely on his exempt status at each major at the moment, meaning he needs to start playing more tournaments – he can enter the US PGA for lifetime, as well as the masters. His spot at the US Open is less safe, his last free entry coming in 2018. He can also enter the British Open until age 60.
Besides all of his ailments and swing changes, Tiger Woods is faced with a new problem at this year’s US PGA – He is in danger of falling into the shadows of the Generation that took up the game because of him. Tiger Woods made golf cool for the first time in history, and today’s champions such as Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy grew up watching him play. Now though, at age 39, he is being overtaken – and is running out of time to make swing changes.
Author Eoghan Aston
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