PGA Championship talking points

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Rory’s drought, Tiger’s health and Scheffler’s dominance. The year’s second major championship starts on May 16.
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Brooks Koepka will defend his title when Valhalla stages the 106th US PGA Championship from May 16-19.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the year’s second major championship.

 

Can Scottie Scheffler maintain form?

Scheffler has been almost unstoppable in 2024, winning four times in his last five starts and finishing second in the other.

That run includes claiming a second Masters title and becoming the first player to successfully defend the Players Championship.

Only the imminent birth of his first child looks to have the potential to derail Scheffler’s season, with the world number one skipping the Wells Fargo Championship ahead of the US PGA.

 

Will LIV players justify invites?

Talor Gooch
Talor Gooch is among the LIV Golf players to have received an invite to the US PGA Championship (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A total of 16 players from the Saudi-funded breakaway will be competing in Louisville.

While several qualified through previous major championship victories, the likes of Talor Gooch, Joaquin Niemann and David Puig all received invites.

Gooch has been particularly vocal on the subject of LIV players not having a pathway into majors so it will be interesting to see if he can post a first top-10 finish at the 12th attempt.

 

What can we expect from Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods struggled in his third round at Augusta
Tiger Woods struggled in his third round at Augusta (Matt Slocum/AP)


Woods again defied the odds when he played 23 holes on day two of the weather-effected Masters to make a record 24th consecutive cut, only to slump to a third round of 82, his worst score at Augusta National by four shots.

The 48-year-old has not played competitively since and has had to accept an invite from the USGA for next month’s US Open after his exemption for winning the 2019 Masters ran out.

The end of his incredible career may not be far away.

 

Can Rory McIlroy end major drought?

McIlroy won his fourth major in memorable circumstances at Valhalla in 2014, completing the last hole in near darkness after the group in front – containing title rivals Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler – were persuaded to stand aside on the 18th to allow the final group to tee off.

It was McIlroy’s second major title in four weeks and a third win in succession, but he has not added to his major tally since and was an also-ran in last month’s Masters.

But since then he has won the Zurich Classic alongside Shane Lowry and played some superb shots in the closing stretch.

Another Block party?

Club professional Michael Block dominated the headlines at Oak Hill last year.

He played his way into contention and, playing alongside McIlroy, made a hole-in-one in the final round on his way to a tie for 15th.

That secured a return to Valhalla, where he made his US PGA debut in 2014 and revealed that growing up watching the European Tour on TV had made him a massive fan of Colin Montgomerie, one of his playing partners in the first two rounds.

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