PGA of America stacks its pairings for 103rd PGA, which begins Thursday at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course in South Carolina
Three of the top golfers in the world – No. 2-ranked Justin Thomas of the U.S., No. 7 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and No. 13 Brooks Koepka of the U.S. – drew the 8:33 a.m. EDT time Thursday on the 10th tee for the first round at Kiawah Island (S.C.) Resort’s Ocean Course. All three are former PGA champions, and McIlroy won the PGA of America’s most recent visit to Kiawah Island, by a tournament-record eight strokes at the 2012 PGA Championship.
Eleven minutes later, in the next pairing off the 10th tee, golf’s three reigning major champions will play together. American Collin Morikawa, the 2020 PGA champion, will be paired with 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau of the U.S. and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who won last month’s Masters.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson of the U.S. will play with a couple of other former major champions in Shane Lowry of Ireland and Sergio Garcia of Spain at 2:09 p.m. on No. 1.
In a nod to its past, the PGA paired former PGA Championship winners Rich Beem (2002), Shaun Micheel (2003) and Y.E. Yang (2009), all of whom pulled off big upsets for their lone major titles, in the 12:58 p.m. group on the first tee.
Steve Stricker, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for this fall’s matches against Europe, will get a close-up of two of the leading contenders for a captain’s pick this fall. Stricker was paired with Americans Daniel Berger and Billy Horschel, who rank ninth and 12th, respectively, on the Ryder Cup standings, in the 1:47 p.m. group on No. 1 tee.
The PGA, the second major championship of the men’s season, will feature 99 of the top 100 players in the world. Only American Matthew Wolff opted not to play. (For tee times, click here.)
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