The season’s final major, the PGA Championship, has made its way to Lake Michigan for the third time in 12 years as the tour rolls into Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. All but three of the world’s top-100 will be in the field this week and the three players missing are all injury related. Dustin Johnson returns to the place where he infamously grounded his club in the bunker on the final hole of the 2010 PGA Championship.
The 72-hole record at the PGA Championship belongs to David Toms who shot 265 in 2001. 12 players have fired a 63 in the events history. Of course, this is all a moot point this week since none of the rounds have been fired at Whistling Straits and the PGA Championships is one of two majors that travels from year to year. But, keep a look out to see if anyone sets the tournament record this week.
Dates: August 13 – 16 2015
Course: Whistling Straits
Stats: 7,514 Yards; Par 72
Television Broadcast Coverage (Times):
Thursday: TNT 2:00 – 8:00 PM EST
Friday: TNT 2:00 – 8:00 PM EST
Saturday: TNT 11:00 – 2:00 PM, CBS 2:00 – 7:00 PM EST
Sunday: TNT 11:00 – 2:00 PM, CBS 2:00 – 7:00 PM EST
Purse: $10 million total purse, $1.8 million winner’s share
2015 PGA Championship Predictions, Picks at Whistling Straits Final Three Holes
The 16th hole at Whistling Straits is the shortest Par-5 on the course playing to 569 yards and was the second easiest hole on the course in the past. Players will have to challenge this hole since the final two are far from easy holes. Off the tee players will be forced to fire away with bunkers and Lake Michigan flanking the fairway on opposite sides. Players that go for it will have to fly the sand dunes or could opt to play safe to the right and leave a wedge to the green. Birdie is all but a must here.
The Par-3, 17th hole will play every ounce of the 223 yards claimed on the scorecard. As one of the historically hardest holes, normally in the top-5, at Whistling Straits, this par-3 is waiting to kill the field. Missing the green left is all but dead either in the perilous bunker or Lake Michigan depending on the bounce. If players guard and go right, the bunkers and hillside will challenge each ball coming their way. Par here is always a good score.
The 500 yard, par-4 finishing hole is rightfully the hardest hole on this incredible Pete Dye design. Nicknamed Dyebolical (notice the play on words there), a closing par here is a good score. Two choices meet the field on the tee. Go right and leave a very long second shot into the green or go left and cut off distance but a carry of 280 is a must to avoid the trouble. From either location, the players will be forced to challenge inherently challenging winds and the creek up front into a green just begging you to try and get close. There is not a better way to challenge the field on the final hole of the major championship season.
2015 PGA Championship Predictions, Picks at Whistling Straits Top Picks
The last major of the calendar is here and the PGA Championship is the place but attempting to pick a winner out of a full field event is a lot like a needle in a haystack. However, that is part of the excitement whether it is a wager, fandom or even a fantasy team. It’s time for the 2015 PGA Championship Predictions, Picks at Whistling Straits Top Picks.
|Dustin Johnson||Struggling a bit since that horrific three putt at the US Open but did use Firestone to knock the rust off. The "bunker" on the 18th hole that cost him a playoff the last time that the PGA Championship was at Whistling Straits is gone. He knows the course and knows how to score here besides his length is an obvious plus here. Do not be shocked.|
|Jordan Spieth||It is no stretch to have him on the list but it is a must. He is trying to join Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan as the only players to win three majors in a season. Heck, no point in over analyzing this. He is the hottest player on tour even when he misses he is still right there. His incredible Par-4 stats will drive the week and give him a leg up.|
|Rickie Fowler||Fowler was ranked the most "overrated" on tour by players and since has won the Players Championship and has an impressive runner-up at the Quicken Loans National coupled with a top-10 at Firestone. He has all the game that is needed and his confidence is finally coming through. This could be the week that his first major championship trophy comes home.|
|Bubba Watson||The last time the PGA Championship was here he finished second. Speaking of seconds, he is coming off back to back runner-up finishes at the RBC Canadian Open and Bridgestone. In his last five starts he has three top-2s and a win. He is ready.|