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Golf Glance: PGA Championship field tackles longest course in major history

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Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

PGA TOUR
LAST TOURNAMENT: AT&T Byron Nelson (K.H. Lee)
THIS WEEK: PGA Championship, Kiawah Island, S.C., May 20-23
Course: Ocean Course (Par 72, 7,877 yards)
Purse: $11 million
Defending Champion: Collin Morikawa
FedEx Cup leader: Bryson DeChambeau
HOW TO WATCH
TV: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (ESPN+), 1-7 p.m. (ESPN); Saturday-Sunday, 8-10 a.m. (ESPN+), 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (ESPN), 1-7 p.m. (CBS)
ESPN+ bonus coverage: Thursday-Friday, Featured Group #1, 7 a.m.-7 p.m; Thursday-Friday, Featured Group #2, #3, #4, 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, Featured Group #1, #2, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Featured Group #3, #4, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
NOTES: The 156-player field includes 99 of the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings along with 20 PGA Club Professionals. The field also includes 35 major champions and players representing 25 countries. … At 7,876 yards, the Ocean Course will be the longest in major championship history. It is 200 yards longer than when Kiawah Island hosted the 2012 PGA and breaks the major mark of 7,741 yards held by the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills. … Two-time PGA champion Vijay Singh (1998, 2004) withdrew due to a back injury and was replaced in the field by Wyndham Clark. … Rory McIlroy won his first of two PGA Championships in 2012 by a PGA-record eight strokes. … Morikawa won his first major at San Francisco’s Harding Park last August and now seeks to become the eighth player to successfully defend a PGA title. … Jordan Spieth will make his fifth attempt at completing the career Grand Slam of winning all four majors at least once. He is seeking to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. … NBC on-course reporter and longtime Phil Mickelson caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay will be on Max Homa’s bag this week. … Americans have won seven of the past 10 PGAs, with Mcilroy winning two of the other three. … Rickie Fowler and John Catlin were extended special exemptions into this year’s field.
BEST BETS: McIlroy (+1150 at DraftKings) won his 19th PGA Tour event in his most recent start at the Wells Fargo, snapping an 18-month winless drought. … Justin Thomas (+1450) won the Players earlier this year and claimed his lone previous major title at the 2017 PGA. He has top-10s in each of the past two majors. … Jon Rahm (+1450) seeks his first major title. He leads the PGA Tour with nine top-10s this season, but has a T34 and MC in his past two starts. … Jordan Spieth (+1500) returned from a bout with COVID-19 to post his fourth consecutive top-10 finish last week. … Bryson DeChambeau (+1650) will again attempt to overpower a lengthy major course. If his driver is on, DeChambeau will almost certainly be a factor come Sunday. … Dustin Johnson (+1850) withdrew from last week’s Byron Nelson due to a lingering knee injury and has now withdrawn from three events this year. He has also finished runner-up in the past two PGAs. … Morikawa (+3000) has already joined Woods as the only players to win a major and a WGC title before turning 25. … Two-time PGA champion Brooks Koepka (+5000) has never missed a cut in eight previous event starts. However, he has missed his past two cuts as he recovers from a recent knee procedure.
NEXT WEEK: Charles Schwab Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas

LPGA Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: Honda LPGA Thailand, Chonburi, Thailand, May 6-9 (Ariya Jutanugarn)
THIS WEEK: Pure Silk Championship, Williamsburg, Va., May 20-23
Course: River Course at Kingsmill (Par 71, 6,445 yards)
Purse: $1.3M (Winner: $195,000)
Defending Champion: Bronte Law (2019)
Race to the CME Globe leader: Lydia Ko
HOW TO WATCH
TV: Thursday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. ET (All times Golf Channel)
Livestream: Thursday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. ET (NBC Sports app and golfchannel.com)
NOTES: The event returns after being cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. … Lexi Thompson holds the tournament scoring record of 20-under 264 set in 2017. … Ana Belac, Gabriela Ruffels and Hinako Shibuno are in the field on sponsors exemptions. … Ko (861,377) leads the money list while Inbee Park (68.50) leads the tour in scoring average. … The average age of winners on tour this year is 25.222. … Nelly Korda (390.50) leads the Team USA Solheim Cup standings, followed by Danielle Kang (374.00) and sister Jessica Korda (207.00).
NEXT WEEK: Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play, Las Vegas

Champions Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: Mitsubishi Electric Classic (Dickey Pride)
THIS WEEK: OFF.
NEXT WEEK: Senior PGA Championship, Tulsa, Okla., May 27-30

–Field Level Media

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