Dustin Johnson at Quail Hollow
CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 11: Dustin Johnson of the United States plays his second shot on the eighth hole during the second round of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club on August 11, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The “Queen City” and its course built for a King (Quail Hollow), are playing host to golf’s best in the 99th PGA Championship ($10.5 million dollar purse). Sniffing 7,600 yards and showing its teeth right out the gate (524 yard par 4, 1st), the old adage has held true, “Par is golden.” Sitting on your couch and pouring through the Money List, it would’ve been easy to pick Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, or Rickie Fowler. But that’s why they play the game.

3 Reasons to Watch the PGA Championship this Weekend at Quail Hollow

1) Underdogs have their day at the PGA

With the history of this tournament, put a little starch in your backbone and take the bottom half of the field, going into the weekend. For no other reason than the fact the PGA Championship has a propensity to throw curveballs. Granted, Rory McIlroy has won two of the last five and Tiger Woods hoisted the trophy four times. The fact of the matter is, a lot of solid games became household names after this championship. Since 2001, seven good players have become great in four days (David Toms 2001, Rich Beem 2002, Shaun Micheel 2003, Yang Yong-eun 2009, Keegan Bradley 2011, Jason Dufner 2013 & Jimmy Walker 2016).

2) Quail Hollow is literally one of the best courses you will ever see, or traverse

Not only does it have length, but the greens are off the charts fast. If you believe, like I do, that you “Drive for Show & Putt for Dough,” this is your kind of track. With the undulations and speed of the putting surfaces, the players barely have to blow on the ball to get it to go 10 feet. Pay close attention to how much time the players spend looking at their putts on Sunday. Even three-footers will test their nerve coming down the stretch. That means the flatstick will be the deciding factor in this event. Go check out who is best at Strokes Gained on the Green.

3) There is no better organization than the PGA Tour

The class of the individuals playing and volunteering at these events is unmatched in professional sports (PGA, LPGA & Web.com Tour). On top of that, they are the most giving and caring group of people, quite possibly on the face of the earth. The PGA Tour donated $166 million in 2016 alone and $2.5 billion since their inception. It’s hard not to pull for people like that. Especially when you think about how they have to perform each week to make money. Yes, they earn big coin, but only if they play well during a given week. Performance based contract, what a novel concept.

So kick back, grab a snack and get ready to watch the pros navigate a very formidable track. This game of moving chess will be less about the birdies made and more about saving par. We’ll see how far they’re willing to go to reach the mountain, but as stated earlier, I project an underdog will bathe in the applause of tens of thousands.

 

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