It is mid-May of the year 2019. There have been some great rounds of golf already. There has already been one major played and the skill and drama was felt right to the end. It is now the time for the second major of the year, the USPGA Championship. With all that is going on, let’s look in and see what we should focus on and look forward to this weekend.
2019 USPGA Championship – A Preview
The Course and the Weather
The Bethpage Black Course is the hardest of the five-course at Bethpage and adds challenge to even the most skilled golfer. This is the third time this course is hosting a major event. Though it has also been used for two of the Barclays FedEx Cup Playoff Matches. In the 2002 US Open, it was won by Tiger Woods. The 2009 US Open was won there by Lucas Glover. This course in addition to being the site of the USPGA Championship also has a groundbreaking history by being the first public course to host such an event. Prior to the first major here, all events of this stature were hosted at private club courses. This makes this course extra special because avid hobby golfers can watch the best of the best compete on a course they may have played on.
The weather should be agreeable for this year’s USPGA Championship. Even though much of the northeast of the United States has been having a lot of rain. The forecast for the weekend has only about a 20% chance of any rain happening. That and reasonably cool temperatures will keep the players in good stead and depending on how well the greens have drained from earlier weather. We should see a great challenge on the putting side of the ball as well.
Who Can Win it All?
Of course, we all have our favorites, the line makers in Las Vegas have their predictions as well. But when push comes to shove, predicting this game is very hard to do. There are so many factors including just luck itself that even the highest ranked player may not be a factor. However one cannot ignore some of the best who have been showing consistent great play and strength. Brooks Koepka is not only last year’s winner but has finished second twice this year and forth once, though he did miss the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. So he is someone to keep an eye on.
Obviously after his amazing comeback to win The Masters last month, Tiger Woods will be another one to keep an eye on. Riding the wave of such a strong win and honing not only his skill but his patience level. He is truly hunting wins with all the stealth and strength of the animal he shares his name with. Winning two majors in a row would place him in the catbird’s seat in the rankings in the golf world.
A Surprise Withdrawal
Unfortunately, one of the higher favorites to win this week will not be playing. Justin Thomas announced he would not be playing this week due to a nagging wrist injury. While no one can know exactly how much this means to him, having to withdraw from such a desired spot. In the long run, it will be better for him to heal properly and come back stronger than possibly hurt himself more and lose much more time. With any luck, he can be back for the next major later this year. With him leaving a spot open, Kelly Kraft will move up and compete this weekend.
The USPGA Championship is filled to the brim with the best golfers in the world. While we can predict and guess and analyze all day long. Undoubtedly we will see things that will surprise us and amaze us. The winner will have to not only be skillful but have a little luck on their side. This course is not for the weak, but the strongest drive will not be enough if the short game and putting isn’t there. Fore!