PGA CHAMPIONSHIP '18: Facts about final major of the year


"I didn't ask for it", Jim Furyk said of his 8:17 a.m. ET first-round tee time at Bellerive with Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele, now 11th and 13th respectively on the Ryder Cup points list. And a lot of stretching.

But‚ like his compatriots‚ he is only one good round away from rediscovering the form and game that has made him a top 15 player in the world in the past.

On Monday, the somebodies and nobodies of St. Louis coexisted and bonded over the somebodies and nobodies of the PGA Tour, here at Bellerive Country Club for the practice rounds, the calm before the storm (but hopefully not literally).

Ninth-ranked Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion, hold the last two places but a host of rivals are within reach, the nearest being Bryson DeChambeau and five-time major victor Phil Mickelson.

Thomas weighed less past year, about 145 pounds at the start of it.

"I can't really talk about my Friday nights, but I can talk about Saturdays", Fleetwood joked.

Kerry Haigh of the PGA of America took what some considered a subtle shot at the USGA when he said Tuesday his goal in setting up courses for the PGA Championship is to let the players be the stars.

It's been like that all year. "It's another chance to give myself a chance to win a golf tournament". They're going to look at if you win or lose. Now, Woods must "get the mindset back prior to all the injuries and all the surgeries". So things are going to be different from day to day, and it's just about managing it. I played in a lot of final groups and I haven't played well enough when it's counted.

Woods has never been much for moral victories, though he has said throughout the year he considers himself "blessed" simply to be playing.

Anyone who doesn't believe Mickelson and Woods will be captain's picks should they not vault into the eight automatic qualifier spots by Sunday probably believes John Daly will win another major championship and donate his winnings to Gamblers Anonymous.

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Kostis should know. He helped his own son, who had a similar procedure in nearly the exact same place in his lower back, make the same kind of adjustments to his swing. He's building up all that. "I was just happy that he had his moment and he deserved that win really".

Woods and McIlroy have won the same number of majors over the last four years - none.

"I hit some balls (on the range) today and felt absolutely fine and comfortable with my swing and the way it's moving".

"Sometimes golf is just like that and it's just a case of keep doing what you're doing and eventually it will happen".

Woods might be bigger now than when he was winning, perhaps because fans had every right to wonder if they would ever see him again, or see him when he was capable of posting low scores. I feel like the tougher challenges, tougher courses have suited me this year whilst I've been on my game and I've been playing well.

The rain interrupted a lot of schedules.

"You have to make the most of everything, you have to see the positives and just move on and forget about it and that's what I've tried to do this year". Two weeks earlier, he was one shot off the lead until a 71 on a good day for scoring at Carnoustie.

Woods no longer has that luxury.

A win at this year's PGA Championship would be his 80th career win and his first win since 2013, and would tie the PGA Championship records set by Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen, who both won the trophy five times.