Following a tough loss at The 145th Open, Phil Mickelson turns his attention to Baltusrol Golf Club's Lower Course for this week's PGA Championship, the same venue that yielded him a Wanamaker Trophy back in 2005.
Lefty opened the 2005 edition with rounds of 67-65 and cruised home with 72-72 on his way to a 4-under 276 victory (Monday finish due to weather). He bested Thomas Bjorn and Steve Elkington by just one stroke that year. It would go in the books as his first (and still only) PGA Championship win. Despite just one win, he boasts a 22-for-23 record with nine top 10s at the PGA. We know the course sets up well for Mickelson based on that 2005 victory, but the question mark lies in his ability to rebound from a heart-breaking loss at The Open two weeks ago. Despite beating third-place J.B. Holmes by 11 strokes, Lefty finished three strokes shy of the winner, Henrik Stenson. That kind of loss could certainly take its toll on a golfer. However, with four podium finishes on the season, the 46-year-old is aging rather gracefully and should still be squarely on the radar for gamers this week.
James Hahn missed the cut in his 2015 PGA Championship debut and now sets his eyes on Baltusrol Golf Club for the 98th edition.
Hahn vaulted up the FedExCup standings with his victory at the Wells Fargo Championship, jumping from 120th to 26th place. Since then he's finished outside the top 40 in six straight starts and now finds himself 38th in the FEC race. On the season he ranks 114th in strokes gained tee-to-green and 167th in strokes gained putting. Given the statistical profile, he's a long shot to contend this week, but he also won the Wells Fargo Championship on the heels of eight straight missed cuts so anything is possible.
Vijay Singh finished inside the top 10 at the 2005 PGA Championship held at Baltusrol Golf Club and returns this week for another crack at the A.W. Tillinghast Design.
Singh finished T10 at the 2005 PGA Championship and hasn't found a top 10 in a PGA Championship in 10 trips since. His closest was a T16 at the 2009 edition (Hazeltine) but all other finishes have been outside the top 30. More recently he's flashed a bit of form with a runner-up finish at the Quicken Loans National last month. The 53-year-old ranks just 97th on TOUR in driving distance now, a metric that fueled much of his success during his prime. Baltusrol Golf Club's Lower Course stretches out past 7,400 yards, which may be out of Singh's range at this point in his career. The Hall of Famer will need to rely on course management this week if he wants to jump back into contention.
Henrik Stenson will seek back-to-back majors when he lines up in this week's PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey.
The Swede produced some astonishing golf to win the Open Championship at Royal Troon and gamers now need to decide if he'll keep the good times flowing or suffer some mental letdown after the high of landing his first major in such brilliant style. Stenson has an enviable record in the PGA Championship with third places in both 2013 and 2014. Add in T4 in 2008 and T6 in 2009 and it's one of the best around. The 40-year-old was T47 at Baltusrol in the 2005 PGA and, on other A.W. Tillinghast tracks used for majors, posted T26 in the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and T9 in the 2009 edition at Bethpage Black. He's grouped with fellow 2016 major winners Danny Willett and Dustin Johnson over the first two rounds. The trio peg it up on the 10th tee at 08:30 Thursday.
YE Yang stunned Tiger Woods to win the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine and tees it up again in the year's final major at Baltusrol this week.
Yang followed that with T8 in the 2010 Masters and also posted T3 in the 2011 US Open but he's had something of a career slump since. He's 5-for-9 overall in the PGA, including T47 at Baltusrol in 2005, and made the cut for the first time in three years when T48 last year. As for the current state of his game, the Korean has shown flickers with T12 in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and T21 in the BMW International Open in Germany. He also played four rounds in the Scottish Open although had to settle for T62. Yang will tee it up alongside two fellow former PGA winners, Martin Kaymer and Jason Dufner, at 1:05pm Thursday (10th tee).
George Coetzee goes into this week's PGA Championship on the back of a Sunday 63 in the Canadian Open.
Where did that come from? The South African had carded a 77 the day before and looked to be limping home near the back of the pack. He'd also missed the cut in three of his previous four starts although a T21 in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone suggested there might be some good golf around the corner after a poor run of form. Coetzee will be playing his fourth PGA Championship and showed he could thrive when T7 at Whistling Straits last year (his best finish in the majors) after halfway exits in the previous three PGAs. He's inconsistent but clearly has the talent to reward gamers who want to take a chance. The 30-year-old has an 08:50 tee-time Thursday (from the 10th) alongside American Rod Perry and Japan's Hideto Tanihara.
Thongchai Jaidee won the prestigious Open de France earlier this month but will now try and find the right formula for success in the PGA Championship.
The veteran Thai now has eight European Tour titles to his name but after 29 starts in the majors he still hasn't managed a single top 10. It's a record that's hard to comprehend. His sole top 20 was T13 in the 2009 Open while, at the PGA, he's missed seven of nine cuts and never bettered T36. Gamers need to decide whether he's due or simply a lost cause at this level. Jaidee plays alongside American Jim Herman and Belgian Thomas Pieters over the first two rounds at Baltusrol. They set off from the 10th tee at 1:35pm ET on Thursday.
Jamie Donaldson is 2-for-3 in the majors this year as he readies for another crack at the PGA Championship.
This event provided his only top 10 in a major when he posted T7 at Kiawah Island in 2012. He also made the top 25 (T24) in 2014 but withdrew in both 2013 and 2015 after carding opening rounds of 80 and 79 respectively. He's also failed to avoid the big numbers in recent starts and, after a bright start in the Open Championship (69), Donaldson fell back to T72 after shooting 73-76-79 over his final 54 holes. The Welshman, who was T21 at the Masters earlier this year, tees off from the 10th on Tuesday at 08:20 ET. He has major winners Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley for company over the first two rounds at Baltusrol.