ST. LOUIS (WCIA) — The PGA Championship is back in St. Louis for the first time since 1992 and Bellerive Country Club is ready to host the game’s best players for the 100th edition of golf’s final major.
Last year the Illini were well represented at the PGA championship at Quail Hollow with four former Illini in the field. This year, not so much. Only one former Illini able to qualify, the Belgian Thomas Pieters. He joins a loaded field of of the best golfers in the world including Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, and world #1 Dustin Johnson
“I mean it would be a very big accomplishment,” Johnson said. “I think it’s definitely something that I really want to do is get that second major. This week, it would mean a great deal. Especially after I’ve had a really good year so far, I think it would make it into a great year.”
Jordan Spieth is going for the career grand slam this week. His best PGA Championship finish was in 2015 when in was the runner-up.
“I feel somewhat under the radar this year, I’ve kind of felt that way a lot this year, I don’t mind it,” Spieth said. “But at the same time this tournament will always be circled until I’m able to hopefully win it someday.”
Then there’s Tiger Woods. Would another major prove that he is back? He thinks he’s already proven that.
“Just the fact that I’m playing the tour again, Craig. You know it’s been, just for me to be able to have this opportunity again is a dream come true,” Woods said. “I’ve said this many times this year, I didn’t know if I could do this again and lo and behold here I am.”
Woods is in the feature group with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy on Thursday and Friday. Pieters is in a pairing with Bill Haas and Louis Oosthuizen, teeing off at 1:59 on Thursday. You can watch first and second round coverage in TNT, Saturday and Sunday will be on WCIA 3.