PGA Championship, Tiger Woods absentee

The challenge for world leadership, the new 'clash' between the loyalists of the PGA Tour and the rebels of LIV Golf

by Andrea Gussoni
PGA Championship, Tiger Woods absentee

The challenge for world leadership, the new 'clash' between the loyalists of the PGA Tour and the rebels of LIV Golf. And again: the presence in the competition of 99 of the best 100 players in the world (for a field of 156 competitors) and the forced absence of Tiger Woods.

These are just some of the ingredients of the 105th edition of the PGA Championship, the second men's Major of 2023 scheduled from May 18 to 21 at the Oak Country Club (East Course) in Rochester (capital of Monroe County, in the state of New York) .

Pga Championship, schedule

Where the American Justin Thomas, slipped out of the world Top 10 (he is now 13th), will defend the title conquered in 2022 when, with a par on the third hole of the play-off, he overtook his compatriot Will Zalaris (the only absent from the top 100, due to a back operation suffered last month).

Thomas in the United States pursues the trio of affirmations in the tournament, which made him also in 2017 when he conquered the first Grand Slam title by two strokes beating Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen.

And Chicco Molinari will be the only blue competing in the PGA Championship, who has already played 12 times in his career obtaining three Top 10 (in fact he finished 10th in 2009 and 6th in 2018). From the Spanish Jon Rahm, world number 1 with 4 affirmations in 2023, including the feat at The Masters, to Scottie Scheffler, second in the world ranking and fresh from 5th place in AT&T Pebble Beach.

From Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy (scored in both 2012 and 2014), who is a member of the Oak Country Club and whose wife Erica was born and raised in Rochester, to Jordan Spieth, a Texan who will try to fulfill his dream of completing the Grande Slam.

There is a field of great opportunities in the USA. Where 17 LIV Golf players will also take the field, including past winners of the caliber of Phil Mickelson (returning after missing the competition in 2022, already runner up at The Masters 2023), winner in 2005 and 2021 (when claimed as oldest major champion) and Brooks Koepka (2018 and 2019).

Spotlights also on Dustin Johnson (fresh from his exploits in the LIV Golf Tulsa), Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed. Also waiting for Jason Day, back from victory in AT&T Byron Nelson which allowed him to break a five-year fast.

Space then for the two captains of the Ryder Cup 2023 in Rome, Zach Johnson for the USA team and Luke Donald for the Europe team. The big absentee will be Woods (who dominated the race four times, most recently in 2007), forced to withdraw after the recent foot surgery aimed at resolving the post-traumatic arthritis resulting from his previous heel fracture.

Everything is ready in Rochester where, after The Masters, the challenge between the "traditionalists" and the "separatists" of the green will be renewed, who will compete for the Wanamaker Trophy (71 centimeters tall, weighs over 12 kilograms).

In a show event which was played for the first time in 1916 (won by the Englishman Jim Barnes) and whose success record (five each) is shared by Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen, golf legends.

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