US PGA Championship 2018: The facts, figures and stories behind this year's final major
What do I need to know?
The final Major of the season is celebrating its centenary anniversary and will do so at a course it visited for the first – and only – time in 1992. That year, Nick Price won the Wanamaker Trophy by three shots from a group containing Nick Faldo. Since then, Bellerive Country Club has hosted two Senior Majors and just one PGA Tour event – the BMW Championship – which was won by Camilo Villegas in 2008. Not a lot to go on if you're a betting man.
Surely Tiger's played at Bellerive before?
He hasn't – he was still recovering from winning the US Open on one leg, remember? Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia were in the eld in '08, but nished nine and 10 shots o the pace respectively. Defending champion Justin Thomas has arguably the happiest memories after holing out for eagle on the 18th during the media day last year. But if you do believe in omens, Gary Player completed his career grand slam here at the US Open in 1965. What chance Jordan Spieth will do the same this year?
How many players is he up against?
The field is 156 deep, but it will be reduced to the low 70 scorers and ties at the halfway mark. In the event of a tie, there will be a three-hole aggregate score playo on holes 16, 17 and 18.
Who is the favourite to win?
World No.1 Dustin Johnson is the bookies favourite to win a second major, having claimed his latest victory two weeks ago at the RBC Canadian Open and finishing in a share of third at last week's WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Defending champion Justin Thomas isn't far behind though, winning his third title of the season at Firestone by four shots on Sunday.
We've compiled a run-down of the stats and season of each of the bookies top 10 favourites, plus a few outside bets of our own on our betting tips preview.
➤ Read More: US PGA Championship Betting Tips
What's the course like?
Bellerive's PGA director of golf Michael Tucker says there's an emphasis on being in the fairway.
"There will be no first cut of rough to protect balls from rolling into bunkers, creeks, ponds and other hazards," he cautions. "The first step to success at Bellerive is driving the ball in the fairway."
The course layout is a trademark of Robert Trent Jones, with lots of lengthy par 4s (six are over 450 yards) and elevated greens fortified by hazards. Opened in 1960, it became the youngest course to host the US Open just five years later when no players finished under par.
The original design remains largely intact today and is built around a large creek which comes into play on half of the holes. The biggest changes were undertaken as part of a $9.5 million renovation – by Jones' son Rees – in 2006. It saw two driveable par 4s created on No.2 and No.11, the par cut to 70 and the total yardage extended to 7,316.
Where will the tournament be won and lost? Apart from the two par 5s (the 8th and 17th)?
Take your pick from holes 14 through to 16. Known as 'The Ridge', the stretch typically plays into a prevailing wind and starts with a par 4 dog-leg, where anything left o the tee leaves you blocked out at best; in thick rough at worst.
Next up is a mammoth par 4 with a severely sloping green, followed by a 237-yard par 3 with yawning bunkers in front. Find one of those and it leaves a tough up and down with an elevation change of 12 to 15 feet to the green.
What players say...
Defending champion Thomas told us: "It's a good, kind of old-school place. If those fairways are firm, they're going to be hard to hit, and from the looks of it, that rough is going to be pretty healthy.
"I feel like it could potentially be a pretty similar setup to a Quail Hollow where it could be pretty easy to shoot three or four over but, you know, a good round is a couple under."
Where can I watch the action?
Not on Sky Sports. Or the BBC, barring a last-minute U-turn. Both withdrew from bidding. Instead, it will be broadcast on online-only Eleven Sports.