The Majors: US PGA Championship preview

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Golf's first Major of the year is finally upon us with the US PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park.

Here's everything you need to know as Brooks Koepka aims to win his third consecutive US PGA Championship in San Francisco...

TPC Harding Park hosts its first Major.

Have the US PGA Championship tee times been announced yet?

Yes, for the opening two rounds. We're eight hours ahead of San Francisco here in the UK, so you're in for some late nights!

Related: DeChambeau breaks driver at US PGA

Highlights include Tiger Woods playing with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau playing with Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson alongside Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, and defending champion Brooks Koepka playing with US Open champion Gary Woodland and Open champion Shane Lowry.

Rory McIlroy will play alongside Tiger Woods in the opening two rounds.

Round 1: 1st tee start. Round 2: 10th tee start 

3pm/8.25pm: Brian Harman, Jeff Hart, CT Pan

3.11pm/8.36pm: Andrew Landry, Rod Perry, Nate Lashley

3.22pm/8.47pm: Sung Kang, John O’Leary, Dylan Frittelli

3.33pm/8.58pm: Erik Van Rooyen, Russell Henley, Carlos Ortiz

3.44pm/9.09pm: Ryan Palmer, Kevin Kisner, Michael Thompson

3.55pm/9.20pm: Bud Cauley, Lucas Glover, Tyrrell Hatton

4.06pm/9.31pm: Alex Beach, Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel

4.17pm/9.42pm: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ryo Ishikawa, Jason Kokrak

4.28pm/9.53pm: Bernd Wiesberger, Danny Lee, Vaughn Taylor

4.39pm/10.04pm: Keith Mitchell, Matthias Schwab, Brendan Steele

4.50pm/10.15pm: Joel Dahmen, Luke List, Victor Perez

5.01pm/10.26pm: Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Marty Jertson, Tom Lewis

Related: WITB - Ping's Marty Jertson

5.12pm/10.37pm: David Muttitt, Mackenzie Hughes, Harris English

8.30pm/3.05pm: Tyler Duncan, J.R Roth, Christiaan Bezuidenhout

8.41pm/3.16pm: Lanto Griffin, Rich Berberian Jr, Joost Luiten

8.52pm/3.27pm: Jim Herman, Rob Labritz, Shaun Norris

9.03pm/3.38pm: Adam Hadwin, Brandt Snedeker, Xinjun Zhang

9.14pm/3.49pm: Kevin Na, Patrick Reed, Robert MacIntyre

9.25pm/4pm: Matthew Wolff, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell

9.36pm/4.11pm: Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, Hideki Matsuyama

9.47pm/4.22pm: Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott

9.58pm/4.33pm: Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia

10.09pm/4.44pm: Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Webb Simpson

10.20pm/4.55pm: Matt Wallace, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman

10.31pm/5.06pm: Sepp Straka, Ryan Vermeer, Si Woo Kim

10.42pm/5.17pm: Sebastian Munoz, Justin Bertsch, Benjamin Herbert 

Round 1: 10th tee start. Round 2: 1st tee start 

3.05pm/8.30pm: Scottie Scheffler, Danny Balin, Tom Hoge

3.16pm/8.41pm: Mike Auterson, Rory Sabbatini, Nick Taylor

3.27pm/8.52pm: Tony Finau, Danny Willett, Patrick Cantlay

3.38pm/9.03pm: Martin Kaymer, Jason Dufner, Jason Day

3.49pm/9.14pm: Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Steve Stricker

4pm/9.25pm: Henrik Stenson, Collin Morikawa, Zach Johnson

4.11pm/9.36pm: Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland, Shane Lowry

4.22pm/9.47pm: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose

4.33pm/9.58pm: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas

Related: WITB - Justin Thomas

4.44pm/10.09pm: Louis Oosthuizen, Max Homa, Matt Fitzpatrick

4.55pm/10.20pm: Abraham Ancer, Charl Schwartzel, Joohyung Kim

5.06pm/10.31pm: Corey Conners, Zach J. Johnson, Chez Reavie

5.17pm/10.42pm: Scott Piercy, Alex Knoll, Andrew Putnam

8.25pm/3pm: Bob Sowards, Kurt Kitayama, Richy Werenski

8.36pm/3.11pm: Haotong Li, Benny Cook, Jorge Campillo

8.47pm/3.22pm: Ben An, Talor Gooch, Sungjae Im

8.58pm/3.33pm: J.T Poston, Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III

9.09pm/3.44pm: Ken Tanigawa, Emiliano Grillo, Cameron Tringale

9.20pm/3.55pm: Brian Stuard, Jim Furyk, Billy Horschel

9.31pm/4.06pm: Matt Jones, Jazz Janewattananond, Kevin Streelman

9.42pm/4.17pm: Jimmy Walker, Davis Love III, Keegan Bradley

9.53pm/4.28pm: Cameron Smith, Denny McCarthy, Cameron Champ

10.04pm/4.39pm: Troy Merritt, Wyndham Clark, Chan Kim

10.15pm/4.50pm: Doc Redman, Jason Caron, Brendon Todd

10.26pm/5.01pm: Judd Gibb, Lucas Herbert, Mark Hubbard

10.37pm/5.12pm: Shawn Warren, Marcus Kinhult, Adam Long

How is the US PGA Championship still going ahead? 

Public health officials in San Francisco approved plans to hold the US PGA Championship without spectators at TPC Harding Park.

The PGA of America had originally hoped to host up to 40,000 fans per day. Instead, they will adopt the PGA Tour’s safety protocols, which include testing players, caddies and officials for coronavirus on a daily basis, and creating a “bubble” to limit exposure. 

Brooks Koepka is seeking three in a row at the US PGA.

Will Covid-19 affect the field?

Yes. Travel and quarantine restrictions will mean many players not based in the States will struggle to get to California.

Lee Westwood, Eddie Pepperell, Padraig Harrington, Francesco Molinari and Thomas Pieters are all sitting it out, while Branden Grace has withdrawn after testing positive for Covid-19 over the weekend. Paul Waring, Charles Howell II and JB Holmes are all missing the event through injury.

Related: Lee Westwood - My 25 years on Tour

Has TPC Harding Park hosted one of golf's Major Championships before?

No, the US PGA Championship will be its first Major Championship.

The public course was actually a regular PGA Tour venue until 1969 when it fell into a sharp decline. The low point came when it was used as a car park for the 1998 US Open at the nearby Olympic Club.

Rory McIlroy won the WGC Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park in 2015.

What changed?

The course was renovated and extended by more than 400 yards in 2002-2003, at a cost of $16 million.

Since then, it’s hosted two WGCs, the 2009 Presidents Cup and the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship on the PGA Tour Champions three times.

It’s also been chosen to host the 2025 Presidents Cup.

TPC Harding Park hosted the 2009 Presidents Cup.

How do the players feel about TPC Harding Park?

Defending champion Brooks Koepka calls it "a big boy golf course."

"You have to be able to hit it long," says Koepka. "It’s very difficult. I think it will be a great finish. You look at the back nine there, starting on about 13, 14, it gets really interesting.

"It will be exciting, especially if it’s close on Sunday. I think those holes set up for quite a few disasters and some good golf."

Sounds like a perfect Major setting to us.

Related: Ricky Elliot - Life as Brooks Koepka's caddie

Brooks Koepka has won the past two US PGA Championships.

What can we expect to see? 

Not much! August (locally known as “Fogust”) is typically one of the coolest and foggiest months in San Francisco.

The fairways are no wider than 30 yards and are framed by four-inch rough and Cypress trees.

As Brooks Koepka said, the closing stretch does favour the big hitters, though, and includes a driveable par-4 16th, plus a 480-yard sweeping dog-leg around Lake Merced to finish. 

The conditions probably won’t suit Tiger Woods, then? 

Possibly not, but then he did beat John Daly there in a play-off to win the WGC-American Express Championship in 2005.

He also went 5-0 to help the US team defend the 2009 Presidents Cup.

Tiger won the WGC-American Express Championship at TPC Harding Park in 2005.

Who do the bookies think will win the US PGA Championship? 

Brooks Koepka, the two-time defending champion, is joint favourite to lift the Wanamaker Trophy at 10-1 with new World No.1 Justin Thomas.

Rory McIlroy, who won the 2015 WGC-Match Play at Harding Park, is joint second-favourite with Jon Rahm at 14-1.

Bryson DeChambeau is among the favourites.

Bryson DeChambeau is 16-1 to win his first Major, while Tiger Woods is 33-1 for Major No.16.

Interestingly, you can get odds as high as 60-1 for Jordan Spieth to end a three-year winless run and complete the career grand slam.

Jordan Spieth is going for the Career Grand Slam.

Brooks Koepka could win three US PGA Championships in a row. Has anyone ever done it before?

Walter Hagen won four straight nearly 100 years ago, but that was when the format was matchplay.

On the PGA Tour, there hasn’t been a three-peat since Steve Stricker dominated the John Deere Classic from 2009-11.

In fact, only nine men have pulled off the feat since World War II. The last golfer to do so in a Major was the late Peter Thomson, the Australian winning the 1954, 1955 and 1956 Open Championships

Peter Thomson won three Opens in a row from 1954-1956.

Where can I watch the US PGA Championship?

Sky Sports. Live coverage gets underway at 6pm on thursday on Sky Sports Golf and from 7pm on Sky Sports Main Event.

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