All eyes on Tiger’s comeback and Jordan Slam quest at PGA

Woods, a 15-time main champion, and three-time main winner Spieth are grouped with four-time main winner Rory McIlroy in a marquee trio for the primary two days at Southern Hills.

Tiger Woods walks off the 18th inexperienced after ending his spherical throughout the first spherical of the Masters at Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership on 7 April 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. Image: Jamie Squire/Getty Photos/AFP

TULSA – Tiger Woods and his unbelievable harm comeback and Jordan Spieth’s quest for a profession Grand Slam will seize the highlight in Thursday’s opening spherical of the 104th PGA Championship.

Woods, a 15-time main champion, and three-time main winner Spieth are grouped with four-time main winner Rory McIlroy in a marquee trio for the primary two days at Southern Hills.

Prime-ranked Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, 2021 British Open winner Collin Morikawa and second-ranked Spaniard Jon Rahm are among the many most fancied gamers and are collectively as properly, however may battle to match the Woods group spectator rely.

“Tiger’s right here, so no person actually remembers that I am right here,” Scheffler mentioned. “So it is all good.”

Woods suffered extreme leg accidents in a February 2021 automobile crash, spending weeks hospitalized and months unable to stroll.

His emotional return ultimately month’s Masters ended with a share of forty seventh and a stamina battle, however he noticed strolling 72 holes as a significant feat and says he is stronger as one other endurance take a look at looms.

“I’ve gotten stronger since then, however nonetheless it will be sore and strolling is a problem,” Woods mentioned.

Requested if he can win, Woods mentioned, “I really feel like I can, undoubtedly. I simply must go on the market and do it.”

Amongst these attempting to cease him might be Rahm, who comes off a victory two weeks in the past on the US PGA Mexico Open.

“He is Tiger. He is a competitor,” Rahm mentioned. “He will attempt to win each single time and anytime he tees up, the world desires him to win.

“Yeah, completely anticipated for the eye to be on him, however it does not actually change something of what I wish to be doing this week.”

Like Rahm, Spieth desires to be having his title engraved on the Wanamaker Trophy. If he wins, Spieth will be part of Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Participant, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen as the one gamers to brush all 4 main titles of their careers.

Spieth received final month’s Heritage title and was second ultimately week’s hometown Byron Nelson occasion. He expects Southern Hills might be formidable.

“I believe it will be one of many increased scoring PGAs that we have seen,” Spieth mentioned. “It is an amazing take a look at.”

World quantity 4 Cameron Smith of Australia, a top-five Masters finisher in three of the previous 5 years, is prepared for the battle of taking part in within the group simply forward of Woods.

“There might be a number of exterior noise with crowds and simply much more shifting components,” Smith mentioned. “Simply one other factor to essentially take into consideration. Simply be sure that to spend a bit of bit extra time worrying about what’s occurring outdoors to ensure once you’re inside that shot, every little thing’s good.”

Tough winds are anticipated, with the strongest breezes on the primary two days.

“The forecast is completely different daily on this wind,” Woods mentioned. “It is alleged to be all completely different instructions. We’ll see a special course nearly daily.”

That, warns Rahm, additionally comes with tee packing containers made for adjustable distances, altering the holes every day irrespective of the climate.

“They will really make it as troublesome as they wish to be,” Rahm mentioned. “They will actually, really manipulate the rating out right here very simply, even when the circumstances are benign and we do not get an excessive amount of wind.”

SCHEFFLER NO.1 SWAGGER

Scheffler, blissful to cover in Woods’s shadow, will attempt to turn into the primary participant to win the inexperienced jacket and PGA Championship in the identical 12 months since Nicklaus in 1975.

“It is proper in entrance of you. It is simply actually onerous,” Scheffler mentioned of the course. “You recognize what to do. It is simply onerous to truly do it.”

4-time main winner Brooks Koepka sees Scheffler as the person to beat.

“He is primary on the earth. That often has one thing to do with it,” Koepka mentioned. “I believe confidence, too. Primary on the earth, you have obtained that swagger once you stroll on the vary. I do know I did.

“I am fairly certain all people else that has been primary, you have obtained a bit of additional strut. You’ve got obtained a bit of one thing and I believe it is noticeable.”

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