FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Moving the PGA Championship to May for the first time in 70 years hasn’t gone well so far at Bethpage Black on Long Island.
On Sunday, more than a half-inch of rain fell from the skies. Monday, the high didn’t reach 50, and afternoon rains took a toll on practice rounds. Tuesday, the high is expected to be 50. And that comes after overnight rains dump more water on the drenched brute.
But a dry spell is on its way – at least that’s what the forecast says – and the atmosphere for the second major of the year should certainly warm up the place. After Justin Thomas’ withdrawal Monday, 99 of the top 100 players in the world are in the field. And one of those players is Tiger Woods, who comes off his electrifying Masters victory.
Oh, and the rabid New Yorkers will be filling the galleries.
Brooks Koepka poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2018 PGA Championship. (Photo: Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports)
The Black, playing to a par of 70 and stretching out north of 7,400 yards, will greet the players each day like a jab to the face. It’s held two previous majors – the 2002 U.S. Open, won by Woods, who was the only player to break par for 72 holes; and the 2009 U.S. Open, won by Lucas Glover at 4 under as only five broke par.
It’s gloomy now at Bethpage Black, but this major should have a lively end.
Here are a few of the storylines to watch.
What will Tiger do?
If he plays like he has in the last three majors, he’ll be right there come Sunday. He finished in a tie for sixth in the British Open after taking the lead to the back nine on Sunday, was second in the PGA Championship and won the Masters. Combined, he was 32-under par in the three majors – three shots better than any other player.
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