Can JT emulate Tiger at the PGA Championship?
Steve: Tiger is the only player since the tournament went to a strokeplay in 1958 to defend the PGA – he’s so good he did it twice. What are the chances of Justin Thomas joining him in such elevated company?
Dan: I have a rule that you should never back the defending champion unless his name is Tiger. Or, err, Brooks. So no. It is a classic case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. What I will say is that Thomas has worn the crown well and looks to be a genuine major contender on an ongoing basis. That isn’t always the case a year after someone makes the major breakthrough.
Mark: Given those odds very small. Unless you are Tiger I like to work on a biennial run of success so we can discount Thomas from our enquiries. Since I didn’t get a chance to answer my own question I’ll go with Jason Day as it seems about time that he did the business again.
Alex: Why not? No one in their right mind would say he doesn’t have a chance at Bellerive. He’s far too talented to be ruled out as a contender on the basis that only Tiger has defended his PGA crown in recent memory.
Dan: Welcome to the last PGA Championship in August. Is the move to May from next year onwards likely to help or hinder the tournament? And can you think of a new strapline, now we can’t fall back on ‘glory’s last shot’?
Mark: ‘Glory’s Second Shot’? You would think that it could only help its standing given it’s been sat at the back end of things for so long. I think it’s a brilliant tournament so hopefully it will come to life a bit more. At the moment, even though it’s still only held in August, it feels like it’s after the party and all the good stuff and before the Ryder Cup.
Alex: It’s a great move. By the time we’ve done The Masters, the US Open and The Open we’re all a bit weary. The Open, the original major, is a perfect end to a summer of golf. As for a strapline, how about: ‘Hey, guys, this IS a major y’know?’
Steve: The move will definitely help. I’d almost forgotten about the PGA this year, so focused is my mind on the Ryder Cup. There’s always a bit of weariness about the last major of the year in August. I tend to feel a little golfed out at this point, such is the relentless trail of top class tournaments. By comparison, when Augusta is over, the weather’s getting better and you’re always ready for more so the PGA should sit very nicely in its new slot. A strapline? Why not ‘The Second Coming’?