PGA course a bomber's paradise: Tiger

Tiger Woods says length off the tee will be essential in soft conditions at this week's US PGA Championship in Missouri.

08-Aug-2018 By Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press
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Tiger Woods has predicted golf's big hitters will hold the US PGA Championship to ransom with soft, wet conditions forecasted for the year's final major.

With heavy downpours on Tuesday, several long suspensions in play forced many in the field to abandon practice rounds at a soggy Bellerive Country Club in St Louis, Missouri.

Bellerive will be the fifth PGA Championship venue in six years to measure longer than 7300 yards - the other four were won by notable long drivers Justin Thomas, Jason Day and two-time winner Rory McIlroy.

Combined with forecasted humidity of at least 60 per cent throughout the week, four-time winner Woods expects Bellerive to be a bomber's paradise.

"It's playing so soft ... you need to get the ball out there," Woods said.

"The ball is just plugging (when it lands), and if anything, it favours a guy who hits the ball high because we're not going to get any run.

"Fortunately, I'm one of the guys who hits the ball high."

In an ominous sign to the 156-player field, McIlroy says Bellerive resembles Kentucky's Valhalla Golf Club, where the Northern Irishman put on a driving clinic in 2014 to claim his fourth major title.

"With the weather, it does remind me of Valhalla where there's a lot of mounding and it's a big, long golf course," McIlroy said.

McIlroy is one of several big hitters arriving at the year's final major in top form.

Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson each have three US PGA Tour victories this year, while Australian former world No.1 Day has two.

Tall, muscular Brooks Koepka won his second straight US Open at Shinnecock Hills in June, while McIlroy broke an 18-month winless drought in March.

Jordan Spieth, whose average drive of 300.1 yards is mid-range on the US Tour, knows it is going to take his best stuff off the tee to compete.

With a Masters, US Open and British Open on his resume, the PGA Championship is the one major that has eluded the 25-year-old.

"There are some meaty holes out there where you really have to drive the ball well and hit a good long iron into the green," Spieth said.

But it's not why he's downplaying his chances of becoming just the sixth golfer to complete the coveted career grand slam.

The 25-year-old is without a win since last year's Open at Royal Birkdale and has struggled with his usually world class putting recently.

"I like to come in in form, so in some sense I feel under the radar," Spieth said.

"I've kind of felt that way a lot this year, I don't mind it."


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