The PGA Championship will be played this week at Quail Hollow in Charlotte North Carolina.This is the first major championship for Quail Hollow which annually hosts the Wells Fargo Invitational. The course has undergone significant changes for the PGA Championship with three brand new holes. The course length has only increased by 25 yards at 7600 yards but the par will be 71. The scorecard below shows the biggest change is the par 4 #1 listed at 524 yards. Notice that #5 has been changed from a par 5 to a par 4 for the tournament. Another interesting point is the 76.5 course rating and 143 slope from the normal back tees. This is truly a difficult course that will play even harder for the PGA.
If you believe in the mantra “horses for courses” then looking at the 2016 final leaderboard might provide insight into possible favorites. Rory, Rickie, Phil, and Hideki played well last year.
Rory McIlroy has won on this golf course and will be one of the strong favorites. An interesting statistic discussed by Brandel Chamblee today was McIlroy’s PGA tour ranking from 125-150 yards. As good as he is with his driver, he then has to take advantage and hit good wedge shots. He is ranked dead last on the PGA tour from this distance. Last week at Bridgestone, 76 players participated and he ranked 76th. It will be interesting to watch this week and see if he can dial in his wedges a little better.