Here is our quick guide to the eight Australians playing in this week’s US PGA Championship.
The PGA Championship has moved to May meaning it is no longer the last major of the year filling the gap between the Masters and US Open.
The timing now means a number of golfers will arrive at the formidable Bethpage Black golf course without any golf tournament since the Masters. It’s their choice of course but it does raise the question of whether some golfers will be a little underdone.
Here is out quick preview of each of the eight Australians in the field including two US-based Australian golf coaches who will be teeing it up in a major once again.
Day will tee off along side Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy on Thursday on a course that should suit the world number 15. Day’s T5 at The Masters was a good result and a decent T24 two weeks ago has Day match ready. It was his T4 at the same golf course at the Barclays Tournament in 2016 that has us excited about Day’s chances this week.
Withdrawing with a back injury the tournament before a major is not ideal but that’s what happened to Marc Leishman last week. Only days before the Byron Nelson Leishman’s lower back “flared up” but sounded optimistic about playing in the US PGA Championship where his best result was a T13 in 2017. Let’s wait and see.
US-based golf coach Stuart Deane qualified for his third US PGA Championship appearance in three years where he is yet to make the cut. Played last week’s Byron Nelson where he missed the cut by six strokes.
Paired with Sergio Garcia and Justin Thomas, Scott arrives at the US PGA Championship for his first hit since Scott’s T18 at the Masters. While just a month ago, you do have to wonder if another tournament under his belt may have helped but Scott did finish in a tie for 4th place when The Barclays tournament was held at Bethpage in 2016. Along with a 3rd place here last year, we’re optimistic about Scotty’s chances this week.
A missed cut at the RBC Heritage was his only event for Smith since the disappointing T51 at The Masters. Smith’s best finish at the PGA Championship was a T25 back in 2015. A MC and T56 since then.
Jones plies his trade on the Japanese Tour with great success and arrives at Bethpage Black for his first major appearance since 2013. Jones’ best result in the majors was at this same tournament in 2009 where he finished in a tie for 24th place. After finishing 2018 strong, Jones got himself back inside the world top-100 courtesy of victory at the Token Homemade Cup last month where he edged out fellow Aussie Matt Griffin by one stroke.
Herbert is yet to recapture the form where is played some wonderful golf to grab his European Tour care late last year. Arrives at Bethpage sponsored by magnetic therapy wristbands for his third major after missing the cut at the 2018 US Open and a respectable T51 at last year’s Open Championship.
Another US-based Aussie golf coach who has qualified for this event, Hocknull will play in his second consecutive US PGA Championship this week. Hocknull only missed the cut by a couple of shots last year.
And he invented the Saber Cat putter.