Friday, July 22, 2016

The 5 most interesting PGA Championship groupings

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The groupings and tee times are out for the first two rounds of next week’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., and the PGA of America has some good ones in store for the year’s final major.

In a rare July slot thanks to the scheduling imperative created by golf’s inclusion in the Olympics, the PGA Championship typically has a great setup with a lot of drama.

Here are our top five groups for the first two rounds.

  1. Dustin Johnson, Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson (Round 1: 1:45 p.m., No. 1/Round 2: 8:30 a.m. No. 10) — The three major champions of the year so far get grouped together for the first two rounds. Stenson had the putting week of his life just two weeks ago, while D.J. has been playing the golf of his life for the last month-plus.
  2. Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia (Round 1: 1:25 p.m., No. 1/Round 2: 8:10 a.m. No. 10) — This is a fascinating group as we head toward a Ryder Cup at the end of September. All three of these guys are animated on the golf course and do a good amount of talking to the golf ball.
  3. Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy (Round 1: 8:30 a.m., No. 10/Round 2: 1:45 p.m. No. 1) — The defending champion also draws a two-time PGA winner in McIlroy and the defending venue champion in Mickelson, who won the 2005 PGA here. Day keeps digging major holes early. Mickelson keeps just missing wins. McIlroy seems to be coming around in time for another Wanamaker.
  4. Lee Westwood, Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker (Round 1: 8:10 a.m., No. 10/Round 2: 1:25 p.m. No. 1) — Lee Westwood has enjoyed a great run in the majors this year. Baltusrol should favor a quality ballstriker. Could this be Westwood’s time in a year of first-time major winners who already should’ve had a few by now?
  5. Vijay Singh, John Daly and Padraig Harrington (Round 1: 7:50 a.m., No. 1/Round 2: 1:05 p.m. No. 10) — This is a classic past champions grouping, but Singh has actually been playing some good golf of late. Padraig Harrington also enjoyed a good run at Troon. Daly? Always must-see TV, but he doesn’t have a Great Lake in which to throw a club this year.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.


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