The second Major of 2019 commences tomorrow and I am excited to see how the professions are going to react to the new schedule of front loading the new season with Majors. All the top players are aware of beast the resides within New York’s Bethpage Black course and will take nothing for granted. With the top players all in attendance (except Justin Thomas), it can be anyone’s tournament; even Jordan Spieth!
The field at this year’s PGA Championship is (as always) one of the toughest ever. Many top players like Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson are on form and have the odds in their favour. Of course, the resurgence of Tiger Woods winning the Masters has the golfing world turned on its head. Everyone is saying he is back and poised to make a run at every Major this year. I am not convinced, but Tiger cannot be overlooked when he is playing solid golf.
With such a strong field, where does Jordan Spieth fit into the mix. He has not finished in the top 20 in any event in 2019. His stats show a career in jeopardy and he continues to slide down the world rankings. He looks like a mere mortal compared to just 4 short years ago when he looked unstoppable, yet he reminds me of dry tinder just waiting for a spark! Once the heat is turned on, he will be a fiery phoenix rising from the ashes!
I would never have thought that Jordan Spieth would be considered a long shot at best heading into any Major. He continues to struggle with all parts of his game and his spiral of poor play is akin to Rory McIlroy. Both had very early success and both have/are experiencing a golfing funk that is difficult to explain. Regardless, the odds are not in Spieth’s favour to win at Bethpage Black this weekend.
Having said that, a quick start and with all the focus being on Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson might be the spark that Spieth needs to regain his former glory. If he is to win his career grand slam this weekend, he will have to do it from the front of the field; he will have to lead wire to wire. His game is not strong enough to come from behind in dramatic fashion.
When watching the action on the first two days, the following groups are the ones to watch:
- 1:16 p.m. – Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth
- 1:38 p.m. – Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day
- 8:24 a.m. – Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari, Tiger Woods
- 12:43 p.m. – Tony Finau, Billy Horschel, Ian Poulter
Winning a career grand slam is difficult enough, but completing it at Bethpage Black just adds to the challenge. Jordan Spieth has a chance, but he will have to break the shackles of his current play and regain his former form. Is this possible, the short answer is yes; however he has an entire field to conquer. I will provide my picks tomorrow on who I think will win the second Major of 2019, so stay tuned!
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