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2024 PGA Championship - 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Excited

By: | Tue 14 May 2024

It would take the most hipsterish of hipsters to declare that the PGA Championship is their favourite of golf's four men's majors, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't sit up and pay attention as this showpiece approaches from Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Wanamaker Trophy is one of the most impressive looking trophies in sport - never mind just golf - and it will take a formidable player to etch their name on the prize as the field gathered here is supreme, to say the least.

Beyond the obvious, why should you be feeling excited about the coming days? Here are some of the leading storylines that we're keeping an eye on.

It's a Major!

Yes, it doesn't have the same resonance as the Masters, the history and uniqueness of the Open, or the national distinction of the US Open, but the PGA Championship is a major and we only have four of them each year in the men's game, so it's a week to savour for anyone who loves to see competitive golf that truly matters.

These days, many of us are feeling just a little fed up (or scunnered to use a word often heard in Scotland) by the state of professional golf. But for a week, we can forget about the PGA Tour's boardroom shenanigans and LIV Golf and focus on something meaningful. The majors now matter more than ever before - therefore, so does the PGA Championship.

Can New Dad Scottie Scheffler Continue His Form?

Brooks Koepka

The Masters champion has put together a run of results that would even rival Tiger Woods at his best, as the likeable Texan has also recently won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Players Championship and RBC Heritage. He's taken a few weeks off - and welcomed a baby boy into the world with his wife Meredith - but can the undisputed number one continue where he left off in March and April?

I wouldn't bet against it!

Has Brooks Koepka Peaked at The Right Time?

Brooks Koepka is also rightly among the favourites. He lives and breathes for the major championships. These are the weeks that motivate and inspire him. Not FedEx Cup Playoffs or LIV Golf events. Weeks like this are the ones where the American comes alive and he looks to have peaked once more at the right time by winning a fortnight ago in Singapore. 

12 months ago, the five-time major champion reminded us that his stature on the grandest stages remains intact, and we should also remember that he's been a four-time runner-up in these most storied events too. 

When the door knocks during a major championship, there's a good chance that Brooks Koepka will be standing on the other side.

Have The Stars Aligned For Rory McIlroy?

If you ever want a reminder of how difficult it is to win a major championship, you just have to ask Rory McIlroy, who is fast approaching a full decade since he lifted his fourth and most recent title. That was in the PGA Championship at Valhalla. And he's back this week having won at the Zurich Classic (alongside Shane Lowry) and in most impressive style on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Each April, the eyes of the world are on McIlroy at the Masters and his quest to complete the career grand slam, but I believe that would be more achievable if he first ends his major drought elsewhere. Have the stars once again aligned for the Northern Irishman?

Returning to Valhalla

This is the fourth PGA Championship to be contested at the dramatically named Valhalla, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened for play in 1986. While no one is going to place this at the top of their list when it comes to golf courses, we have to recognise that it has consistently delivered drama!

Back in 1996, Mark Brooks defeated Kenny Perry in a playoff to lift the Wanamaker, while Tiger Woods' battle with Bob May four years later stands as one of the most memorable contests in this championship's history.

The 2008 Ryder Cup was a raucous affair as the United States avenged a series of crushing defeats at the hands of Europe, while Rory McIlroy's triumph in the darkness in 2014 was a genuine thriller.

Can Valhalla once more put on a show that has us on the edge of our seats?

Will Jon Rahm Show His Best?

Jon Rahm

A year ago, Jon Rahm was considered the man to beat going into the PGA Championship, but that is certainly not the case this time. He cut a frustrated figure throughout his title defence at Augusta National - almost missing the cut - and is yet to win an individual title since he joined LIV Golf.

Like Koepka, the Spaniard is someone driven by what he accomplishes in the majors, but can he flick on the switch like the American is so often capable of doing?

Another disappointing week here will heighten those voices who believe that the LIV circuit isn't the best environment to prime Rahm for the events that truly matter.

Can Tiger Woods Defy The Odds?

Tiger Woods deployed his vast experience and willing determination to make the cut at the Masters, but it was a weekend struggle for the 48-year-old as the undulations of the famed Georgia layout took their toll.

Valhalla may not quite have those same steep hills, but it's not the easiest walk for someone in Woods' condition either, especially over four rounds.

Can the 15-time major champion defy these odds once more and find himself on the leaderboard? That would be a story.

Jordan Spieth - Career Grand Slam?

Speaking of stories, the PGA is the only major that eludes Jordan Spieth in his quest to complete the career grand slam. It doesn't receive the same level of coverage as McIlroy's annual joust with the green jacket - and that's probably partly because few really think he has a chance to triumph this week.

Results and form would suggest that he's more likely to be going home on Friday than he is to get his hands on the sizeable trophy, but we've seen the Texan amaze us in the past. 

Could there be some magic left in there - somewhere?

Bringing The World's Best Together

Due to the schism in the game, we're not seeing the likes of Koepka, Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith playing alongside the best on the PGA Tour often, and that's a loss for golf fans, whatever you might think of LIV and what it represents.

The PGA of America has invited the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Ranking in addition to a host of LIV stars who wouldn't have otherwise been competing, meaning that more or less everyone who should be here, is at Valhalla.

This is a field befitting a major championship - and that will be a joy to witness.

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