The US PGA Championship returns to Kiawah Island for the first time since Rory McIlroy’s second Major title victory in 2012.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, which was designed by Pete and Alice Dye, will make history this week as the longest Major championship venue in history.
At 7,876 yards, the course will play 135 yards longer than previous record holder Erin Hills, which hosted the 2017 U.S. Open.
The course is famed for its beauty, built on a two and a half mile stretch of beach in South Carolina, but also for the test it presents as witnessed at the 2012 US PGA Championship, when the scoring average of the par 72 course was 74.6.
And while it only opened in 1991, the Ocean Course holds plenty of history. Built specifically for the Ryder Cup that year (named War on the Shore), the venue has also hosted the 2007 US Senior PGA Championship and the World Cup of Golf.
The US PGA Championship heads back to Kiawah Island for the first time since McIlroy earned his second Major title by eight shots in 2012.
It was a tournament where weather affected play over the weekend, leaving the Northern Irishman to finish out his third round on Sunday morning. He then closed with a final round 66 to complete his eight shot victory, breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record for the largest winning margin in the PGA Championship, and returning to World Number One.
The 32-year-old arrives at this year’s US PGA following a recent victory on the PGA TOUR, and is one of just 18 European Tour members in the field who also played in 2012. That year, seven of the top ten were Europeans, including David Lynn in second place and Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Carl Pettersson in a tie for third.
Collin Morikawa, US PGA Championship
Collin Morikawa became just the ninth player in history to win on their US PGA Championship debut last year, making a timely eagle at the 16th to earn his maiden Major title by two over Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson.
And although he has spent a few weeks away from competition in the run-up to the year’s second Major, Morikawa still arrives at Kiawah following a spell of good form. He recently captured his first World Golf Championship at the WGC – Workday Championship at The Concession, secured a top 20 at the Masters in April, and has four further top tens this season.