Thomas Bjorn withdraws from PGA Championship with back injury

People are preparing for the 100th PGA which starts Thursday

Nicklaus needed just three tries after winning the PGA in '63 to win his first British Open, and Player likewise needed three tries after the '65 U.S. Open to win his first British.

Bellerive has its own historic genealogy to add to the cachet of number 100.

Since returning to full-time competition earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, Woods has gone from No. 666th in the world to No. 51.

Getty Dustin Johnson is the favorite this weekend at the PGA Championship.

But Bellerive has a strong Southern African connection with Gary Player and Zimbabwe' Nick Price winning the only two majors it has previously hosted. The par-70 course measures 7,300 yards. The par-3 sixth is Bellerive's shortest hole at 213 yards, and with little room for error, can be one of its most hard.

The USGA is often criticized for its U.S. Open setups, whether that's because of long, thick rough or penal green speeds that are created to produce a specific winning score. That could make an already long course play even longer from tee to green, but the otherwise the course handled the rain quite well. And which long shots stun the golfing world?

The Englishman says it's nothing he worries about, but he has taken notice.

"As long as I can compete and have some fun", he said, "and not get in the way".

"I'm a little under the radar this year, and I don't mind it", Spieth acknowledged, "but at the same time, this tournament will always be circled until hopefully I win it one day". You just take it for what it is and hit it between the trees at 370.

Bellerive has 11 dogleg holes that move from right to left.

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"By March I saw that his game was in a lot better shape and his health was in a lot better shape", Furyk said. I played a practice round with (Mark Calcavecchia), and, you know the tragedies that happened transpired. "If you don't, you'll see the field get separated pretty quickly". It's been ideal. What's really cool is when they come over - they don't just sign, they talk. It's similar to Congressional, where Rees Jones did the same thing.

"The greens, they look a little worse than they actually putt", McIlroy said. "It was family, then academics and then golf". "So it's just about trying to find that blend".

I had a tendency to wander. "Really good for the fans and I think good for CBS, too". Other contenders further down the odds to win the PGA Championship include Rickie Fowler (+2200), Justin Rose (+2200), Jon Rahm (+2500), Tiger Woods (+2800), Tommy Fleetwood (+2800), Francesco Molinari (+3300) and Patrick Reed (+3500). Which is the harder task?

Is there a player you have a warm feeling about this week for any reason?

All of a sudden, Woods is relevant again thanks to a T-6 at the British Open. "That's where his focus needs to be right now". Is that something you can fix in one week to be competitive?

"We were a golf-based foundation". And there is some speed with it.

"I think he's got a good case, " said Love, who will assistant Furyk this year along with Woods and Stricker. Uihlein is a decent mid-level DFS play normally since he has nice distance off the tee while also being a solid scrambler, but he isn't recommended this week he is weak in areas necessary for success at Bellerive.

"I have three or four weeks before I have to make those picks". If he cleans that up, he might have a shot.

Dan Reardon has covered golf for radio station KMOX in St. Louis for 33 years.

Woods is playing for his fifth PGA Championship, 15th major and 80th PGA Tour overall victory. Reardon served as Director of Media relations for LPGA events in both St. Louis and Chicago for 10 years.

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