The second major of the year will be held outside of Charleston, South Carolina this weekend. The 2021 PGA Championship will take place at the beautiful Kiawah Island Golf Resort off the coast of the Palmetto State. Rory McIlroy is expected to win after winning the Wells Fargo Championship two years ago, and McIlroy won the last PGA Championship held here in 2012.
Event: PGA Championship
Category: PGA Tour
Date: May 20 – May 23, 2021
Location: Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
2020: Collin Morikawa -13
2019: Brooks Koepka -8
2018: Brooks Koepka -16
2017: Justin Thomas -8
2016: Jimmy Walker -14
We saw Collin Morikawa hit 65 and 64 on the weekend to win the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park last August. Morikawa was able to hold off 2018 and 2019 champion Brooks Koepka and others despite this being just his second appearance in a major.
Koepka beat out Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods in 2018 and 2019, and Justin Thomas bested the field at Quail Hollow Golf Club in 2017. Each of the last four PGA Championships has been decided by two strokes.
McIlroy dominated at the 2012 PGA Championship here on Kiawah Island. He made history with his eight-stroke victory, surpassing Jack Nicklaus as the golfer with the best margin of victory at a PGA Championship. While every other player struggled to make par, McIlroy closed out the weekend with a 67 on Saturday and a 66 on Sunday to finish 13-under. The strong wind led to no golfer hitting better than a 69 on Friday, and that’s something to watch this year.
This is the longest course in the history of golf majors. Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course is now a whopping 7,876 yards, so big hitters will have an edge. However, this links’ style course being right on the water is going to severely punish golfers if the winds are up. There isn’t an extremely windy day in the cards according to the most recent weather reports, but there will be close to 10 MPH of wind for most of the major.
The 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island was the toughest tournament that year. According to Rob Bolton at the PGA Tour’s website, the average round was 2.6 strokes over par and there were a whopping 286 double bogeys. The 2021 PGA Championship should see some of the highest rounds all season with that in mind.
Prediction To Win the Tournament: Bryson DeChambeau
Given the length of the course and the prioritization of long drives, Bryson DeChambeau should do well here. DeChambeau brings the most lumber of any golfer on the PGA Tour, ranking first in driving distance at 322.0 yards. He won last year’s US Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, so he is in good form and there is some pressure off his shoulders now that he has claimed a major.
Who’ll Finish In The Top 5: Brooks Koepka
There isn’t a golfer that rises to the occasion like Brooks Koepka. Although Koepka has missed the cut in his last two events, he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open and finished runner-up at the WGC Championship in February. Koepka has four major wins to his credit and has finished top ten in 13 majors since 2014.