The PGA Championship returns to Southern Hills in Tulsa next week. With it will come all sorts of interesting storylines. Who will win is certainly interesting, but there’s so much else to chew on.
So, what’s your favorite storyline heading into the PGA Championship?
Berry: The biggest story in any tournament always will be Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the defending champion with his storybook 2021 PGA, and both Tiger and Phil will be in Tulsa. But the real story is the youth wave. The young guns. Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas. All in their 20s. Just an incredible influx of young talent.
Jenni: It is an amazing group of youngsters, but if Tiger is in the field, that is always going to be the storyline that captures me. My interest only rises considering the current state of things after his car accident. How will he play after his return at The Masters? Will his body be fresh? Will he be able to muster the kind of fight we saw a month or so ago? He’ll keep our interest for as long as he’s in Tulsa.
Berry: The trouble with Tiger is, yes, it would be a great story. But he’s not likely to be a factor. He’s 46 years old, he’s coming off that horrific injury that threatened his career, if not his life, and while he hung in there at Augusta, Southern Hills is a more physically demanding track. I have a friend who loves Tiger. She got tickets for Sunday’s round. I’m not optimistic she’ll get to see him hit a single shot.
Jenni: Counting out Tiger seems a little like counting out Tom Brady. Do it at your own peril. If The Masters is any indication, Tiger’s career isn’t dead yet. But to me, the challenge of Southern Hills is going to be an interesting storyline, too. It’s not as demanding a walk as Augusta National, but the course has been changed since last the pros were there. I’m really curious to see how it challenges all of them.
Berry: Depends on the wind. Always depends on the wind. I hope it blows. I like high scores. But one thing we know about this PGA in Oklahoma; the heat won’t be a big deal. Back when the PGA was in August, playing 18 holes in the afternoon was a torture chamber. So that should keep the complaints to a minimum. And that should help the older guys, like Tiger, trying to keep the young guns at bay.
Jenni: The anticipation of golf’s majors is always fun, but having that anticipation for one being held in our state? Talk about big-time fun. I want more of it. I know Southern Hills is in the rotation, and maybe the PGA is the only one we’ll get. But what about the U.S. Open? Or maybe even the Ryder Cup? I know it’s not a major, but I’d love for Oklahoma to get a chance to host the Ryder Cup. Could be at Southern Hills. Could be at Oak Tree. I think there are options. We aren’t likely to ever have a tour stop, which is fine. Getting a big event or a major every few years might actually be better.