Major champs in spotlight at 100th PGA

Justin Thomas

"Did leg lifts as well and was ready to go for today".

Little good that did him.

The world No 1 enters the PGA Championship as the firm favourite and it's pretty clear to see why.

His only other experience at Bellerive came in 2001, when he was preparing for the American Express Championship that was canceled due to the September 11 terrorist attacks. And then he missed the birdie putt, made a double bogey on the next hole and faded away.

Bellerive has also hosted the inaugural Mid-Amateur Championship in 1981, the US Senior Open in 2004, the 2008 BMW Championship, the 2013 Senior PGA Championship and now the 100th PGA Championship.

It's been like that all year.

"It's the last opportunity to win one", Justin Rose said. "I need to train really hard and limit how much I do in practice, the wear and tear on the body, because I'm going to be putting it through its paces in tournament play".

"I've done well, I'm slowly getting back up the world rankings. It's just about managing it". Before, I didn't really have any of those issues early in my career because I didn't have a fixed point in my back.

"The WGC win gave me calm and conviction", he said.

Woods has never been much for moral victories, though he has said throughout the year he considers himself "blessed" simply to be playing. Thomas plays the opening two days with Woods and Rory McIlroy. He learned a lot at the British Open, and he has the game to do it. He's learning to compete again. He had the lead on the back nine on Sunday at Carnoustie before fading into a tie for sixth. He's building up all that.

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The golf will be more formal than Wednesday's all-inclusive go-round and we don't know if Woods has had enough practice time to get things completely straightened out.

Woods has partnered a variety of players over the years, including Furyk four times at the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland.

Tommy FleetwoodTommy Big-Time rolls into St. Louis with a T14 under his belt last week at the WGC but has performed unbelievably well in the major tournaments this season.

Bellerive is busier than usual on the final day of practice for the PGA Championship. The Florida Fleetwood received a $154,000 payment that, it turns out, was the 12th-place money from the British Open that should have gone to the other Fleetwood.

There's no doubt about one thing though - this will be among the most festive atmospheres of the year.

"It's certainly close", McIlroy said. While on the long drive home he realized he could better help young people through his Tiger Woods Foundation, and assess the direction the foundation was heading.

Kerry Haigh of the PGA of America took what some considered a subtle shot at the USGA when he said Tuesday his goal in setting up courses for the PGA Championship is to let the players be the stars.

Bevacqua said the organization decided a couple years ago its current headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens no longer fit the bill.

Some years, the setup itself becomes the tournament's dominant story.

But the game is right there and on a course like Bellerive and its PGA Championship specifics, McIlroy - a two-time victor of the tournament - really should excel. Woods ImpactThere are 156 golfers teeing it up at the year's final major and it is likely every one of them has, at one time or another, been asked about Woods' impact on their careers. It was going back on one plane and coming down on the same plane.

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