Simpson, Morikawa and the contenders to problem the same old suspects

It might not be fairly what we’re used to however main golf is lastly again as Brooks Koepka defends his US PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in California this week.

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic fully worn out The Open Championship for 2020, whereas every of the opposite three majors needed to be rescheduled.

A 3-month enforced break of the PGA Tour maybe got here at an opportune second for some, whereas halting the momentum of others.

As golf gears up for its first main of 2020, behind closed doorways after all, we check out the gamers we anticipate to be competing in California.


It has been some return to kind over the previous couple of years for 2012 U.S. Open victor Webb Simpson, who slipped as little as 90th within the rankings following the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship earlier than his triumph on the Gamers Championship a few years in the past kick-started a profession that seemed in peril of stagnating. Much more promisingly, Simpson has wins both aspect of lockdown on the Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage. Throw in top-10s on the Sony Open and Rocket Mortgage Basic and he definitely has the shape to contend.


Since profitable the 2017 PGA Championship, it has not fairly occurred within the majors for Justin Thomas, whose solely different top-10 in golf’s huge 4 since got here on the similar match a yr later. However this man is a serial contender on Tour and has 4 wins to his identify up to now yr, the latest after all coming on the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday. Thomas is now again at world primary due to his triumph in Memphis and has three different top-10s since golf’s hiatus was lifted so don’t be shocked to see him in competition come Sunday.


He’s a person who splits opinion however one factor that can not be argued is how supremely proficient Bryson DeChambeau is. After bulking up throughout lockdown, he now seems to have much more weapons to his arsenal. Previous to lacking the lower on the Memorial, DeChambeau made eight top-10s in 9 begins, which included a win on the Rocket Mortgage Basic. He has the sport to win a significant.


A reputation maybe not too acquainted with the informal golf fan, however since turning professional in 2019 Collin Morikawa has climbed from 1039th on this planet to 12th. After ending second on the season-restarting Charles Schwab, he received the Workday Charity Open by beating Thomas in a play-off. His different outcomes have admittedly been blended however for many who like an out of doors guess the 23-year-old might take your fancy.


Admittedly, tipping the person who was world primary till Thomas’ win on the weekend to be a contender doesn’t precisely scream creativeness. However the proficient Spaniard was not precisely in peak kind previous to profitable the Memorial final month, which topped his ascension to the highest of the rankings. Previous to that he had gone CUT, T33, T37, T27 at his 4 earlier occasions post-lockdown. However certainly Jon Rahm will finally break his main duck and this weekend may be the time.


Some gamers you simply anticipate to see concerned on the majors. Koepka is aiming to be the primary man in 64 years to win the identical main three years operating and confirmed loads of promise in Memphis over the weekend, the place he completed runner-up to Thomas. Rory McIlroy has misplaced his primary standing after struggling to rediscover his glorious kind previous to golf’s suspension however the Northern Irishman has earlier at Harding Park, the place he received the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play. Tiger Woods actually has not performed sufficient golf in 2020 to guage the place his kind and health is at – he has performed simply as soon as because the season restarted – however by no means, ever write off the 15-time main winner. Dustin Johnson’s kind has been a bit erratic, although he did win the Vacationers Championship on the finish of June.

Printed 03 Aug 2020, 18:20 IST