At long last, the first major championship on the golf calendar has arrived. The PGA Championship begins on Thursday in San Francisco at Harding Park and four-time champion Tiger Woods will be in the field.
The PGA Championship will be Tiger’s second start since the PGA Tour resumed play nearly two months ago. He returned last month with an up-and-down performance at the Memorial and finished tied for 40th. With just four competitive rounds under his belt since February, it will certainly be interesting to see how things go this week.
But if Woods can somehow manage to pull off the victory, not only will he take the solo lead on the all-time PGA Tour wins list with 83, he’ll also set another record, the same kind of record he set with his win at The Masters last year.
Tiger Woods’ last PGA Championship win came in 2007
Tiger Woods came to the 89th PGA Championship in 2007 having a great year in the eyes of most but it was likely disappointing to him. He’d already recorded four victories, including a win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational the week prior, but hadn’t yet won a major championship.
Tiger finished second at both The Masters and the U.S. Open and had tied for 12th at The Open Championship. The PGA Championship was his last chance to win a major for the third straight year but the defending champion found himself six strokes off the lead at Southern Hills following an opening round of 71. But he turned a six-stroke deficit into a two-stroke lead heading into the weekend with a brilliant 63 in the second round, at the time tying the record for the lowest round in a major championship.
Woods stretched his lead to three with a 69 on Saturday and moved to 13-0 in majors when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead with a final-round 69 to win by two.
What are his chances at Harding Park this week?
If Tiger Woods is healthy, he’s always a threat to win any golf tournament he plays. But the fact of the matter is that we just don’t know if he can stay healthy for all four rounds, assuming he even makes the weekend, which never used to be an issue. Back issues clearly hindered him at the Memorial and he barely made the cut following a second-round 76. When he looked loose, he played well and shot a pair of 71s at Muirfield, which was playing extremely tough that week. The cool air in San Francisco this week won’t do his back any favors at the PGA Championship.
The good news for Tiger is that he’s won at Harding Park before. In 2005, he beat John Daly in a playoff to win the WGC-American Express Championship and then went 5-0 at the Presidents Cup in 2009 to lead the U.S. to a convincing victory. Woods skipped the last event played here, the 2015 WGC-Match Play that was won by Rory McIlroy, but his past success should help him this week.
With a win at the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods can set the same record he set at The Masters last year
So pretty much everyone knows that with a win at the PGA Championship this week, Tiger Woods would break away from Sam Snead to top the PGA Tour’s all-time wins list with 83. He would also tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen as the only players with five PGA Championship wins. But there’s a much more fun record out there for Tiger this week and it’s one pretty much exactly like the one he set at Augusta last year.
Before winning at Augusta in 2019, Tiger’s most recent Masters victory had been in 2005. The 14-year gap between victories is the longest in the tournament’s history. Woods has the chance to do the same this week at the PGA Championship.
If Tiger Woods wins at Harding Park, it will have been 4,746 days between PGA Championship wins, which would be the most in the tournament’s 102-year history, according to ESPN.
Tiger begins his latest quest for major championship No. 16 this Thursday.