SPI­ETH GOES FOR THE GRAND SLAM

A PGA Cham­pi­onship vic­tory will see young golfer make his­tory again

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Fresh from be­com­ing the sec­ond youngest player in his­tory to win three legs of the ca­reer Grand Slam af­ter a vic­tory at The Open cham­pi­onship last month, Jor­dan Spi­eth gets a chance to col­lect the only ma­jor he is miss­ing, the PGA Cham­pi­onship.

The fourth and last big tour­na­ment for this year tees off at Quail Hol­low Club in Char­lotte, North Carolina, on Thurs­day.

Win­ning at Quail Hol­low will earn Spi­eth the hon­our of be­ing the youngest golfer in his­tory to cap­ture four ma­jors – clip­ping Tiger Woods by a lit­tle more than eight months.

With his Bri­tish Open tri­umph at Royal Birk­dale last month, Spi­eth joined the le­gendary Jack Nick­laus as the only player to take three legs of the Grand Slam be­fore the age of 24. He only turned 24 on July 27.

The sec­ond-best golfer in the world is cur­rently en­joy­ing a good run on the course. He beat Matt Kuchar by three shots to take the Claret Jug.

But North­ern Ire­land’s golden boy, Rory McIl­roy, is also ex­pected to show his class dur­ing the event to prove that he has what it takes to be vic­to­ri­ous.

He won the PGA in 2012 and 2014, and will be gun­ning for his third vic­tory.

This week, McIl­roy parted ways with JP Fitzger­ald, his cad­die of nine years, due to dif­fer­ences over club se­lec­tion, among other things.

His golf bag is now car­ried by Harry Di­a­mond, the man who will guide him at the cham­pi­onship.

There will be an ar­ray of other top golfers out to show their met­tle and hop­ing to make a mark at Quail Hol­low.

South Africa will have Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen com­pet­ing at the event.

With no Mzansi golfer hav­ing won any PGA Cham­pi­onship since its in­cep­tion, it would be great to see one of the golfers do the coun­try proud.

Grace im­pressed at The Open by be­com­ing the first golfer in the his­tory of the event to score eight un­der par 62 in the third round. This was the low­est round of golf reg­is­tered by a player in this event.

Will Grace re­peat the same feat in North Carolina and win the cham­pi­onship, which car­ries a prize purse of a whop­ping $10.5 mil­lion (R139 mil­lion)?

As is the norm, the course will not be an easy walk for com­peti­tors – Quail Hol­low has been de­signed to give the them a run for their money for the du­ra­tion of the event.

It will be in­ter­est­ing to see who comes out on top.

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