Luke's take on the 2020 USPGA Championship
TPC Harding Park Golf Club set the stage for the first golfing Major of 2020, and while it has been the host to many notable golf tournaments in the past, this year it had quite a different outlook.
TPC Harding Park is a municipal course designed back in 1925 by Willie Watson & Sam Whiting.
In 2002 a renovation took place, which extended the course from 6700 yards to 7200 at a Par of 72 for (the locals) which puts it on the radar for PGA Tournament golf.
Just last week our modern day Professionals played it at 7251 Yards Par 70 reducing the course to only 2 par 5’s which both still over 550 yards long saw many an eagle during moving day and that exciting final round.
Set up like a Major’s course we saw many a ball dig deep into the 4/5 inch rough off errant drives. Making it difficult for even the longest of hitters to capitalise on their length and get that ball close to the flag if that all important fairway was missed.
The two longest hitters that week Bryson and Finau played together on the final day, which was exciting to watch. Both clear of the field by at least 10-12 yards off the tee in driving distance they still couldn’t close out their first ever major.
However, as you see at most TPC golf courses the fairways are generally pretty generous when you hit into the right areas, which made it pivotal for the not so longer hitters. (still talking between 285 and 300 yards).
The tournament winning shot for me came at the short Par 4 16th. Collin Morikawa, stepped up and drove the green with a beautiful 293-yard tee shot. This set up a 7-footer for eagle ,which he calmly sunk for a two-stroke lead.
Under that amount of pressure to hit that soft fade with his driver tells me the yardage set up perfect for him and cementing a firm grip on the covenanted Wannamaker Trophy with only 2 holes left to play. Might the outcome have been different with thousands of spectators looking on? We will never know.
In my opinion this isn’t the last we will see of the talented 23 year old. He will go on to win more PGA Tour events and even more Major Championships.
All in all, our first major of the year was an exciting watch. The bombers of this modern day game were packed in tight behind the winner but it just goes to show that distance isn’t always everything in this wonderful sport we all love and enjoy.