The PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, previously the last major of the year in August, is now taking place in May for the first time since 1949. The cold and wet conditions are not the only challenge golfers will face this weekend as Bethpage State Park’s infamous Black Course will host this year’s championship for the first time.
TSN delivers complete coverage of the PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, which began this morning (May 16) at 8 a.m. ET and continues through to the final round on Sunday, May 19 at 11 a.m. ET.
The 2019 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP features an all-star field, including defending champion Brooks Koepka, world #1-ranked Dustin Johnson, and Tiger Woods, fresh off his Masters victory. Looking for his fifth PGA CHAMPIONSHIP title, Woods aims to tie the record for most PGA wins, currently held by Jack Nicklaus. Two Canadians will also tee up at tournament: Corey Conners and Adam Hadwin.
These golfers are up for a substantial challenge on Bethpage Black, known as one of the toughest golf courses in America. Here’s a closer look at this iconic course ahead of this highly-anticipated tournament:
Extreme Difficulty Level
“The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers” reads the famous sign on Bethpage Black’s fence. Experienced golfers will know that this is no exaggeration, the Long Island course is known for its narrow fairways and long rough that make it a challenging feat. Two U.S. Opens have been held on the Black Course, where a total of only six golfers finished below par.
Though the Black Course is difficult overall, one hole in particular daunts even the best players: the 15th. Located on an incredibly steep hill 50 feet above the fairway, the walk up the hole is almost as difficult as the shot itself. In addition to the incline, players must maneuver deep bunkers and a putting surface that severely slopes left to right. The hole has the potential to ruin even the most promising round, and will certainly be a major factor in this year’s championship.
As the 2019 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP’s betting favourite, Woods is looking to extend the renewed success he achieved with his recent Masters win. Woods is no stranger to Bethpage Black as it is the site of his incredible 2002 U.S. Open win, where he was the only golfer to finish below par in the tournament. This year at Bethpage Black, Woods looks to secure his 16th major title, bringing him closer to breaking Jack Nicklaus’ famous record of 18 major wins.
The crowds at Bethpage Black will be far from the silent, contemplative crowds typically seen at a PGA tour stop. The New York golf fans are known for their loud and enthusiastic attendance, often vocally supporting and heckling golfers throughout the course. The 2019 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP will surely gather a large crowd on the public course of Bethpage Black, especially after Tiger Woods’ exhilarating comeback.