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By DOUG FERGUSON - AP Golf Writer



FILE - In this  Jan. 31, 1966, file photo, John Keane, right, general chairman of the Lucky International Golf Tournament, raises the hand of Ken Venturi after presenting him with the winners check of $8,500 at Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. Helping Ken hold the check is his wife, Connie. The PGA Tour made an annual stop at Harding Park in the 1960s, and it produced a pretty stout roll call of champions. The most popular winner was Venturi, who grew up in San Francisco playing the municipal course. (AP Photo/File)

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 1966, file photo, John Keane, right, general chairman of the Lucky International Golf Tournament, raises the hand of Ken Venturi after presenting him with the winners check of $8,500 at Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. Helping Ken hold the check is his wife, Connie. The PGA Tour made an annual stop at Harding Park in the 1960s, and it produced a pretty stout roll call of champions. The most popular winner was Venturi, who grew up in San Francisco playing the municipal course. (AP Photo/File)


FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2005, file photo, John Daly and Tiger Woods assess their ball positions at No. 18, the first hole of a sudden death playoff, during the final round of the American Express World Golf Championships at Harding Park in San Francisco. On the second playoff hole, Daly had a 15-foot birdie putt to win. He missed, and then he missed the 3-foot par putt. Woods won his 10th World Golf Championship and widened his gap at No. 1 in the world. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)


FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2009, file photo, United States Presidents Cup team player Tiger Woods reacts to his birdie putt to win the ninth hole of his singles match at the Presidents Cup at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. Woods would go on to win the match 6 and 5 and clinch the Presidents Cup for the United States. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)


PGA CHAMPIONSHIP ‘20: A capsule look at 10 contenders

A capsule look at 10 players in the 102nd PGA Championship, which starts Thursday at the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco (listed in predicted order of finish):

JON RAHM

Age: 25.

Country: Spain.

World ranking: 2.

Worldwide victories: 10.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship memory: Posting all four rounds in the 60s in 2018 at Bellerive to tie for fourth.

Backspin: Of the six players who reached No. 1 in the world without having won a major, Ian Woosnam took care of that the quickest by winning the Masters the next week. Rahm has won in each of his four full seasons since turning pro, though he has seriously flirted with major contention only at Bellerive two years ago. At 25, he’s too young to be the best without a major. But expectations start now.

PATRICK CANTLAY

Age: 28.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 10.

Worldwide victories: 2.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship memory: A tie for third at Bethpage Black last year, his best finish in a major.

Backspin: California majors mean a little more to Cantlay, a player who does everything extremely well except for winning. Even after losing four years of his career to a serious back injury, no one in the top 10 has won with less frequency. That’s bound to change.

RORY MCILROY

Age: 31.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 3.

Worldwide victories: 26.

Majors: U.S. Open (2011), British Open (2014), PGA Championship (2012, 2014).

PGA Championship memory: Setting the PGA Championship record for margin of victory with his eight-shot win at Kiawah Island in 2012.

Backspin: He has the experience from having won at Harding Park five years ago in the Cadillac Match Play. But he has gone 19 majors since his fourth major title at the 2014 PGA Championship, and except for the 2018 British Open, he hasn’t been in serious contention on the back nine. He’ll be under greater scrutiny at the Masters going for the career Grand Slam. But this major drought is becoming an issue.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

Age: 26.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 7.

Worldwide victories: 7.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship memory: Still waiting to make one. In three appearances, he has yet to break par.

Backspin: He has been listed as a co-favorite with McIlroy from having a victory among his seven straight top-10 finishes, but mostly from his power-based approach to the game. He is getting most of the attention from adding 40 pounds of bulk, creating 200 mph ball speed and shrinking golf courses. This will be his first major test.

TIGER WOODS

Age: 44.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 15.

Worldwide victories: 82.

Majors: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019), U.S. Open (2000, 2002, 2008), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006), PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007).

PGA Championship memory: His 6-foot par putt on the 72nd hole in 2000 at Valhalla to get into a playoff with Bob May, whom he beat for his third straight major.

Backspin: The PGA Championship will be his fourth tournament of the year and not even Woods knows what to expect. He skipped three events before the pandemic-induced shutdown when his back didn’t feel right. It bothered him for one round at the Memorial. If he feels good, he’s a factor. Woods won at Harding Park in a playoff over John Daly in 2005.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE

Age: 26.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 11.

Worldwide victories: 4.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship memory: Posting an 81 in his PGA Championship debut in 2017 at Quail Hollow.

Backspin: Running out of time to extend his streak of winning in each of his first four seasons on the PGA Tour. Schauffele has the power and the attitude to do well at Harding Park, and he has challenged in every major except the PGA Championship. He has an extraordinary amount of fight in his game.

JUSTIN THOMAS

Age: 27.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 1.

Worldwide victories: 13.

Majors: PGA Championship (2017).

PGA Championship memory: The embrace with his father, a head professional, after winning the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in 2017.

Backspin: When he tied for 18th at the Memorial, it ended a peculiar streak of either finishing in the top 10 or missing the cut. Thomas has won in each of his six years on the PGA Tour, including Kapalua this year, and his victory at the World Golf Championship last week elevated to No. 1 again. Inconsistency with the putter has been his biggest obstacle this year.

BROOKS KOEPKA

Age: 30.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 6.

Worldwide victories: 10.

Majors: U.S. Open (2017, 2018), PGA Championship (2018, 2019).

PGA Championship memory: The 4-iron into the 16th at Bellerive for birdie that effective wrapped up a thrilling back nine that led to victory.

Backspin: No one has ever won the PGA Championship three straight times in stroke play. Koepka comes into this major with a left knee that still hurts and only two top 10s since last season ended. But he missed three months recovering from injury and three months because of the pandemic. But he tends to raise his game for the majors, and he showed solid form last week at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, where he was runner-up.

DUSTIN JOHNSON

Age: 36.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 5.

Worldwide victories: 22.

Majors: U.S. Open (2016).

PGA Championship memory: Grounding his club in sand that he didn’t realize was a bunker at Whistling Straits for a two-shot penalty that cost him a spot in the 2010 playoff.

Backspin: The best to never win a major is one list. Johnson is clearly on top of the other list: The best to win only one. He turned 36 in June and is eager to add to his 2016 U.S. Open title. Coming off a victory in the Travelers Championship, he shot 80-80 at Memorial and withdrew after a 78 at the 3M Open.

JORDAN SPIETH

Age: 27.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 62.

Worldwide victories: 14.

Majors: Masters (2015), U.S. Open (2015), British Open (2017).

PGA Championship memory: A runner-up finish to Jason Day at Whistling Straits in 2015 that put him at No. 1 in the world for the first time.

Backspin: This is the fourth time Spieth goes into the PGA Championship with a shot at the career Grand Slam. He has never had so little attention on him because he now has gone three full years since his last victory, and not many chances to win. He is making progress. He is always making putts. He is lacking any momentum.

— Doug Ferguson, AP Golf Writer

A capsule look at golf tournaments held at the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, site of the 102nd PGA Championship that will be played Aug. 6-9:

2015 WGC-CADILLAC MATCH PLAY

Rory McIlroy became the first player to win seven matches in five days to capture his second World Golf Championship, which used a new round-robin format. He had to beat three players on the final day, including a quarterfinal match against Paul Casey that went 22 holes and ended Sunday morning. He beat Gary Woodland in the championship match, 4 and 2, to become the first No. 1 seed since Tiger Woods in 2008 to win the Match Play. About the only thing that went wrong for McIlroy that week were the matches going until dark on Saturday. He had to scrap plans to fly to Las Vegas for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight, instead watching it on pay-per-view in the media center.

CHARLES SCHWAB CUP CHAMPIONSHIP

Before finding a home in Arizona, the PGA Tour Champions season finale was held at Harding Park for three years. John Cook won in 2010, followed by Jay Don Blake in 2011 and Tom Lehman in 2012. In some respects, Lehman won twice at Harding Park. He won the $1 million annuity for the season-long points race in 2011.

2009 PRESIDENTS CUP

Tiger Woods earned a small measure of revenge over Y.E. Yang, who had rallied to beat him in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine a month earlier. Woods beat him in singles to cap a 5-0 week as the Americans rolled to a 19½-14½ victory in the Presidents Cup. Fred Couples won in his debut as U.S. captain. One of the more bizarre moments was when Robert Allenby accused Anthony Kim of leaving the team hotel to party until the wee hours of the morning. And this was after Kim had beaten him, 5 and 3.

2005 WGC-AMERICAN EXPRESS CHAMPIONSHIP

Woods and John Daly made Harding Park feel more like a rock concert than a World Golf Championship. But it ended with the thud. On the second playoff hole, Daly had a 15-foot birdie putt to win. He missed, and then he missed the 3-foot par putt. Woods won his 10th World Golf Championship and widened his gap at No. 1 in the world. In his book, “My Life In and Out of Rough,” Daly said he made $750,000 from finishing second at the American Express Championship. He went straight to Las Vegas and dropped $1.65 million playing slot machines.

LUCKY INTERNATIONAL

The PGA Tour made an annual stop at Harding Park in the 1960s, and it produced a pretty stout roll call of champions. Six of the seven winners are in the World Golf Hall of Fame — Gary Player, Gene Littler, Jack Burke Jr., Chi Chi Rodriguez, Ken Venturi and Billy Casper. The other was George Archer, a former Masters champion. The most popular winner was Venturi, who grew up in San Francisco playing the municipal course.

SAN FRANCISCO OPEN

The San Francisco Open felt like a major based on where it was played — Olympic Club, Lake Merced, Presidio, San Francisco Golf Club, California Club. It finally made it over to Harding Park — twice in one year. And both were won by Byron Nelson in 1944. Nelson beat Jug McSpaden by six shots in January of 1944. It was held again in December later that year, and Nelson held off Jim Ferrier by one shot. Nelson made it three in a row in 1946. But that was across the street at Olympic Club.

FILE – In this Jan. 31, 1966, file photo, John Keane, right, general chairman of the Lucky International Golf Tournament, raises the hand of Ken Venturi after presenting him with the winners check of $8,500 at Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. Helping Ken hold the check is his wife, Connie. The PGA Tour made an annual stop at Harding Park in the 1960s, and it produced a pretty stout roll call of champions. The most popular winner was Venturi, who grew up in San Francisco playing the municipal course. (AP Photo/File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/08/web1_125252086-acd9bdc2780949648ba4b31450d49bca.jpgFILE – In this Jan. 31, 1966, file photo, John Keane, right, general chairman of the Lucky International Golf Tournament, raises the hand of Ken Venturi after presenting him with the winners check of $8,500 at Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. Helping Ken hold the check is his wife, Connie. The PGA Tour made an annual stop at Harding Park in the 1960s, and it produced a pretty stout roll call of champions. The most popular winner was Venturi, who grew up in San Francisco playing the municipal course. (AP Photo/File)

FILE – In this Oct. 9, 2005, file photo, John Daly and Tiger Woods assess their ball positions at No. 18, the first hole of a sudden death playoff, during the final round of the American Express World Golf Championships at Harding Park in San Francisco. On the second playoff hole, Daly had a 15-foot birdie putt to win. He missed, and then he missed the 3-foot par putt. Woods won his 10th World Golf Championship and widened his gap at No. 1 in the world. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/08/web1_125252086-a8e91cab7f43423f8aeceb380eaf08ba.jpgFILE – In this Oct. 9, 2005, file photo, John Daly and Tiger Woods assess their ball positions at No. 18, the first hole of a sudden death playoff, during the final round of the American Express World Golf Championships at Harding Park in San Francisco. On the second playoff hole, Daly had a 15-foot birdie putt to win. He missed, and then he missed the 3-foot par putt. Woods won his 10th World Golf Championship and widened his gap at No. 1 in the world. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

FILE – In this Oct. 11, 2009, file photo, United States Presidents Cup team player Tiger Woods reacts to his birdie putt to win the ninth hole of his singles match at the Presidents Cup at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. Woods would go on to win the match 6 and 5 and clinch the Presidents Cup for the United States. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/08/web1_125252086-0aeb0ec1615a42cbb52a2045b3ddae46.jpgFILE – In this Oct. 11, 2009, file photo, United States Presidents Cup team player Tiger Woods reacts to his birdie putt to win the ninth hole of his singles match at the Presidents Cup at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. Woods would go on to win the match 6 and 5 and clinch the Presidents Cup for the United States. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

By DOUG FERGUSON

AP Golf Writer

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP ‘20: A capsule look at 10 contenders

A capsule look at 10 players in the 102nd PGA Championship, which starts Thursday at the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco (listed in predicted order of finish):

JON RAHM

Age: 25.

Country: Spain.

World ranking: 2.

Worldwide victories: 10.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship memory: Posting all four rounds in the 60s in 2018 at Bellerive to tie for fourth.

Backspin: Of the six players who reached No. 1 in the world without having won a major, Ian Woosnam took care of that the quickest by winning the Masters the next week. Rahm has won in each of his four full seasons since turning pro, though he has seriously flirted with major contention only at Bellerive two years ago. At 25, he’s too young to be the best without a major. But expectations start now.

PATRICK CANTLAY

Age: 28.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 10.

Worldwide victories: 2.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship memory: A tie for third at Bethpage Black last year, his best finish in a major.

Backspin: California majors mean a little more to Cantlay, a player who does everything extremely well except for winning. Even after losing four years of his career to a serious back injury, no one in the top 10 has won with less frequency. That’s bound to change.

RORY MCILROY

Age: 31.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 3.

Worldwide victories: 26.

Majors: U.S. Open (2011), British Open (2014), PGA Championship (2012, 2014).

PGA Championship memory: Setting the PGA Championship record for margin of victory with his eight-shot win at Kiawah Island in 2012.

Backspin: He has the experience from having won at Harding Park five years ago in the Cadillac Match Play. But he has gone 19 majors since his fourth major title at the 2014 PGA Championship, and except for the 2018 British Open, he hasn’t been in serious contention on the back nine. He’ll be under greater scrutiny at the Masters going for the career Grand Slam. But this major drought is becoming an issue.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

Age: 26.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 7.

Worldwide victories: 7.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship memory: Still waiting to make one. In three appearances, he has yet to break par.

Backspin: He has been listed as a co-favorite with McIlroy from having a victory among his seven straight top-10 finishes, but mostly from his power-based approach to the game. He is getting most of the attention from adding 40 pounds of bulk, creating 200 mph ball speed and shrinking golf courses. This will be his first major test.

TIGER WOODS

Age: 44.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 15.

Worldwide victories: 82.

Majors: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019), U.S. Open (2000, 2002, 2008), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006), PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007).

PGA Championship memory: His 6-foot par putt on the 72nd hole in 2000 at Valhalla to get into a playoff with Bob May, whom he beat for his third straight major.

Backspin: The PGA Championship will be his fourth tournament of the year and not even Woods knows what to expect. He skipped three events before the pandemic-induced shutdown when his back didn’t feel right. It bothered him for one round at the Memorial. If he feels good, he’s a factor. Woods won at Harding Park in a playoff over John Daly in 2005.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE

Age: 26.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 11.

Worldwide victories: 4.

Majors: None.

PGA Championship memory: Posting an 81 in his PGA Championship debut in 2017 at Quail Hollow.

Backspin: Running out of time to extend his streak of winning in each of his first four seasons on the PGA Tour. Schauffele has the power and the attitude to do well at Harding Park, and he has challenged in every major except the PGA Championship. He has an extraordinary amount of fight in his game.

JUSTIN THOMAS

Age: 27.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 1.

Worldwide victories: 13.

Majors: PGA Championship (2017).

PGA Championship memory: The embrace with his father, a head professional, after winning the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in 2017.

Backspin: When he tied for 18th at the Memorial, it ended a peculiar streak of either finishing in the top 10 or missing the cut. Thomas has won in each of his six years on the PGA Tour, including Kapalua this year, and his victory at the World Golf Championship last week elevated to No. 1 again. Inconsistency with the putter has been his biggest obstacle this year.

BROOKS KOEPKA

Age: 30.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 6.

Worldwide victories: 10.

Majors: U.S. Open (2017, 2018), PGA Championship (2018, 2019).

PGA Championship memory: The 4-iron into the 16th at Bellerive for birdie that effective wrapped up a thrilling back nine that led to victory.

Backspin: No one has ever won the PGA Championship three straight times in stroke play. Koepka comes into this major with a left knee that still hurts and only two top 10s since last season ended. But he missed three months recovering from injury and three months because of the pandemic. But he tends to raise his game for the majors, and he showed solid form last week at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, where he was runner-up.

DUSTIN JOHNSON

Age: 36.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 5.

Worldwide victories: 22.

Majors: U.S. Open (2016).

PGA Championship memory: Grounding his club in sand that he didn’t realize was a bunker at Whistling Straits for a two-shot penalty that cost him a spot in the 2010 playoff.

Backspin: The best to never win a major is one list. Johnson is clearly on top of the other list: The best to win only one. He turned 36 in June and is eager to add to his 2016 U.S. Open title. Coming off a victory in the Travelers Championship, he shot 80-80 at Memorial and withdrew after a 78 at the 3M Open.

JORDAN SPIETH

Age: 27.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 62.

Worldwide victories: 14.

Majors: Masters (2015), U.S. Open (2015), British Open (2017).

PGA Championship memory: A runner-up finish to Jason Day at Whistling Straits in 2015 that put him at No. 1 in the world for the first time.

Backspin: This is the fourth time Spieth goes into the PGA Championship with a shot at the career Grand Slam. He has never had so little attention on him because he now has gone three full years since his last victory, and not many chances to win. He is making progress. He is always making putts. He is lacking any momentum.

— Doug Ferguson, AP Golf Writer