A day after the induction of the greatest class in its history, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2021.
A day after the induction of the greatest class in history, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 2021 class.
Jordan Spieth shot a 6-under 66 in the third round to remain in the hunt, though K.H. Lee is creating some distance at the top of the board.
K.H. Lee won the AT&T Byron Nelson to claim his first title on the PGA TOUR. He won by three with eight birdies in the final round. Check out the clubs he used to get it done. RELATED: Final leaderboard Driver: Callaway Epic Max LS (10.5 degrees @9) Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6 X 3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees) Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD GP 7 X Hybrid: Titleist TS3 (19 degrees) Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD HY 95 X Irons: Titleist U500 (4), Callaway X Forged CB (5-PW) Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52, 56, 60) Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 Putter: Toulon Design San Diego Ball: Titleist Pro V1x Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
As Collin Morikawa brings his big game to a monster Kiawah course, get a look at what got the 24-year-old to major-champ status.
Here’s what’s ahead for each team leading up to 2020-21 season finale.
We’re on to a three-game slate of playoff action Sunday after a wild series opener from the Capitals and Bruins on Saturday.
The PGA Championship returns to Kiawah Island this week. The Ocean Course, designed by Pete and Alice Dye, is known for both its beauty and its brawn. With a scorecard yardage of 7,876 yards, it will be the longest major venue in history. It is 135 yards longer than the previous record holder, Erin Hillls, the host of the 2017 U.S. Open. Golf Digest has also declared the Ocean Course the most difficult in the country. “The Ocean Course, strung along the Atlantic coastline with fairways and greens perched above sand, sea oats and sweetgrass, is perhaps (Dye’s) most Dye-abolical design,” the magazine wrote. “With forced carries over marshes (and) endless waste bunkers, … the Ocean is a rare course that can bring tears and fears even to TOUR pros.” This is the second time the oceanfront gem will host this championship. Rory McIlroy romped to an 8-shot win at Kiawah in 2012. The course also hosted one of the most hotly-contested Ryder Cups in history. “Strategically, it is an absolute masterpiece,” said Paul Azinger, a member of the 1991 U.S. Ryder Cup team. “There are some holes out there that can just completely end your hopes.” With that said, here are Nine Things to Know before the PGA Championship gets underway at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course: 1. IN THE BEGINNING Dye wrote in his autobiography that he immediately fell in love with the site for Kiawah Island, calling it “one of the greatest pieces of seaside property in the United States.” “The combination of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean on one side and the vast saltwater marshes on the other captivated me,” he wrote. How good was the land? Kiawah Island was awarded the Ryder Cup before the course was built. The matches were originally scheduled to be held at another Dye design, PGA West’s Stadium Course, but were moved to the East Coast to better suit television audiences in Europe. “For the first time in history, the heralded event had been awarded to a course that did not exist and there was less than two years to build one worthy of the event,” Dye wrote. His team didn’t get permission to begin clearing land until July 1989. Hurricane Hugo hit that October, delaying a construction process that was already working on a tight timetable. Many doubted that the course would be in suitable condition for the matches. That only inspired everyone involved in the construction, Dye said. The team worked 18-hour days, often under lights after the sun had set, to complete the course on time. The course was planted in July 1990, almost exactly a year after the groundbreaking. 2. BEAUTY The Ocean Course is built on a 2 ½ mile stretch of beachside property located about 30 miles from Charleston, South Carolina. With no homes allowed on site because of environmental restrictions, Dye said he was like a “kid with a lollipop” because of the flexibility that gave him to create the course he desired. Dye built the course in a figure-8 design, with the front nine looping clockwise to the east and the back nine looping counterclockwise to the west. That layout allows Kiawah Island to have more oceanfront holes (10) than any course in the North America. “It looks like God designed it,” said Dave Stockton, the U.S. captain in the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island. “It’s just a natural creation. “It’s great to see a … golf course that’s not trying to fit between a freeway and a housing project.” 3. AND THE BEAST In his autobiography, Dye started the chapter on Kiawah Island with a quote from course architect John L. Low. “A good player prays for wind every day, but he must not pray too earnestly,” Low said. It’s a fitting quote because in return for the scenic views, players often face strong, and unpredictable, winds at the Ocean Course. During construction, Dye discovered there was no prevailing wind on Kiawah Island. It could blow from different directions on consecutive days. It required Dye to design an adaptable course. “We were in effect building two golf courses since the direction of the wind could require a long approach one day and a short on the next,” Dye wrote. He did this by building greens that were 40-50 yards deep and could accept shots with a variety of trajectories. He also built long tees that would allow a hole’s yardage to vary greatly day-to-day. Players saw first-hand at the 1991 Ryder Cup how differently the course can play. The wind blew from the southeast during the practice rounds but came from the opposite direction once the competition began. “All of the finishing holes, which had been downwind the day before would suddenly be played against a stiff breeze,” Dye wrote. “At the par-3 14th, the competitors were hitting 2- and 3-irons where the day before they had used a 7 or 8. At 18, what had been a 5- or 6-iron approach shot downwind to the green now became a long-iron or rescue club shot.” 4. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PART 2) Alice Dye played an integral part in many of her husband’s designs. Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course is no exception. A ridge of sand dunes blocked views of the beach, so Alice convinced Pete to raise the fairways six feet so golfers could see over the sand. “You’re building a course right next to the ocean but the golfers can’t see it!” she said. They used the sand dug out from lakes and pockets around the course to raise the fairways. “Thanks to Alice, golfers can enjoy watching the tide roll in and out, experiencing the beautiful Kiawah island coastline,” Pete Dye wrote. Improving the views also increased the course’s exposure to the wind, and some of the dramatic drop-offs increased the penalty for off-line shots. “It does look like a links golf course, there is no question about it, but the difference is many of the greens are built up into the air, where you can’t really run the ball on,” said David Feherty, who played the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island. “When you are faced with a shot that you have to keep the ball down (because of the wind) but you have to get it up in the air to make it stop, that’s really the difficulty.” 5. RORY’S ROMP The PGA Championship also visited the Ocean Course in 2012. Rory McIlroy won by eight shots. He broke Jack Nicklaus’ record for largest winning margin in the PGA and became the only player besides Tiger Woods to win multiple majors by eight or more shots since World War I. McIlroy’s PGA win came a year after he won the U.S. Open by eight shots. Winning at Kiawah got him back to No. 1 in the world. He was the youngest player to win two majors since Seve Ballesteros (Tiger Woods was about four months older when he won his second major). McIlroy was two back after shooting 67-75 in the first two rounds but his closing two rounds of 11-under 133 (67-66) was best in the field by three shots. He finished the rain-delayed third round Sunday morning, making birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to take a three-shot lead. No one got closer than two strokes the rest of the way. He was bogey-free over his final 23 holes. “It’s been great to win my first major last year and to back that up with another one this year; I can’t ask for any more,” he said after the win. “I just want to keep working hard, keep practicing, and hopefully there’s a few more of these in my closet when my career finishes.” McIlroy arrives at this year’s PGA on a winning note. He was victorious in his last start, the Wells Fargo Championship, to end an 18-month winless drought. It was his 19th PGA TOUR victory. After winning two majors before turning 24, McIlroy has won just two in the nine years since. Both came in 2014, when he won The Open Championship and PGA in a span of three weeks. He’s also won two FedExCups and a PLAYERS championship. 6. 2012 STATS Rain took some bite out of the Ocean Course in 2012 but it was still the second-most difficult course on TOUR that year. Only the Olympic Club, host of the 2012 U.S. Open, played harder. Kiawah Island played to a 74.6 scoring average. McIlroy was the only player to shoot more than 5 under par for the week. Only 20 players finished in red figures. The back nine played to a 37.7 average – nearly two strokes over par – in 2012. Five of the course’s six hardest holes were on the back nine. Four of them came in the final six holes. Starting with the 14th hole, the course turns back toward the clubhouse, so there’s a potential for players to face five consecutive holes into the wind to close their round. Kiawah Island’s two back-nine par-3s – Nos. 14 and 17 – were two of the 10 hardest par-3s on TOUR in 2012. The par-5 11th was the sixth-hardest par-5 that season. And the 18th hole was the second-hardest finishing hole of the season. “Fourteen and 17 are very long, very difficult par-3s,” Adam Scott said in 2012. “But they kind of sit right in with the whole back nine. It’s all difficult.” 7. THREE’S COMPANY Kiawah’s 14th hole was inspired by the famed Redan hole at Scotland’s North Berwick. The elevated green on the 238-yard hole runs diagonally from right to left, with a green that runs away from the player. A deep bunker guards the left side of the green. Only 39% of the field hit the green in 2012. “Only the back-left portion (of the green) is visible from the tee,” Dye wrote. “The green demands a high shot when the pin is located on the front, but when the pin is located on the back, it demands a low trajectory shot that will land on the front of the green and roll down to the back.” It’s the first of two terrifying par-3s that come in Kiawah Island’s final five holes. The Ocean Course is one of several Dye designs that ends with a 5-3-4 finishing sequence. Think TPC Sawgrass and PGA West. The 17th on both of those courses features an island green. Kiawah Island’s 17th hole isn’t an island but it’s much longer than its more famous siblings and still requires a tee shot that carries water. Like Dye’s original island green, at TPC Sawgrass, Alice Dye gets the credit for Kiawah’s famed 17th, as well. “There wasn’t going to be a lake on the … 17th but Alice felt we needed a dramatic element at this point,” Dye wote in his autobiography. “Since players of Ryder Cup caliber can handle bunker shots with ease, to make a realistic challenge, we dug an eight-acre lake that stretches from the tee to the offset green, which runs away from the player diagonally to the right and is nearly a double size at 10,000 square feet.” 8. CALC’S COLLAPSE The 17th hole was made famous by Mark Calcavecchia’s shank in the 1991 Ryder Cup. It was part of a collapse that sent an emotional Calcavecchia to weep in the sand dunes, away from the tumult of the Ryder Cup’s final holes. He started hyperventilating and almost passed out from the stress of possibly costing his country the Ryder Cup. “I flipped out a little bit,” he said. “If we didn’t win this thing, I wouldn’t have played golf for a long time.” He was 4 up before playing the final four holes in 8 over par, including triples at 15 and 17. His tee shot at 17 quickly dove into the lake, coming nowhere near land. He then missed a 2-foot putt for double-bogey that would have won the match. “I tried to hit it too low,” Calcavecchia said. “I played the ball too far back in my stance.” The United States won only after Bernhard Langer missed a 6-foot putt on the final hole of the final match, against Hale Irwin. Had Langer made his putt, the teams would have tied and Europe would have retained the cup. Langer’s miss gave the United States its first win since 1983. Two years earlier, Calcavecchia stood on the 18th tee of his singles match all square with Ronan Rafferty. Calcavecchia didn’t finish the final hole after putting two balls in the water. The teams finished tied, allowing Europe to retain the Cup. After the 1991 Ryder Cup, Calcavecchia told his wife, “I don’t want to be part of this competition anymore. It got to the point where … it was too much.” 9. PASP-TIME Kiawah Island was built with the Bermudagrass that is common in the Southeast. It was changed to a seaside-friendly strain of paspalum before the 2012 PGA Championship, making it the first major played on that surface. Paspalum is better suited for the wind, salt and sun of an oceanside setting. It also has no grain, which makes for smoother greens and a ball that sits up in the fairway. In 2012, Scott described the grass as slightly slower than Bermuda, but “very consistent.” McIlroy described it as “sticky.” “It just really grabs the ball,” he said in 2012. “Even if you get the greens firm here, the ball is still going to grab on this grass. … You can be aggressive with your chip shots and aggressive with your wedge shots, too.”
Toptracer gave us the juicy details: 165 mph ball speed, 274 yards carry, 74 feet of curvature, left to right. The ball peeled around a stand of cypress trees down the right side, all but winking as it flew by; landed just shy of the green; and bounded up toward the pin, stopping 7 feet short. What happened at the drivable 16th hole at TPC Harding Park changed everything: Collin Morikawa, in just his second major start, had seized control of a PGA Championship in which seven players were at one point tied for the lead. Watching from the tee, Cameron Champ, Morikawa’s playing partner, would liken it to a video-game shot – so flawless as to seem almost unreal. It was late afternoon, and with no on-site fans, walking scorers and laser operators whooped and hollered in the damp, cool air. Morikawa flashed a quick smile at his caddie. The real-time odds swung dramatically in his favor. Paul Casey, playing in the group just ahead, looked back from the 17th tee and realized his chances had just taken a massive setback. Here’s how it happened, according to those who were there. All week, the 16th hole, the last good place to attack at TPC Harding Park, loomed as the potential turning point. And the fact that it was drivable – Justin Thomas hit it to 18 feet in Friday’s second round but missed the eagle putt – added intrigue. Collin Morikawa: I wasn’t planning on going for it at the beginning of the week, so I actually never even tried it. Paul Casey (66, T2): It was wind dependent, flag dependent, tee dependent. It was always going to be a pivotal hole, one you feel like you should birdie, but there was also the possibility of screwing it up because of the penalty area on the left and the tree canopy on the right. There was plenty of danger on the last three holes, but 16 was your last real birdie opportunity. Sue Epstein, walking scorer and former Stanford golfer: I had scored for Haotong Li when he shot 65 on Friday, and he hadn’t gone for it and made par. But Collin was hitting the driver so straight. (He would hit 39 of 56 fairways to finish No. 1 in driving accuracy.) Kerry Haigh, PGA Chief Championships Officer: We had planned to make the 16th drivable for two of the four rounds and felt Sunday would be one of those if weather conditions allowed. It was obviously dependent upon the wind strength and direction. We reviewed the actual hole location for Sunday for a long time on both Friday and Saturday afternoons after play with the hope being to make it extremely appealing for players to attempt going for the green. The new yardage presented a conundrum for big hitters like Dustin Johnson and Casey, playing up ahead of Morikawa. Nonetheless, each found a way to birdie the hole. Casey: Driver was too much; it was a 3-wood hole for me. Left bunker, splashed it out to 4 feet with a really awkward putt with a really awkward hog’s back. Couldn’t tell which way it was going to go, called Johnny (McLaren, his caddie) in. I made it. Dustin Johnson: I think I did hit driver Sunday, and just pulled it left. I couldn’t get there with 3-wood, and driver was probably too much, so I was trying to kind of chip it and just pulled it. Carl Woodland, volunteer laser operator on 16: The day was cold, it was chilly, and this was toward the end of the day, so it was starting to get even cooler. We were 60 yards down the fairway, down the left side, and DJ went right over our heads and into the penalty area. But then he pitched in for birdie. We were still talking about that when Collin got to the tee. Morikawa had game-planned for the hole playing more or less to its scorecard yardage (332). But with the tees moved up so far (it was now 294) the hole had changed drastically. Morikawa: It was just something that — everything fit, the circumstance, and made sense, wind and everything was perfect, and obviously it worked out. Jakovac: He never hit driver there, not even in practice. We didn’t think the tee would be up as far as it was. They had it like 20 yards up from the back of the box, which made it 275-ish to the front. We thought it would be more like 290 front, but we got up there on Sunday and the tee was way up, and it was really a no-brainer because it was a perfect distance for him. The wind was in off the left so he could hit his normal cut off there to the left and let it feed to the right. Epstein: When he pulled the driver, I was like, Wow, he’s going for it. I remember the contrast with Li two days earlier, and thinking it was absolutely the right call. Earlier that summer, Morikawa had faced a similar shot at the par-4 14th hole at the Workday Championship at Muirfield Village. The shot called for his stock cut, and he drove the green, hitting it 12 feet. He missed the eagle putt, but went on to win the tournament in a playoff. Now at the PGA at Harding, having holed his pitch shot for birdie on 14, he was set up for even greater drama on 16. Epstein: There wasn’t much discussion with his caddie. You could tell they were in agreement. Champ (70, T10): That pin on 16, if you missed it, obviously you can miss it slightly left, but there’s not much room right and if you miss there you’re completely screwed. Jakovac: It was just a matter of not having it fade too much and kick in that bunker. Morikawa: When you look at what kind of driver or driver hole that is for me on 16 at Harding, like it was literally perfect, and it was just like made for me to hit a good shot there. The shot came off like a thunderbolt that reverberated across the course. Frank Nobillo, on CBS, called it, “the shot of his life!” Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan, in a story after the PGA, sought to answer the question, “Was Collin Morikawa’s drive on 16 the greatest shot in PGA history?” Champ: When it came off, my caddie, his caddie, we just looked at each other like, this is going to be pretty damned good, and of course it landed 3 feet short of the green, bounced perfectly straight right up there. Jakovac: It just needed one straight first bounce, and it went up there perfect. Casey: I turned around and saw his shot and where it finished. I was on the 17th tee. Hadn’t hit my tee shot yet. Two thoughts: Brilliant shot, and dammit. (Laughs) I always tip my cap to great golf, and of course there’s going to be a sense of thinking there’s still a chance, but that was one of the nails in the coffin right there, wasn’t it? The PGA Championship returns to its May date at Kiawah Island this week, but over the last 10 months Morikawa’s epic shot has barely faded from memory. Webb Simpson (72, T37): Could be the shot of the decade for the PGA Championship. Epstein: My son is a huge golf fan, and he said, ‘Mom, were you there?’ ‘Yes, I was right there when he pulled driver!’ There was no roar, but you could hear people gasping. Woodland: We had no depth perception, so it looked like it was going in the hole and had got to within six inches. We were sort of screaming at each other, like, ‘Whoa, he put it on the green!’ Champ: He pulled off the shot when he needed to the most, and I give him mad, mad props. Jakovac: Under the circumstances it’s the best shot I’ve ever seen. Morikawa: The actual club, it’s just sitting in my house. Definitely haven’t framed it. Just sitting in a bag with a bunch of other clubs. I know which one it is. … I’m sure down the road I’ll kind of look at it and be like, That’s kind of the shot that changed everything, that kind of changed my career at that point at 23.
The PGA Championship heads to Kiawah Island for a second time, with Collin Morikawa looking to defend his first major and Rory McIlroy seeking to recapture the magic that led to an eight-shot win here in 2012. Storylines abound, as Jordan Spieth will be attempting to complete the career Grand Slam and Bryson DeChambeau will bring his big drives to the longest venue in major championship history. FIELD NOTES: Two-time FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy arrives on a winning note, claiming the Wells Fargo Championship in his last start. McIlroy’s eight-shot win here in 2012 is the largest winning margin in PGA Championship history and came a year after he won the U.S. Open by the same margin… The reigning FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson along with current FedExCup leader, Bryson DeChambeau, lead one of the strongest fields in golf teeing it up at the second major of the year. Johnson had to WD from the event preceding the PGA, the AT&T Byron Nelson, beause of knee pain… After returning home to a hero’s welcome after his Masters win, Hideki Matsuyama returned to the TOUR at the AT&T Byron Nelson, where he made the cut… There will be 20 PGA of America club pros in the event, who all qualified in various ways… Brooks Koepka missed the cut in Texas at his first start since the Masters after returning from injury, however, Koepka – a two-time PGA winner – has never missed the cut in eight attempts at the PGA… Collin Morikawa already beat a world-class field once this year, having won the WGC-Workday Championship in February, and now he’s looking to do it again as he defends his title from 2020. He and Tiger Woods are the only players to win a major and World Golf Championship before turning 25… Justin Thomas is hoping to add to his major championship trophy case with another Wanamaker, after winning the PGA in 2017. Thomas, who won THE PLAYERS earlier this year – his 14th TOUR title – has never missed the cut at the PGA. FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 600 FedExCup points. COURSE: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, par 72, 7,876 yards. The Pete and Alice Dye design has been stretched to more than 7,800 yards, making it the longest major championship venue in history (the previous mark was Erin Hills which, for the 2017 U.S. Open measured 7,741 yards). It’s also 200 more yards than when Kiawah hosted the PGA in 2012. Six holes will play over 500 yards. The course, which also hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, is set alongside the Atlantic Ocean (it boasts the “most seaside holes in the Northern Hemisphere”) and wind certainly will play a factor. STORYLINES: Jordan Spieth’s game is trending in the right direction heading to the PGA. Spieth, a winner already on TOUR this season, is looking for the career Grand Slam once again at the PGA, the lone major that has eluded him in his career thus far. This is Spieth’s fifth crack at trying to win the Grand Slam… Americans have won five straight PGA Championships and seven of the last 10 (with Rory McIlroy being the exception twice)… McIlroy along with Keegan Bradley, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, and Steve Stricker are golfers who finished inside the top 10 in 2012 who are back in the field at the Ocean Course in 2021… Rickie Fowler and John Catlin were extended special exemptions for this year’s PGA. Fowler didn’t play in the Masters (for the first time since 2010) and he’s not teed it up at a major since last year… Dustin Johnson was teary-eyed after winning the Masters near his childhood hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. Can he win a major in his home state this time? 72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Brooks Koepka (2018 at Bellerive CC) 18-HOLE RECORD: 63, Bruce Crampton (2nd round, 1975 at Firestone CC), Raymond Floyd (1st round, 1982 at Southern Hills), Gary Player (2nd round, 1984 at Shoal Creek), Michael Bradley (1st round, 1993 at Inverness), Vijay Singh (2nd round, 1993 at Inverness), Brad Faxon (4th round, 1995 at Riviera CC), José María Olazábal (3rd round, 2000 at Valhalla), Mark O’Meara (2nd round, 2001 at Atlanta AC), Thomas Bjorn (3rd round, 2005 at Baltusrol), Tiger Woods (2nd round, 2007 at Southern Hills), Steve Stricker (1st round, 2011 at Atlanta AC), Jason Dufner (2nd round, 2013 at Oak Hill), Hiroshi Iwata (2nd round, 2015 at Whistling Straits), Robert Streb (2nd round, 2016 at Baltusrol), Brooks Koepka (2nd round, 2018 at Bellerive; 1st round, 2019 at Bethpage Black), Charl Schwartzel (2nd round, 2018 at Bellerive). LAST TIME: Having been originally scheduled May 14-17, the 2020 PGA Championship was moved to August 6-9 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was the first major played in over a year. By week’s end, it was Collin Morikawa who had won his first major title. Morikawa had won on the PGA TOUR earlier in the year (his second TOUR title) and his final-round 64 – highlighted by one of the shots of the year, a driver on the par-4 16th that ended up just 7 feet from the hole – saw him jump to the top of the leaderboard. He starting Sunday two shots back of Dustin Johnson’s lead. Morikawa’s Sunday 64 was tied for the low round of the week, and his 129 on the weekend set a new PGA Championship record. Johnson ended up T2 alongside Paul Casey, while Matthew Wolff, Bryson DeChambeau, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau, and Jason Day finished T4. HOW TO FOLLOW (All times ET) Television: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. (ESPN+), 1 p.m.-7 p.m. (ESPN). Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-10 a.m. (ESPN+), 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (ESPN), 1 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS) Bonus: Thursday-Friday, Featured Group #1, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. (ESPN+), Thursday-Friday, Featured Group #2, #3, #4, 8 a.m.- 7 p.m. (ESPN+). Saturday-Sunday, Featured Group #1, #2, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (ESPN+), Featured Group #3, #4, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (ESPN+). Radio: Thursday – Sunday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (on SiriusXM 208, XM 92. Not available on PGA TOUR Digital platforms).
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager broke his right hand after being hit by Marlins lefty Ross Detwiler in Saturday night’s win.
New Orleans (31-40) wraps up its regular season at home against the defending champion Lakers (41-30).