The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina, which has made history time and time again since opening 30 years ago, will welcome arguably the strongest field of the year in men’s golf, May 20-23, for the 103rd PGA Championship.
The 156-player all-professional field features 99 of the top 100 players in the current Official World Golf Rankings, including 35 major champions and 70 international players representing 25 countries. They will compete for the Rodman Wanamaker Trophy as The Ocean Course hosts the PGA Championship for the second time, following Rory McIlroy’s record-setting triumph in 2012.
Defending Champion Collin Morikawa, the world’s No. 6-ranked player, heads 16 past PGA Champions in the field. He is joined by Rich Beem (2002), Keegan Bradley (2011), John Daly (1991), Jason Day (2015), Jason Dufner (2013), Padraig Harrington (2008), Martin Kaymer (2010), Brooks Koepka (2018, ’19), McIlroy (2012, ’14), Shaun Micheel (2003), Phil Mickelson (2005), Vijay Singh (1998, 2004), Jimmy Walker (2016), Justin Thomas (2017) and Y.E. Yang (2009).
The 35 major champions competing at The Ocean Course have won a combined 56 major championships. Along with the past PGA Champions, they are: Stewart Cink, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, world No.1-ranked Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Shane Lowry, Hideki Matsuyama, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Danny Willett and Gary Woodland.
The Ocean Course, designed by Pete and Alice Dye, was unveiled to the world by hosting a thrilling U.S. victory in the 1991 Ryder Cup. The course conducted its first major championship in 2007, when Denis Watson of Zimbabwe rallied to win the Senior PGA Championship (today’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship). In 2012, Northern Ireland’s McIlroy won the first of his two PGA Championships by a record eight strokes. McIlroy, who won the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month, added a second PGA Championship in 2014 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.
The PGA Championship field also includes 20 PGA Club Professionals, led by reigning PGA Professional Champion Omar Uresti, a PGA Life Member from Austin, Texas. Danny Balin of Rockville, Maryland, and Rob Labritz of Pound Ridge, New York, will be the most experienced of the 20 PGA Professionals at Kiawah Island. Both will be participating in their eighth career PGA Championship.
Balin will be making his fourth straight appearance, while Labritz will play in his third consecutive PGA Championship. The 20 earned their berths in April at the 53rd PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Since 1994, the PGA Championship has continually featured the strongest field in all of golf a measured by the Official World Golf Rankings. It also has consistently brought the most international competitors to the United States.
Golf’s best professionals began competing for the PGA Championship’s Rodman Wanamaker Trophy in 1916. Past Champions include both the legends and recent stars of the game: Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka.