The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

August 8, 2013

PGA Championship caters to 1st-time major winners

— PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — If you're a golfer chasing that first major title, you've come to the right place.

The list of winners at the PGA Championship is filled with guys who were once in your spiked shoes.

From Keegan Bradley to Shaun Micheel, there's something about the year's final major that seems to bring out the best in those seeking one of those career-defining victories.

"You win one," said Tiger Woods, who's got 14, "you're part of history."

The final major championship of the year began Thursday morning at soggy Oak Hill, which received about a quarter-inch of rain overnight. The clouds broke and the sun was out for the opening tee shot by Rob Labritz, one of 20 club pros in the 156-player field.

Not surprisingly, there's been plenty of speculation this week about who might break through at this venerable course just outside of Rochester.

Dustin Johnson certainly has the game to win a major title. Hunter Mahan has been a perennial contender in the big events. Maybe Lee Westwood will finally break through after coming close again at the British Open.

Over the past quarter century, there's a better chance of winning No. 1 at the PGA than the other three majors.

Sixteen of the last 25 PGA champions fit into that category. A dozen of those are still stuck on one major triumph.

Some were up-and-comers who broke through sooner than expected (Bradley falls into that group). Others were total surprises (none more so than Micheel, though he's got plenty of company).

Justin Rose, who won the U.S. Open in June, believes the PGA tends to be more wide open because the course setups are closer to a regular tour event than one sees at the other majors.

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