Justin Thomas the man to beat at the PGA Championship

Another wanted a selfie. While Furyk plans to take many elements into consideration, including a mock points list through the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, a guaranteed 36 holes will give him an up-close look at two young, burgeoning stars. That's where some degree of normalcy returned.

Tiger Woods is 20th.

This was only Wednesday afternoon, and it's certain to be far more boisterous for the start of the 100th PGA Championship when Thomas tries to become only the second player in 60 years of stroke play to successfully defend his title. Woods did it twice.

The 25-year-old American comes into the event off a victory in last week's WGC Bridgetone Invitational after shooting 77 and missing the cut at Carnoustie two weeks earlier, which prompted a chat with caddie Jimmy Johnson and his dad Mike, a teaching professional.

Thomas enters the 2018 edition at Bellerive Country Club as one of the favourites.

Woods, a four-time victor of the PGA Championship, recently finished tied for sixth at The Open Championship for his best result at a major in five years. He is not out until this afternoon alongside Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm in one of the featured groups, and that can only help in terms of more rest and treatment.

Ulsterman McIlroy would certainly appear to be suited to the wet conditions at Bellerive and compared the course to Valhalla, the venue for his second US PGA victory and last Major title to date in 2014.

Love's streak began with the 1986 PGA Championship at Inverness, and the 100th will come at this year's PGA at Bellerive.

Spieth grew up in Dallas, learning his golf at Brookhaven Country Club, and graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School in 2011, the same year he represented the U.S.in the amateur Walker Cup.

Thomas has come into his own.

"I'm ready and eager to play", Thomas said. "He just had his fourth back surgery, so to get to this point is a phenomenal achievement already".

"I literally haven't set foot on this golf course since that week in 2001", Woods said.

"I hit some balls today and felt absolutely fine and really comfortable with my swing and the way it's moving", he said. You can see that they can do it, so there's no reason why you can't.

He took an ice bath. All that did was ratchet up the hysteria that perhaps another major is in the cards.

"I didn't ask for it", Jim Furyk said of his 8:17 a.m. ET first-round tee time at Bellerive with Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele, now 11th and 13th respectively on the Ryder Cup points list.

"It will be pretty insane out there", Thomas said.

"I'm surprised at how many people are here it's really great that everybody is supporting it", Pam Myrick, a fan from Evansville, IN. So yeah, it will be a cool week. Tiger Woods only managed to play five holes on a course he hasn't seen in 17 years. He's played 66 rounds of the championship and has played 24 of those rounds in the 60s, 30 under par, a dozen at level par and two dozen over par.

Last month's Open Championship at Carnoustie provided the latest glimpse into Spieth's brilliance and flaws. Before we move on to the targets, let's briefly touch on the history of the PGA Championship. This PGA will mark four years since Rory McIlroy's last victory in a major, and he surely couldn't ask for a more flawless venue to try to end the drought.

"It's the last opportunity to win one", Justin Rose said. One of the longest hitters on Tour could have a field day at Charmin-soft Bellerive as he looks to improve on his underappreciated major record. "I've kept giving myself chances this year".

  • Julie Sanders