PGA Grand Slam of Golf: News, Preview and TV Schedule

Carlos TorresContributor IOctober 17, 2011

JOHNS CREEK, GA - AUGUST 11:  Rory McIlroy (L) and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland watch a shot during the first round of the 93rd PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club on August 11, 2011 in Johns Creek, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There is an intermission event on the PGA between the last two Fall Series tournaments. The winners of all four majors in 2011 will hit the greens tomorrow at the Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda to determine who’s the Champion of Champions in the 36-hole PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

In its 29th edition, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, will feature 2011 major winners Charl Schwartzel (Masters), Rory McIlroy (US Open), Darren Clarke (British Open) and Keegan Bradley (PGA Championship).

The prize fund for this year's event will be $1.35 million, with $600,000 going to the winner; $300,000 for second place; $250,000 for third place and $200,000 for fourth place.

Not bad for a two-day event—in Bermuda—in which your chances to win the big prize are one-in-four, and which for basically playing the 36 holes, you get $200K.

Of course, getting here is no easy task. You must win a major, or—if one of the major winners declines to participate—be the next in line with the best finishes on them, in order to get the invitation. We all saw their remarkable performances and feel-good stories, as they achieved their respective major wins this year.

Schwartzel's unbelievable last four holes birdie-stretch to finish the Masters; McIlroy's record setting, demolition derby at the US Open; Clarke's solid and steady play on adverse conditions at the Open and Bradley's five-shot swing comeback with three holes to play.

Four new faces atop the major wins, and all of them will be showing off their skills at the breathtaking Royal Port Course.

The Par-71, 6852 yards course, was designed by Robert Trent Jones. It was opened in 1970 and renovated in 2009.The longest hole is the par-five, 567 yards second hole, and the shortest is right after, the par-three 148 yard third hole.

While it might be a setting of a vacation golf course, it will not be an easy task to play on it. Being seaside, brings the elements into play. You can take for example, the intimidating par-three 16th. The sea is in play from virtually every side but the back of the tee.

On the surface it may look like this could be an easy win for McIlroy. Of all four contenders, McIlroy is the one who has been playing the best. Not only lately, but all year long.

The only concerns I have with him is if he can overcome his recent seven-day, seven-cities golf activity in China, and the short 20-hour flight and 12-hour time difference.

After winning the PGA Championship, Bradley missed the cut in the first two events of the FedEx Cup playoffs. But he had much better outings in the last two, finishing T16 and T11. He seems to be moving in the right direction, and could win here.

Schwartzel has yet to contend after the Masters win. But he made all the cuts in all 15 PGA events he played. I see him as my second choice to win here.

But for the win, I believe, the course setting and circumstances favor Clarke. He will really fly under the radar here, but he is the most experienced of the group. Clarke is also the one that plays best on this type of course.

Any which way you pick your winner, it will be interesting to see these four players, go at it this year. Whoever wins here, will give us a refreshing story to tell, and I am sure it will be a very competitive tournament.

If you want to see it on TV, TNT announced on their press release that their coverage will air on Tuesday, October 18 from 4:00–7:00 p.m. EST and Wednesday, October 19 from 4:00–8:00 p.m. EST, with exclusive early round coverage on both days of the tournament on

- Carlos Torres

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