PGA Championship 2012: Tournament Guide

Carlos TorresContributor IAugust 5, 2012

PGA Championship 2012: Tournament Guide

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    The PGA Championship is golf season's last major, for which it is also known as "Glory's Last Shot." It's the last chance for pro golfers to win a major championship this year.

    Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els are the winners of this year's first three major championships. They will be trying to become the first golfer to win two majors in a year since Padraig Harrington did it in 2008.

    Harrington did it by winning The Open and the PGA Championship. Els would be in position to achieve the same double. Els also won The Open in 2002 but failed to win the PGA Championship finishing T34.

    The 2012 edition of the PGA Championship will be the 94th in history, and will be played this year at the long Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

    Let's take a look at the important things you need to know about this year's tournament.

The Overview

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    The PGA Championship is designed as a 72-hole stroke play, with 18 holes played on each of the four rounds scheduled through August 9-12, 2012.

    The field is set at a maximum of 156 players. After 36 holes, the field is reduced to the lowest 70 scores and ties.

    After finishing the 72 holes, if there is a tie for first place, a three-hole aggregate playoff encompassing holes 16, 17 and 18 will be played.

    If after this initial playoff there is still a tie for first place, a hole-by-hole playoff will be played starting at the 18th hole, and continuing to holes 10, 17 and back to 18. If necessary, they'll repeat these three holes until a winner emerges.

    The prize money for this year's edition will be announced on August 8. Last year, the prize fund was $8 million. Keegan Bradley took home the winners check of $1.445 million.

    Bradley, as it happens with every winner of the tournament, got his name inscribed in the Wannamaker trophy (see picture) and received a replica to take home as the winning trophy.

The Course

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    The PGA Championship will be played this year at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort's Ocean Course located in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, near the city of Charleston.

    This will mark the first time a golf major is played in the Palmetto State, despite being home to more than 450 golf courses, including some of the most famous in the world.

    The Ocean Course will measure 7,676 yards and play a par-72 for the year's final major.

    Many might remember the Ocean Course for how its windy conditions made play difficult for the players at the 1991 Ryder Cup won by the USA.

    Being near the sea, a lot of the holes are crosswind holes which will present a big challenge for all players, even when there seems to be fairly open fairways.

    But once the wind starts blowing—which can scale up to 40 mph—the fairways appear to be narrower, as there will be little margin for error, especially off the tee.

    The Ocean Course also presents a huge challenge of two nines. The front nine is a fair test where players can try and attack the course.

    The closing nine is a brutal set of holes that will make sure no lead is safe on Sunday or on any previous round.

    For complete information on the course including a hole-by-hole review you can visit the course's official web page by clicking here.

The History

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    The PGA Championship is on its 94th edition. Its inaugural year was in 1916 when Jim Barnes won at the Siwanoy Country Club in Eastchester, NY.

    The tournament was initially a match play event, but was changed to stroke play in 1958. During the match play era, Walter Hagen won the tournament five times, including four straight from 1924-27.

    Since stroke play started, Jack Nicklaus has won the most times, tying Hagen for most all time with five. Nickalus was never able to win in consecutive years though.

    In fact, during the stroke play era, only one player has been able to capture the PGA Championship in back-to-back years. That player is Tiger Woods who did twice, in 1999-2000 and 2006-2007.

    Woods also has four PGA Championship wins, making him third on the all time victory list, followed by Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen with three.

    The record for the lowest absolute 72-hole score is 265 by David Toms in 2001 at the Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club, which plays to par-70. That record also happens to be the lowest 72-hole score ever recorded in any major championship.

    The record for the lowest 72-hole score in relation to par is 18-under-par and is shared by Tiger Woods and Bob May who did it in 2000 at the Valhalla Golf Club. Woods achieved the feat again in 2006 at Medinah Country Club.

    Both the Valhalla Golf Club and Medinah Country Club courses played at par-72.

    The PGA Championship has produced many exciting finishes with plenty of drama, especially in extra holes the past two years.

    Last year, Keegan Bradley was trailing by five shots after what seemed to be a hope-ending triple bogey at hole No. 15. But he made a furious charge with two late birdies that allowed him to eventually finish in a tie with Jason Dufner who bogeyed three of his final four holes in regulation

    Bradley then birdied the first extra hole and extended his lead to two shots after Dufner bogeyed the second extra hole.

    With the win, Bradley became just the third man to win his major debut, joining Francis Ouimet (1913 U.S. Open) and Ben Curtis (2003 British Open).

    The previous three majors this year followed suit to last year's PGA Championship and have produced exciting finishes where leads have been erased and wins have been achieved in the final holes.

    Expect the PGA Championship this year to produce another exciting finish. 

The Pairings and Tee Times

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    Four-time PGA Championship winner, Tiger Woods, will get an early start on his quest for a 15th major championship on Thursday.

    He has been paired with the past two champions of the tournament, Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer and will start at 8:30 a.m.

    The winners of the previous three majors this year, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els will also play the first two days together. They will tee off at 1:20 p.m. on Thursday.

    The first groups will tee off from holes No. 1 and 10 at 7:20 a.m. ET on both Thursday and Friday.

    The first pairings to tee off on Thursday will be Kelly Mitchum, D.A. Points and Marcel Siem from the first hole and Matteo Manassero, Charles Howell III and Mark Brown from the 10th.

    On Friday, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, George McNeill and Frank Bensel will be the first to kick off the action on the opening hole, while Bryce Molder, Matt Every and Bob Sowards will do the same from the 10th.

    For a full list of the complete first two rounds, tee times and pairings, click here.


    Round 1 Round 2
    8:30 a.m.*
    1:40 p.m.
    Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer
    1:30 p.m.
    8:20 a.m.*
    Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson
    8:10 a.m.* 1:20 p.m.
    Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk
    8:50 a.m.* 2:00 p.m.
    Lee Westwood, Bill Haas and Angel Cabrera
    1:20 p.m. 8:10 a.m.* Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Ernie Els
    1:10 p.m. 8:00 a.m.* Adam Scott, Hunter Mahan and Sergio Garcia
    8:20 a.m.* 1:30 p.m. Jason Dufner, Geoff Ogilvy and Paul Casey
    1:50 p.m. 8:40 a.m.* Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell and Scott Piercy
    2:00 p.m. 8:50 a.m.* Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie and Nick Watney
    8:40 a.m.* 1:50 p.m. Steve Stricker, Louis Oosthuizen and Ian Poulter
    1:40 p.m. 8:30 a.m.* Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington and Davis Love III
    1:00 p.m. 7:50 a.m.* Charl Schwartzel, Rickie Fowler, Nicolas Colsaerts

    * - Will start on back nine.

The Coverage

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    There will be plenty of TV broadcast coverage of the PGA Championship this year so you can make sure you can see your favorite player gun for the year's final major.

    TNT and CBS will provide TV coverage, and the PGA will also have a live stream online if you happen to be around a computer and would like to watch. will be providing live trackers of the tournament and Tiger Woods' play so visit the home page during the tournament to access all the latest detailed information as it happens live.

    If you want to keep track of the latest scores and news on your iPhone, the PGA provides a neat app that you can get by clicking here.


    Day Time Station
    Thursday August 9
    1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Friday August 10
    1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Saturday August 11

    11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.



    Sunday August 12

    11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.



    Web Live Stream: PGA Championship LIVE