PGA Championship 2020 Tee Times: Pairings and Predictions for Saturday Schedule

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 8, 2020

Haotong Li of China, watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Haotong Li heads into the weekend at the 2020 PGA Championship with a two-stroke advantage over six competitors.

The 36-hole pace-setter sat atop the leaderboard for the majority of Friday's round, as he posted a five-under 65 out of one of the early morning groups.

For most of the afternoon, his lead was challenged by Mike Lorenzo-Vera, but he dropped a shot on the 18th hole to settle into a tie with Jason Day, Brooks Koepka and others at six under.

Li will be paired Saturday with Tommy Fleetwood, who also took advantage of the early-morning conditions at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to move up the leaderboard.

The pairings in front of Li and Fleetwood feature a slew of previous major champions, including two-time defending champion Koepka, Day, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson.

A few previous major winners will also start the round, as Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Louis Oosthuizen barely made the cut at one over.


Saturday Notable Tee Times

11:40 a.m. ET: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas

12:30 p.m. ET: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter

1 p.m. ET: Tiger Woods, Keith Mitchell

2:30 p.m. ET: Rory McIlroy, Victor Perez

3:40 p.m. ET: Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau

5 p.m. ET: Dustin Johnson, Bernd Wiesberger

5:10 p.m. ET: Lanto Griffin, Xander Schauffele

5:20 p.m. ET: Paul Casey, Brendon Todd

5:30 p.m. ET: Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Cameron Champ

5:40 p.m. ET: Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose

5:50 p.m. ET: Jason Day, Daniel Berger

6 p.m. ET: Haotong Li, Tommy Fleetwood

Full list of tee times can be found on PGATour.com.



Previous Major Winner Leads Going into Sunday

Three previous major winners are sitting two strokes back of Li, ready to pounce on Moving Day.

Two of them have hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy on three occasions in the past five years.

Jason Day, who won the 2015 PGA Championship, enters the weekend off a solid second round in which he only had two blemishes. Outside of his bogey at No. 9 and double bogey on the par-four 12th, Day had good command of the course.

Koepka carried a steady hand as well, with 12 pars, four birdies and a pair of bogeys Friday afternoon. The four-time major winner has proved to be one of the best major championship golfers in the past three years, and he knows what it takes to defend his title.

Justin Rose is the third member of the group of prior major champions at six under, and he has been nothing but consistent through 36 holes. The Englishman cruised up the leaderboard with a trio of birdies on the back nine, including back-to-back birdies at No. 14 and No. 15.

The trio should put pressure on Li from the start, and given how solid each of them has looked so far, it would not be surprising to see at least one of them on top heading into Sunday.


Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas Take Advantage of Morning Conditions

The early morning conditions at TPC Harding Park have been conducive to low scoring.

On Thursday, Day rattled off a five-under 65 to work his way into the lead, and Li also carded a 65 from an early threesome Friday.

If the winds do not pick up until the afternoon again, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas could be poised for charges up the leaderboard.

Although Spieth barely made the cut after a bogey on the 18th hole Friday, he improved on his first-round score by shooting a two-under 68. The confidence gained from a round with 14 pars and three birdies could help the 27-year-old card a low score early with little attention on him.

The same goes for Thomas, who dropped back to one over during a rough final 10 holes Friday. He deserves credit for battling back from two bogeys and a double bogey to make the cut with a birdie at No. 16, and he could ride the momentum gained from that putt to move back into position to strike Sunday.

Although the course has played tough for most golfers, there were 17 scores of 66 or better during the first two days of the tournament. If Spieth and Thomas approach Saturday morning with the right mindset, they could challenge for the lowest score of the round.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from PGATour.com.