Thursday 16th May 2019

Event of the Day: PGA Championship Day 1

Our event of the day sees the PGA Championship get underway at Bethpage Black Golf Course in Farmingdale, New York. One of the four majors in the golfing calendar, this competition has a rich heritage, with it’s winners list reading like a veritable who’s who of golfing legends. From Jack Nicklaus to Gary Player to Tiger Woods, some of the game’s all-time greats have had the honour of lifting the 27-pound Wanamaker Trophy and there will be over 100 golfers gunning for the prestigious title this weekend. The star-studded field is littered with former champions, including Rory McIlroy who will be hoping to lift his third Wanamaker trophy. Many tipped the Northern Irishman to go all the way at last month’s Masters, but McIlroy failed to live up to the expectation of being favourite for the title and ultimately had a disappointing tournament, finishing in joint 21st, eight strokes behind eventual winner Tiger Woods.

McIlroy remains one of the sport’s most unpredictable players and ultimately the 30-year-old has flattered to deceive on golf’s grandest stages in recent years, with his last major win coming at the 2014 edition of this very tournament. McIlroy won’t be the only one trying to write himself into the annals of golfing history, with Brooks Koepka looking to become the first player to successfully defend two different major titles at the same time, having already gone back to back at the US Open. The American submitted an outstanding few rounds at last year’s PGA Championship, finishing with a score of -16, which has only been bettered on four occasions since the tournament’s inauguration in 1916. After finishing just one stroke behind Tiger Woods at Augusta last month, Koepka will be hoping to go one better this time round to produce his own slice of history in this venerated sport. Going into this tournament joint favourite alongside Koepka is fellow American Dustin Johnson, who will tee off on Thursday at the PGA Championship as the number one player in the world for the third straight year. The last time this tournament took place and Johnson wasn’t world number one was way back in 2016, the same year the 34-year-old won his first and only major to date, coming out on top at the US Open. It is all set-up to be a thrilling first day at the PGA Championship.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NHL where the Carolina Hurricanes host the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the PNC Arena. After the Bruins edged out a 2-1 win on Tuesday night, Carolina now find themselves 3-0 down and must find a way to win the next four straight games if they are to make just their third appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. There is more playoff action to watch out for in the States as the NBA Western Conference Finals continue tonight with the Portland Trail Blazer’s trip to the Oracle Arena to face the Golden State Warriors. The hosts took a 1-0 series lead last time out and will be looking to double their advantage before making the trip north to Portland at the weekend. Elsewhere, there is just one more night of action in the Unibet Premier League before finals night takes place at the O2 next week, with the First Direct Arena in Leeds playing host to the league’s thrilling conclusion. In EFL League One, Sunderland will take a 1-0 lead to Fratton Park as they face Portsmouth in the playoff Semi-final second leg. In the cricket, Somerset will look to extend their perfect start to the County Championship season in Division 1 as they continue to host Surrey at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton. Finally, there are seven races to look forward to as Day 2 of the Dante Festival gets underway at the famous York Racecourse.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by PGA Championship

 

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