Not that fans need a reason to follow Tiger Woods, and the man's never struggled to draw a crowd. But those in attendance at next week's PGA Championship hoping to track Tiger will receive a viewing bonus at Bellerive for their efforts.
On Friday afternoon the PGA of America announced that the 14-time major winner will be joined by Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas for the first two rounds of the season's final major. The group has combined for seven Wanamaker Trophies, with Thomas serving as the reigning champion. Woods will be making his first PGA appearance since 2015, where he had a swift exit at Whistling Straits.
If that trio sounds familiar, it is: Woods, McIlroy and Thomas played together on Thursday and Friday at the Genesis Open. It was this grouping at Riviera that prompted McIlroy to remark on the chaos that surrounds, and hurts, Woods when he competes.
“I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field,” McIlroy said at the time. “Like it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around him.”
Woods, McIlroy and Thomas will tee off at 9:23 a.m. local time on Thursday.
The PGA of America also announced the supergroup of Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm will play together during the first two rounds. A win at Bellerive will give Spieth the career Grand Slam, while Rose, who dropped out of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a bad back. Per tradition, the year's first three major winners in Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari find themselves in the same tee time.
The 100th PGA Championship begins on August 9. Bellerive last hosted a PGA in 1992, when Nick Price won his first major.