Low scores expected at Bellerive

Zac Elkin

If Ross Fisher and Phil Mickelson’s comments this week are anything to by, then it’s likely to rain birdies and eagles at Bellerive this week at the PGA Championship.

Each major has it’s own unique identity.

The US Masters is played at the same venue every year – Augusta National. The magic of the Georgian track is hardly lost on anyone and the event has an incredibly traditional flavour. It’s the purists’ major.

The US Open is supposed to be the toughest test in golf and the primary intention of the event is to push the best players in the world to the very brink of what they can handle. It’s the scariest major… and usually the most controversial because of how organisers set the courses up.

The British Open takes the players to the United Kingdom where conditions play a massive part in the difficulty of the courses. Links golf also requires immense creativity and this magnificent golf tournament has a sense of unpredictability about it that is treasured by players and spectators alike. It’s the oldest major.

While the PGA Championship is not the newest major, it has a very modern feel to it and is the most similar to a normal PGA Tour event. Long, high hitters are favoured. As the tour has developed, so has this major adapted. Five of the six lowest winning scores at the major’s have come at this event. Out of the four, it’s USUALLY the easiest major.

And this year, it is expected to be just that. Soft greens, wide fairways and forgiving rough have greeted the players at Bellerive and Fisher and Mickelson believe you will need to shoot the lights out to win 2018’s final major.

The Englishman says the greens are “unusually slow for a major, very soft.”

He added: “The fairways are 40-50 yards wide so if you miss the fairway you know you’re driving it poorly this week.”

Five-times major winner Mickelson said conditions would be ideal for scoring.

“The greens you can make a lot of putts, the fairways are pristine, the ball just sits up beautifully and around the greens you can spin your chip shots, and get them close, so I feel like you can attack the golf course,” he said on Sunday.

The lowest winning score at a major is 264, posted by Henrik Stenson at the British Open in 2016. That number could well be in danger this week.