Xander Schauffele shot his second consecutive 63 to head into the weekend at the Travelers Championship at 14 under – five strokes clear of the chasing pack.

Remarkably, Schauffele is yet to post a bogey in the tournament, with 14 birdies and 22 pars through his 36 holes.

He started beautifully in his second trip around TPC River Highlands, birdieing three of his first five holes, and capped off his round by birdieing the picturesque 17th hole for the second day in a row.

Schauffele was one stroke behind J.T. Poston and Rory McIlroy after Thursday's action, and tied for the round of the day on Friday along with Harold Varner III.

At 14 under, Schauffele has tied the TPC River Highlands 36-hole record, and it ties him with Justin Rose back in 2010 for the lowest 36-hole score at the Travelers Championship since 1984.

The five-man group tied for second place at nine under is made up of Americans Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, Nick Hardy and Kevin Kisner, as well as Australia's Cam Davis. Hardy and Kisner were the pick of that group on Friday, shooting 64s.

McIlroy and Poston sit one shot further back at eight under after the first-round leaders both shot even-par 70s, and are joined at eight under by a group including Lee Kyoung-hoon and Matthew NeSmith.

Webb Simpson is at seven under, rounding out the top-20, along with Michael Thorbjornsen, who is the only amateur to make the cut after rounds of 68 and 65.

World number one Scottie Scheffler is at five under, along with Varner, with the pair taking very different routes to that number. Scheffler has been consistent, with a 68 and a 67, while Varner has been the opposite, following his opening 72 with a 63.

With the cut-line at two under, Danny Willett and Mito Pereira were two of the players to miss out on the weekend despite being under par, while Sam Burns finished his week even, Jordan Spieth was one over, and the talented duo of Rickie Fowler and Joaquinn Neimann were at three over.

Rory McIlroy continued to lead the way both on and off the course, shooting a bogey-free eight-under 62 at the Travelers Championship on Thursday.

After defending his title at the Canadian Open for a 21st PGA Tour win a fortnight ago, following up with a top-five finish at the U.S. Open, McIlroy opened with five birdies over the front nine on the TPC at River Highlands course.

The most vocal of critics against the LIV Golf Invitational Series, the in-form Northern Irishman then closed with two birdies over the final four holes, including a birdie on the par-four 18th to punctuate a blistering opening round.

The birdies were flying at the opening day in Cromwell however, with JT Poston taking a share of the opening-round lead with an eight-under of his own.

They hold a one-stroke lead over Xander Schauffele, who closed with four birdies over the final six holes on Thursday to finish on a seven-under 63, tied for second with Scotsman Martin Laird.

Schauffele was in fine touch with his approach game, hitting the ball particularly cleanly and could have finished with an even lower score had he capitalised with his putter.

They were followed by a three-way tie for third, with Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson and Charles Howell III all posting scores of six-under in the opening round.

Meanwhile, Cam Davis and Matthew NeSmith share fourth place after the opening 18 holes, finishing on five-under for the round.

While others shone in Cromwell, Jordan Spieth had a tough day out for his opening round despite three birdies over the last five holes, finishing with a five-over 75 for the day.

He will have plenty of work to do on Friday just to make the cut, while world number one Scottie Scheffler posted a two-under 68.

Collin Morikawa and Joel Dahmen are the 36-hole leaders of the U.S. Open after an entertaining second round at The Country Club on Friday, tied at five under.

Dahmen was one stroke off the lead after the first round, and he followed it up with a strong 68 in windy conditions. He is one of three players to shoot 68 or better in the opening two rounds. Morikawa came into the day at one under, and shot the round of the day as the only player to get around in 66. 

One stroke back from the lead is a five-man group headlined by stars Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, along with American duo Hayden Buckley and Aaron Wise. Buckley and Wise were the two players along Dahmen to shoot back-to-back 68s.

Beau Hossler joined that group at four under thanks to a chip-in birdie on his final hole.

World number one Scottie Scheffler is part of the group at three under, and he shared the early clubhouse lead following a three-under 67. He is joined by Nick Hardy, Matthew NeSmith, Patrick Rodgers and Brian Harman to round out the top-10.

Overnight leader Adam Hadwin is a further shot back at two under with Sam Burns and Matt Fitzpatrick, while South Africa's M.J. Daffue – who was three strokes clear atop the leaderboard early in his round at six under – posted five bogeys and no birdies down the back nine to head into the weekend at one under.

Also at one under are hopefuls Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris, still well within striking distance, while Hideki Matsuyama and Brooks Koepka headline the group at even par.

Star-studded duo Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson are at one over, and the pair of Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau are at two over, one stroke clear of the cut-line.

Finishing right on the cut-line at three over was recent winner Lee Kyoung-hoon and Colombia's Sebastian Munoz, who has a pair of top-three finishes this season.

Plenty of big names missed the cut, with the international contingent of Spain's Sergio Garcia, Ireland's Shane Lowry, Chile's Mito Pereira and Canada's Corey Conners all one shot out at four over. Tony Finau finished five over, Cameron Smith was six over, and the pair of Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland were both at seven over.

 

Shot of the day

Cameron Young had a moment he will never forget when he conjured up a hole-in-one at the par-three sixth.

There were huge cheers after the American's dream tee shot at the 165-yard hole dropped in. Young was unable to make the cut – missing out by one stroke – but not without achieving a rare feat.

Player of the day - Collin Morikawa

Morikawa produced the round of the day to ensure he is the man to catch heading into the weekend.

The two-time major winner was not at his brilliant best, but five birdies and just the one bogey at the par-five fourth putting him in the lead.

Chipping in

Morikawa: "No one has taken it deep so far and kind of run away, but you know what, right now my game feels really good. The last few days is a huge confidence booster for me heading into this weekend, and hopefully we can kind of make some separation somehow."

Scheffler: "I've been number one in the world for a while now, and it doesn't really feel like it, so I kind of like just under the radar. I can show up and do my thing and then go home and rest."

 

A little birdie told me...

- Young's ace was the 48th in US Open history.

- Nick Hardy and M.J. Daffue emerged from the Springfield, Ohio qualifying. They both held a share of the lead on Friday.

- Scheffler is bidding to become only the second player to win this major while world number one since the Official World Golf Rankings began in 1986. Tiger Woods (2000, 2002 and 2008) is the only man to achieved that.

- Matthew Fitzpatrick is looking to emulate Jack Nicklaus by winning the US Amateur and US Open on the same course.

Cameron Smith continued his strong start to the Memorial Tournament on Friday, sitting alone atop the leaderboard on eight under after being one of three players to shoot under 70 on back-to-back days.

The Australian was in a six-way tie for the lead after round one, and pushed on well his second time around, finishing with just one bogey – on the sixth hole – which was sandwiched by birdies on the fifth and seventh.

Smith then birdied the par-five 11th, and the par-three 12th, showing his impressive touch over long and short distances, but where he really made his money was around the greens.

According to Data Golf, Smith had negative strokes-gained off the tee and with his approach shots in round two, but was second overall in strokes-gained around the greens (plus 3.55), trailing only Beau Hossler (plus 4.25). They gapped the field, with nobody else gaining more than plus 2.83 in that shot category.

Sitting one stroke off the lead is American Denny McCarthy and South Korea's Lee Kyoung-hoon, while one stroke further back at six under are round one's joint-leaders Davis Riley, Cameron Young and Luke List, along with Jhonattan Vegas and Billy Horschel.

McCarthy and Vegas joined Smith as the only players to shoot sub-70 in the opening two rounds.

Rory McIlroy headlines the group at five under in a tie for ninth, along with Francesco Molinari, still well within striking distance heading into the weekend.

A strong international group is at four under, including Canada's Mackenzie Hughes, Chile's Joaquin Niemann and South Korea's Im Sung-jae, and they are one stroke ahead of Ireland's Shane Lowry, Mexico's Abraham Ancer and American Will Zalatoris.

Jon Rahm and Corey Conners will still feel like they have a chance at two under, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele finished well inside the cut-line at one under, and Jordan Spieth shot a disappointing 74 on Friday to take an even par score into the weekend.

England's Aaron Rai – who was number one in strokes-gained off the tee on Friday – along with Australian Adam Scott finished right on the cut-line, making it through at two over, but Matt Fitzpatrick (three over) and Collin Morikawa (four over) were not so lucky.

World number three Cameron Smith headlines a six-way tie atop the Memorial Tournament leaderboard after Thursday's first round at Muirfield Village.

Smith is joined by American trio Luke List, Cameron Young and Davis Riley, as well as Canada's Mackenzie Hughes and South Korea's Lee Kyoung-hoon.

It is the largest leading group after the first round in tournament history, but they all got to their five-under 67 in different ways. 

Young finished the day second in average driving distance (316.8 yards), behind only Jon Rahm, while Lee, Hughes and Smith finished top-six in putts-per-green-in-regulation.

List was the only member of the leading group to finish with less than two bogeys, and Riley played an all-round game; top-15 in driving distance while being dialled in with his putter down the back-nine, going five-under from the 11th hole to the 17th.

US PGA Championship runner-up Will Zalatoris is part of the three-man group one stroke off the lead, while Max Homa and Canada's Corey Conners are in the logjam at three under.

A star-studded group finished with a two-under 70, including Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Im Sung-jae, while Chile's Joaquin Neimann is with Collin Morikawa and Jason Day at one under.

Patrick Cantlay and Rahm were even-par, Mito Pereira will need a solid second round to make the cut after a one-over finish, and Hideki Matsuyama was handed his first career disqualification for using a wood with paint on its face – deemed illegal. He was three over at the time of the incident.

Sam Burns drained a putt from off the green to win the Charles Schwab Challenge in a playoff against world number one Scottie Scheffler.

Despite making no birdies on Sunday, Scheffler was in contention all day after entering the day in the outright lead, but had to battle with the difficult conditions later in the day to post a 72.

Burns was in much better touch, and had the benefit of getting his 18 holes out of the way earlier before the wind picked up, notching a 65 for the round of the day. 

He was one shot back from a four-way tie at 10 under when he finished his tournament at nine under, and he had to wait two hours to find out – first if the field would come back to him – and then if Scheffler could hold on for the playoff.

Scheffler needed to save a number of tough pars down the back nine, including out of the bunker on the 18th hole to force the playoff, which he did by sinking a clutch five-footer.

In the playoff, after a pair of solid drives, Scheffler found the green a long way from the hole, while Burns put his approach just off the back of the putting surface. Approaching three hours since his last putt, Burns drained an incredible tournament-winner, with Scheffler not able to match him from distance.

Speaking to the media after securing the win, Burns said it was a hard-fought result.

"I think, just with the conditions today, and how tough it was playing, I'm just so proud of the way we hung in there," he said.

"I just played such a good round of golf today, and [caddie] Travis [Perkins] did a good job of keeping us in it, especially after hitting a foul ball at 12 which killed our momentum. Hitting that putt – that's just icing on the cake."

It is 11 years since Burns attended Colonial Country Club in person to witness David Toms win the Crowne Plaza Invitational, and he said it is hard to believe he is a champion at the same course.

"I don't know if I would've believed you – I remember that week like it was yesterday," he said.

"To finish it off here, and have [Toms'] family here… to add my name on that list now is really cool."

Scheffler's playing partner Brendon Todd finished one stroke outside the playoff, alone in third at eight under, while American trio Tony Finau, Davis Riley and Scott Stallings collected top-five finishes, tied for fourth at seven under. Finau and Burns were the only two players to shoot 67 or better in the final two rounds as the conditions worsened throughout the weekend.

A strong group rounded out the top-10, with pre-tournament favourite Jordan Spieth and US PGA Championship main character Mito Pereira headlining the five-man bunching in a tie for seventh at five under,

Spieth, Riley and Im Sung-jae – who was part of the logjam at three under – were the only three players to shoot 70 or better in all four rounds.

Norway's Victor Hovland was one of two players to finish at two under, while New Zealand's Danny Lee tied Burns for the round of the day, with his Sunday 65 bringing him to one under for the tournament.

Harold Varner III was part of the four-way tie for the lead at 10 under through 11 holes, but went triple-bogey, double-bogey, triple-bogey over his next three holes to plunge down the leaderboard and finish at even par.

Talor Gooch and Webb Simpson joined him at even par, Tommy Fleetwood finished at one over, and Collin Morikawa never shot worse than 71, but never shot better than 70 to finish two over.

World number one Scottie Scheffler remained in a tie for the lead after his second consecutive bogey-free round at the Charles Schwab Challenge, going one stroke better than his Thursday 66 to sit at nine under.

Scheffler's 65 was one shot off the round of the day, and he did it with back-to-back birdies on holes one and two, before also making gains at 10, 12 and 17 down the back nine.

Fellow round one leader Beau Hossler matched Scheffler again – but after two eagles on par-fours in his first round, he did it in much more traditional fashion this time around, also going bogey-free with five birdies.

Joining that pair atop the leaderboard was Scott Stallings, one of two players to shoot Friday's best score of 64, along with New Zealand's Danny Lee, who improved to sit six off the lead after a 73 on Thursday.

Speaking to Golf Channel after stepping off the 18th green, Scheffler said improvements he has made this season are paying off after traditionally struggling at Colonial Country Club.

"I've worked really hard, just creating a lot of different shots for myself," he said.

"This golf course is a lot about the approach play, and at first it didn't suit my eye, but I've really changed and improved my iron play and created a lot of different shots for myself, and it looks like the hard work is paying off here.

"I think I like it when the conditions are really hard, I'd rather it be very difficult than very easy.

"I feel like it's one of those things where if you're playing really good golf you can kind of extend yourself, so I'm excited for the challenges this weekend."

Patrick Reed sat one stroke back from the lead, alone at eight under after his second 66 of the week, with fellow Americans Pat Perez and Chris Kirk rounding out the top five at seven under.

Next came a five-man group at six under consisting of Americans Max McGreevy, Harold Varner III and Davis Riley, with Australian Cam Davis and Norway's Viktor Hovland.

Pre-tournament favourite Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson and John Huh stood at five under, while Mito Pereira headlined the logjam at four under, still in the mix after his capitulation at the US PGA Championship last weekend.

Max Homa finished three strokes inside the cut line at two under, while Tony Finau and Rickie Fowler were at one under, and Im Sung-jae was one inside the line at even par.

Collin Morikawa and Talor Gooch made the weekend on the number, finishing at one over, while the US PGA Championship playoff pairing of Will Zalatoris and Justin Thomas were both at three over, out of the hunt this time.

World number one Scottie Scheffler was part of an eight-man group atop the leaderboard after the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, played at Colonial Country Club in Texas.

Scheffler, who shot a bogey-free 66 despite only hitting 50 per cent of the fairways in regulation, was joined by fellow Americans Harold Varner III, Chris Kirk, Beau Hossler, Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, as well as Canadian Nick Taylor and Australian Cam Davis.

Hossler produced the most notable round, with two eagles – both coming on par-fours – in his last four holes to fly up the leaderboard.

One shot off the lead were a group including Davis Riley and Kevin Na, while pre-tournament favourite Jordan Spieth was back at one under, tied with Victor Hovland and Max Homa.

Spieth, who is from Texas, has an impeccable record at Colonial, with seven top-10 finishes – including three runners-up and a win – from nine starts on the PGA Tour.

Speaking to the media after finishing his round, Spieth said he is battling his putter at the moment but that he is confident things will turn in his favour.

"I think I'm typically more comfortable with reads here, although today here was totally different, I misread a number of putts today," he said.

"But I stroked it beautifully, I just felt great about the way I putted, I just didn't get much to go.

"Those are the kind of rounds where you can either look at it negatively, or you can say at it like 'hey, that lid is going to come off one of these times, and all of a sudden they're all going to pour in'.

"It's done that for me [previously] at Colonial, so I think that's the attitude I'm going to take."

At even par were a strong international group including Chile's US PGA Championship main character Mito Pereira, Colombia's Sebastian Munoz, England's Ian Poulter, American Collin Morikawa and the South Korean duo of Lee Kyoung-hoon and Im Sung-jae.

PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas was at one over, while his playoff opponent last week Will Zalatoris was a shot further back at two over.

Justin Thomas ultimately prevailed in a thrilling US PGA Championship, lifting the Wanamaker Trophy after Mito Pereira's collapse on the 18th hole forced a playoff.

Holding the lead coming into the final round, Pereira only needed a par on the 18th hole to secure his first PGA Tour victory, but put his drive in the water and could not even salvage a bogey to earn his spot in the playoff.

With a double-bogey capping off a final round 75, he went from six under to four under, tying for third with Cameron Young.

The playoff was contested between Thomas and Will Zalatoris after both players produced clutch shots late in their rounds to finish at five under.

Thomas – who tied for the round of the day with his 67 – had a birdie putt on 18 to move to six under, but could not convert from 10 feet, finishing with a par to head into the clubhouse in outright second place, trailing Pereira by one shot.

Zalatoris, on the other hand, bogeyed the 16th to drop to four under, but came right back with a birdie on 17. He had a tricky par putt on 18 to remain tied with Thomas, and he remained cool under pressure.

In the playoff – which was contested over the aggregate score of three holes, the first being a par-five – Zalatoris appeared to strike first as he found the fairway with his drive, while Thomas hit the rough. Thomas was forced to lay-up, while Zalatoris made the green in two.

Zalatoris two-putted for his birdie, while Thomas put his wedge to within six feet, converting his birdie putt to tie the first playoff hole.

The second playoff hole was the 17th – a drivable par-four – and Thomas found the green with his drive. Zalatoris did not, and after chipping into birdie range, he missed his putt, tapping in for par. Thomas, on the other hand, safely two-putted for birdie to take a one stroke lead into the final playoff hole.

Both players drove well and made the green in regulation on the last, and after Zalatoris failed to sink a long birdie putt, Thomas only needed to two-putt for par to secure his second career major, making no mistakes. It is his second PGA Championship, five years after winning at Quail Hollow.

Also making the top-five was the English duo of Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood – with the latter matching Sunday's best score – and American Chris Kirk, tied for fifth at three under.

It was a strong final round from Rory McIlroy, who rebounded from a disappointing 74 on Saturday to shoot 68 – one stroke off the round of the day – to finish outright eighth at two under.

McIlroy looked like he may be trending for a legendary final round after four consecutive birdies starting on the second hole, but he would claim no more from the fifth.

A four-man group of Mexico's Abraham Ancer, Ireland's Seamus Power and the American pairing of Tom Hoge and Brendan Steele rounded out the top-10, and the last players to finish under par.

Cameron Smith and Xander Schauffele highlighted the group at even par, while the big names struggled, as Jordan Spieth finished at four over, Jon Rahm wrapped up at six over, and Collin Morikawa at eight over.

Shot of the day

The shot of the day went to Englishman Laurie Canter, who birdied the difficult par-four 18th hole from the fairway.

After his drive found the rough, he was forced to lay-up 97 yards from the pin, but was able to convert it thanks to some sharp backspin.

A little birdie told me…

Before his horror drive on 18, Pereira earned his 71-hole lead with great success on the difficult par-fives and par-threes. He joined Webb Simpson as the only players to shoot a combined six under on the par-fives (fifth and 13th holes) over their four rounds

Only four players finished under par for the week on the par-threes (sixth, eighth, 11th and 14th holes) – Fitzpatrick and Rose were two under, while Pereira and Steele shot one under.

On average, nobody drove the ball further than Rory McIlroy this week, posting 347.6 yards per drive. However, the longest drive of the week went to Jon Rahm, with a 418-yard bomb.

Tiger Woods made a bright start to his US PGA Championship quest as he headed out in esteemed company with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.

The star trio played to a bumper early-morning gallery at Southern Hills, Tulsa, where Woods won his fourth and most recent US PGA Championship title in 2007.

Woods had a birdie at his first hole and was one under through three holes, with Spieth and McIlroy soon joining him on that mark.

Starting at the 10th hole, all three began well off the tee, with Woods receiving by far the loudest reception and hitting the longest drive of the trio at 339 yards.

"Do you mind giving me some breathing space please. Back off a little bit," Woods said towards a camera crew as he walked down the first fairway.

He fired a sweet wedge to three feet away from the hole and made no mistake from that range, holing for an immediate birdie.

Woods found the heart of the green at the short 11th, his second, and sent his putt to just six inches away, tapping in for par.

He had a birdie chance at 12 from around 20 feet away but pushed it just right of the hole. McIlroy and Spieth made their first gains at that hole.

Speaking on Tuesday, Woods said he could "definitely" be a title contender, despite this being just his second tournament back since the February 2021 car crash that saw him sustain serious leg and foot injuries. He made the cut at the Masters last month, before fading as the hilly Augusta course took a physical toll on the 46-year-old former world number one.

"My team did just an amazing job just to get me to a point where I could play the Masters and I was able to have that opportunity to play," Woods said. "Right after each round, it was like getting back to the house and we have an ice bath ready for you, and off you go, get on the treatment table and let's keep working at it, keep things going, and it was tough. It was hard. It was hard on all of us.

"But I've gotten stronger since then. But still, it's still going to be sore and walking is a challenge. I can hit golf balls, but the challenge is walking. It's going to be that way for the foreseeable future for sure."

John Daly, the 1991 US PGA champion, was two under through seven holes and held a share of the lead with Robert MacIntyre, Max Homa, Y.E. Yang, Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris early in the first round.

Tiger Woods will be joined in a golfing super-group by Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy for the first two rounds of the US PGA Championship.

The trio, who between them have landed 22 titles at the majors, will begin on Thursday at 08:11 local time (13:11GMT) at Southern Hills, the Oklahoma course that is staging the tournament for a fifth time.

Woods, who won the last of his four US PGA titles at Southern Hills in 2007, has played only one tournament this season, making the cut at the Masters in April.

He is continuing to recover from the foot and leg injuries he sustained in a car crash in February of last year, but there were flickers of the old Woods during his performance at Augusta.

Woods said in a news conference on Tuesday: "It's better than the last time I played a tournament, which is good

"We've been working hard. I have days when it is tough and days where we can push through, but we keep working at it."

Woods has 15 majors to his name, McIlroy has four, including two at the US PGA, and Spieth needs a win at this event to complete a career grand slam, having won each of the other three majors once.

McIlroy believes 46-year-old Woods would not have entered this week if he did not believe it possible to contend come Sunday.

"Six weeks is a long enough time to recover from that week [at the Masters] and then build yourself back up again. He certainly hasn't chosen two of the easiest walks in golf to come back to, Augusta and here," McIlroy said.

"But he's stubborn, he's determined. This is what he lives for. He lives for these major championships, and if he believes he can get around 18 holes, he believes he can win."

The season's second major gets under way on Thursday, as the US PGA Championship starts at Southern Hills Country Club.

Despite being included in the field for the tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma, reigning champion Phil Mickelson will not be on hand to defend his title.

Mickelson, who became the oldest player to win a major when he triumphed at the US PGA in South Carolina last year, is continuing his break from golf, which came after criticism over his comments regarding the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway Golf Super League.

While the GSL cloud hangs over the heads of certain players who have requested releases from the PGA Tour, the focus this week will be on claiming the huge prize of a major title.

Tiger Woods is back, after his remarkable Masters return, while world number one Scottie Scheffler is on the hunt for another major title following his success at Augusta.

Stats Perform's experts have taken a look at some of the likely candidates.

No stopping Scottie – Ben Spratt

Only three men have won both the Masters and the US PGA in the same year, with Jack Nicklaus the last to do so in 1975. That is the esteemed company Augusta champion Scheffler hopes to be keeping – and you would be bold to back against him this season. Scheffler ended 2021 ranked 12th in the world and still waiting on his first PGA Tour victory. He has since won four times, including at the Masters, to become world number one and the clear man to beat. The 25-year-old has two top-10 finishes in both entries at this tournament and played a practice round at Southern Hills earlier this month to prepare himself for another tilt.

Rahm makes timely return to form – Patric Ridge

World number two Jon Rahm will tee off in Oklahoma on Thursday on the back of winning the Mexico Open last time out. Rahm has finished in the top 15 in six of the 11 competitions he has featured in this season. Prior to his win in Mexico, the Spaniard's putting had been letting him down, but the rest of his game has been top-notch. Rahm's strokes gained off the tee is a PGA Tour-leading 1.311, while his strokes gained tee to green also ranks first (1.808). The 27-year-old finished T8 in this major last year and his best result was T4 back in 2018 – he could be celebrating back-to-back wins on Sunday.

First major to get Burns treatment – John Skilbeck

Sam Burns missed the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson, but we should forget that; one bad round cost him and there have been very few of those this season from the 25-year-old. Besides, he followed that 73 with a gutsy 67. Admittedly, Burns also missed the cut at the Masters, but he has titles at the Sanderson Farms Championship and the Valspar Championship in the current campaign, successfully defending his title at the latter after a breakthrough win last year. He has achieved six top-10 finishes in the 2021-22 season, has banked almost $4.5million, and sits second in the FedEx Cup standings. The PGA Championship can throw up funky winners and Burns might just be ready to join the list. He has yet to challenge in a major but that surely must change soon.

Rory can end major drought – David Segar

It is eight years since Rory McIlroy won the last of his four majors at the PGA Championship, but the Northern Irishman can end that drought this week. He produced a late surge to finish second in The Masters, with a stunning Sunday 64. McIlroy is third on the PGA Tour for shots gained off the tee. His two scores of 68 over the weekend earned fifth place at the recent Wells Fargo Championship, setting him up nicely for another major challenge.

Spieth slam? Oh, it's on… – Pete Hanson

Is this the week Jordan Spieth completes the Grand Slam? A tie for 71st and 30th in his last couple of attempts don't make for particularly good omens but Spieth is a player reborn. Having slipped as low as 92nd in the Official World Golf Rankings after last year's Farmers Insurance Open, Spieth has gone about climbing back into the world's top 10 and was back among the winners' circle at the RBC Heritage last month. A missed cut at the Masters was not the start he envisaged to major season but Spieth is at his best with his back against the wall and can firmly be in contention to lift the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday.

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