Aug. 5 (UPI) — World No. 1 Justin Thomas is predicted to challenge defending champion Brooks Koepka this week at the PGA Championship, the primary main occasion of the resumed PGA Tour season.

Oddsmakers have Koepka as the perfect guess to win the match, with Thomas both listed because the second favourite to win. Thomas received the 2017 PGA Championship earlier than Koepka’s back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019.

“I really feel like I have been taking part in higher than my outcomes since we got here again from the quarantine,” Thomas mentioned Sunday after he received the FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

The 2020 PGA Championship begins Thursday and ends Sunday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The match will air on ESPN and CBS, and gamers will compete for a complete purse of $11 million, with almost $2 million going to the winner.

Koepka is trying to turn into the primary participant to win the PGA Championship three consecutive occasions within the stroke-play period. Walter Hagen received 4 consecutive occasions within the match-play period from 1924 by means of 1927. Hagen is the one different golfer who received least three straight occasions.

Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele are the opposite greatest bets to win the tourney. Tiger Woods sits round 10th within the betting selections.

Woods, Thomas and Koepka will tee off for the primary spherical in the identical group at 11:33 a.m. EDT Thursday in San Francisco.

Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and DeChambeau will tee off at 4:47 p.m. EDT Thursday. Johnson is grouped with Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose. Rahm will play alongside Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson.

No spectators shall be allowed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Main championship weeks do not want something particular or spectators for us to know it is a main championship,” Rahm advised reporters Tuesday. “It simply feels prefer it. Clearly followers shall be missed. The ambiance will not be the identical.”

Thomas must be Koepka’s greatest challenge for a third-consecutive title, however has mentioned he wants to familiarize himself with the course, which he has by no means performed.

Thomas trending up

The 2020 PGA Championship marks the primary main championship for the reason that July 2019 British Open, when Koepka tied for fourth.

Koepka completed tied for second at final week’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Thomas has outplayed Koepka for the reason that PGA Tour season resumed in June after play was suspended in mid-March due to the pandemic.

Koepka was No. 1 within the Official World Rating at the top of 2019, however that spot now belongs to Thomas, who positioned within the top-10 in 4 of the six tournaments for the reason that season resumed. His newest run features a second-place end in July’s Workday Charity Open.

Koepka has two top-10 finishes for the reason that season resumed. He additionally has missed the reduce twice and completed tied for 32nd and 62nd in six appearances. His final win got here at the 2019 FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

The 2020 PGA Champions initially had been scheduled because the second main championship of the yr from Could 14 to 17 earlier than it was moved to August due to the pandemic.

The Masters Event had been the primary main championship on the schedule, however now would be the final, pushed to November from April.

Woods has received the PGA Championship greater than any participant within the discipline, with 4 titles amongst his 15 main triumphs.

Woods was scorching at the top of 2019 and thru January, with a win and three top-10 finishes in three tournaments, however has turn into much less of a menace.

Woods completed 68th in January’s Genesis Invitational earlier than he returned to the PGA Tour for July’s Memorial Event, the place he almost missed the reduce earlier than tying for 40th.

“I really feel good,” Woods mentioned Tuesday. “I have not performed a lot competitively, however I have been taking part in loads at dwelling. I’ve gotten loads of reps that approach. “That is what I have been gearing up for.”

Woods missed the final two tournaments. He mentioned poor placing and tough situations led to his tepid efficiency at the Memorial Event. Temperatures are anticipated to be within the mid-to-upper 60s, with winds up to 20 mph this week in San Francisco. No rain is predicted.

The U.S. Open is the subsequent main championship on the PGA Tour schedule. That match had been deliberate for June 18 to 21, however will happen Sept. 17 to 20 at Winged Foot Golf Membership, in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

The 2020 British Open has been canceled, whereas the 2020 Masters Event shall be Nov. 12 to 15 in Augusta, Ga.

2020 PGA Championship

When: Thursday by means of Sunday

The place: TPC Harding Park in San Francisco

TV: First and second rounds, 4 to 10 p.m. EDT Thursday and Friday on ESPN; third spherical, 1 to Four p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN, 4 to 10 p.m. EDT Saturday on CBS; fourth spherical, midday to Three p.m. EDT Sunday on ESPN, 3 to 9 p.m. EDT Sunday on CBS

Streaming on ESPN+: First and second rounds, 10 a.m. to Four p.m. EDT Thursday and Friday; first and second spherical featured teams, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT Thursday and Friday; third spherical, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT Saturday; third spherical featured teams 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT Saturday; fourth spherical 10 a.m. to midday EDT Sunday; fourth spherical featured teams, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT Sunday