PGA Championship : : AN elite field gathers at Bellerive Country Club for the year’s final major tournament with three-time major winner Jordan Spieth trying to complete a Career Grand Slam and 14-time major champion Woods trying to end a 10-year major victory drought in his comeback from spinal fusion surgery.
Add on-form McIlroy, a four-time major winner who was a runner-up at the Open Championship, plus reigning major champion Patrick Reed from the Masters, two-time US Open winner Brooks Koepka and reigning Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari of Italy and it’s clear to see why expectations are high for a thrill-packed final major of 2018.
100th US PGA Championship
When: 9-12 August
Where: Bellerive Country Club, St Louis, Missouri, USA
Course length: 7,329 yards
Prize purse: $10.5m (£8.1m)
Field: 156 players
Second-ranked defending champion Justin Thomas, Woods and McIlroy are grouped together for the first two rounds as are Molinari, Reed and Koepka.
Tiger Woods is back, not quite as good as before but ready to win another major PGA golf championship nonetheless.
He got close in last month’s British Open, with a top 10 finish. Now he gets to try again, teeing it up in the PGA Championship 2018 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.
Defending champion Justin Thomas will go into the 2018 US PGA Championship aiming for two wins in a week following his victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
In what is a potential game-changer regarding how live golf is viewed, this 100th edition of the US PGA Championship will only be available live to an Irish audience through streaming on the Eleven Sports website, its Facebook page or via its app.
With Sky Sports – who last had rights to the season’s final Major in 2016 – failing to add the championship to its coverage, and last year’s one-off deal with BBC proving to be less than a success, the PGA of America has departed from its traditional model to give live streaming rights to the British-based Eleven Sports, a company owned by Lees United owner Andrea Radrizzani.
The good news for golf viewers is that the PGA is the actual launch-pad for the company’s move into the Irish and UK markets, so all four rounds are available for free on the Eleven Sports App (the first two are also available free on its Facebook page).
To watch using the app, however, viewers will have to register for the free trial which runs out on August 13th, the day after the final round of the tournament. After that, there will be a charge of €6.99 a month or alternatively there is an annual subscription of €59.99, a promotional offer that finishes on August 31st.
Eleven Sports has also outmanoeuvred Sky Sports and BT Sports to secure rights of the upcoming La Liga and Serie A soccer campaigns in Spain and Italy.
The US PGA effectively kick-starts a bold new world of how live sport will potentially be viewed going forward.
The platform model being used– which Eleven Sports has used in countries such as Portugal and Poland, where it has cut its teeth with a range from football to UFC – allows subscribers to watch live screening on smartphones,laptops, iPads and tablets . . . . however, the tournament can also be watched on Smart TVs with a connection using a HDMI cable from laptops and other devices.
All you need to do is plug the cable into your laptop and then one of the HDMI ports on your television (price range €4.95-€49.95 in electrical stores).