A World-Class, History-Making Field Set for PGA Championship
By Adam Stanley
Adam Svensson waits to hit on the eighth during the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in Rochester, New York. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/PGA of America)
The PGA Championship is on the doorstep tomorrow, complete with the strongest field in golf – while also featuring the Championship’s first set of twins competing.
While 99 out of the world’s top-100 ranked golfers will tee it up at Oak Hill Country Club (the only one missing, Will Zalatoris at No. 9, is out for the remainder of the season after lower-back surgery) there is a hefty number from countries outside the United States.
Perhaps none more impressive than Canada, however, which is sending a record six participants to this year’s Championship.
Oak Hill is just three hours from Toronto, Ontario – Canada’s most populous city – and only 100-or-so miles from the Canadian border, making it very likely the closest major to Canada in recent history.
Location aside, the six-pack of Canadians that are teeing it up have quickly become a week-in and week-out group worth cheering for on the PGA Tour.
The group is led by Corey Conners at No. 27. Conners is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour after capturing the Valero Texas Open earlier this year (he also won it in 2019). For the first time in Tour history, three Canadians have held trophies at the same time, as Adam Svensson (No. 58 in the world) and Mackenzie Hughes (No. 61) both won tournaments in the fall. After the Masters, the PGA Championship will mark Svensson’s second-career major. Hughes was the low Canadian at the Masters.
The rest of the Canadian contingent at Oak Hill will be Nick Taylor (No. 65), Adam Hadwin (No. 71), and Taylor Pendrith (No. 119). Just recently was the first time in history that there were five Canadians inside the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking and it’s a sign of things to come, according to a Golf Canada official. Golf Canada is the national governing body for the sport – not unlike the United States Golf Association.
“We’re excited to see the success that the current crop of players is having. They’ve worked hard and earned their way to the sport’s biggest stages like this week at the PGA Championship,” says Kevin Blue, Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer. “And they are setting an example for the next generation of players to believe that they, too, can reach the highest level.”
The best result by a Canadian at the PGA Championship was Mike Weir in 2006 when he finished sixth.
After the United States, there will be 11 Englishmen in the field including European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald. Seven Australians are teeing it up including 2015 PGA Championship winner Jason Day.
There are also a nice number of solo (or in one case, twin) representatives from countries around the globe.
Recent first-time PGA Tour winner Nico Echavarria will represent Colombia while Sadom Kaewkanjana will tee it up for Thailand. Kaewkanjana earned a spot in The Open Championship a year ago and finished tied for 11th. Sepp Straka’s got Austria and Adrian Meronk’s got Poland. And while there are three golfers from Denmark heading to Oak Hill, this year will mark the first time that twins will tee it up at the PGA Championship as both Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard are in the field.
Regardless of where you’re from or who you’re cheering for, this year’s PGA Championship field is chalk full of global competitors.