There are around 3,500 miles separating Sussex from New York, but you can be sure that golfers in Brighton will be inspired by events unfolding in Rochester from May 18-21.
Oak Hill Country Club will be the host of the 2023 US PGA Championship, which will be watched by an audience of millions all around the globe.
And closer to home, players at Brighton & Hove Golf Club, Hollingbury and even the rather more laidback Globalls will be looking to emulate the exploits of Jon Rahm and co.
United in Support
Golf fans in the UK tend to support their home favourites in golf’s majors. That’s why Rory McIlroy is one of the best-supported players in the sport and he is regularly one of the favourites for the Majors in the Paddy Power golf bets as well, such as being priced at 15/2 for The Open.
McIlroy is priced at 9/1 in the PGA Championship odds, a fraction behind the two other players he shares dominance of world golf with: Jon Rahm (7/1) and Scottie Scheffler (8/1). Between them, they have collected 14 PGA TOUR titles since the start of 2022, so the trio’s talent speaks for itself.
There are plenty of other players from Great Britain and Ireland with a chance of landing golf’s second major of the year. Matt Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry have already prevailed in the U.S. Open and Open Championship respectively, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood are multiple-time champions around the world and Justin Rose’s CV in the sport speaks for itself.
What. A. Day. From being a little kid this is a moment I could only dream of. To achieve one of my career goals yesterday was truly incredible. Words really can’t describe the feeling of winning a major, it’s 1000x better than I ever thought it would be. pic.twitter.com/aYVzWDWroR
— Matt Fitzpatrick (@MattFitz94) June 20, 2022
So whether you’re watching the US PGA Championship at home or in the clubhouse of one of Brighton’s golf courses, there should be ample opportunities to cheer on a ‘home’ winner.
The nature of golf’s hierarchical structure means that a player is only a good – or bad – season away from rising or falling on the sport’s own version of snakes and ladders.
For Jack Singh Brar, born on the south coast of England, a tilt at the DP World Tour came to an end in 2022 when he lost his Tour Card – despite some encouraging performances, such as finishing in the top-30 of the classy British Masters in May of last year.
The 26-year-old has taken his medicine and now tees it up on the Challenge Tour, where he has found life similarly difficult. However, form is temporary and class is permanent in golf – Singh Brar recorded a top-10 finish in the Abu Dhabi Challenge in April, just six shots behind winner Ricardo Gouveia, to signal that his form is heading in the right direction.
For Harry Ellis, another former south coast native that has since moved to North America, his progress in professional golf has been a steady upward curve.
The 27-year-old won the Amateur Championship in 2017, securing him an entry into The Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship. Naturally, he decided to turn pro not long after, although he too has found life tough on the Challenge Tour.
Welcome to @PGATOURCanada 🇨🇦🤝
— PGA TOUR Canada – Fortinet Cup (@PGATOURCanada) February 24, 2023
So Ellis decided to take a different path: he headed to the PGA TOUR Canada, securing his Tour Card for 2023 and starting out on a more circuitous route to the top of the sport.
Could Singh Brar and Ellis be competing in the PGA Championship one day? The beauty of golf’s structure is that the very best will ultimately make it to the top of the sport.