Golf lowdowns: US Women’s PGA Championship and Travelers Championship

Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow in Major action; Shane Lowry and Séamus Power chase huge purse

Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow will tee it up in the US Women's PGA Championships at Sahalee Country Club in Washington state. Photograph: Raj Mehta/Getty Images

Purse: €9.7 million (€1.5 million to the winner)

Where: Sammamish, Washington

The course: Sahalee Country Club – 6,731 yards, par 72 – is located in the eastern suburbs of Seattle and has been consistently included among the top 100 courses in the USA since it opened in 1969. Originally designed by Ted Robinson, it was renovated by Rees Jones ahead of the 1998 US PGA Championship won by Vijay Singh. In 2016, it hosted the Women’s PGA won by Canadian Brooke Henderson, with a commemorative plaque unveiled earlier this week to remember that breakthrough Major win. It is a tight, tree-lined course.

The field: The third Major of the women’s season has attracted a stellar field, which includes world number two Lilia Vu, who made a successful return to competition following injury with victory in last week’s Meijer Classic. Vu missed last month’s US Open. Nelly Korda, the world number one and dominant player on the LPGA Tour this season, and defending champion Ruoning Yin are among the headline acts.


Quote-Unquote: “I feel like pressure is privilege, and that’s something that you’re the only one that can kind of control that. You can listen to the outside voices, but at the end of the day, when you have pressure, you can take it in a positive way that you are doing good and playing well.” – Nelly Korda on coming into the championship on the back of missed cuts in the US Open and the Meijer Classic.

Irish in the field: Leona Maguire is grouped with Charley Hull and Ayaka Furue (4.22pm Irish time, off the 10th); Stephanie Meadow is in a group with Mao Saigo and Cheyenne Knight (10.01pm Irish time, off the 1st).

Betting: Nelly Korda’s dip in form has seen her drift to 8-1 (although still favourite) with Atthaya Thitikul rated a 14-1 shot. Hannah Green is worth a look at 30-1 while Yin is a 35-1 shot to defend her title won at Baltusrol last year. Linn Grant – winner of the recent Scandinavian Mixed – is an each-way prospect at odds of 40-1.

On TV: Live on Sky Sports Golf from11pm.

The Travelers Championship

Purse: €18.6 million (€3.35 million to the winner)

Where: Cromwell, Connecticut

The course: TPC River Highlands – 6,835 yards, par 70 – was designed by Robert Ross and Maurice Kearney and has provided something of a birdie fest on a course rated the third shortest on the PGA Tour schedule. Jim Furyk’s 58 is the course record (final round in 2016) which is also the lowest round ever on the PGA Tour. The meat of the course comes late on, with the stretch from the 15th to the 17th created around a lake of four acres.

The field: Eight of the world’s top-10 players from the official world rankings are playing – the two exceptions being Rory McIlroy, the world number two, who understandably has taken time off to lick his wounds following the US Open, and LIV player Bryson DeChambeau. In this PGA Tour signature event, the last of the $20 million purse events of the season. Keegan Bradley is the defending champion.

Quote-Unquote: “I think with golf, the physical aspect of it you can really train for. The mental part is I would is say more difficult to train for.” – world number one Scottie Scheffler on the demands of such hectic scheduling, with most players on the end of a four- or three-week stretch of events.

Irish in the field: Séamus Power is paired with Taylor Moor (2.25pm Irish time); Shane Lowry is in a two-ball with Justin Thomas (3.50pm Irish time).

Betting: Scottie Scheffler was a bit off the boil in the US Open finishing tied-41st and doesn’t have a great record at TPC Highlands. But the world number one has five wins so far this season and has course specialist Ted Scott on his bag so is justified to be installed as 7-2 favourite. US PGA champion Xander Schauffele next in the market at 7-1. Shane Lowry looks well priced at 66-1, while another each-way prospect is Thomas Detry at 100s.

On TV: Live on Sky Sports Golf from 5pm.

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times