The top 100 players in the Official World Golf Ranking have all committed to play in the 96th PGA Championship, held at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10, according to the PGA of America on Tuesday. With the exception of any withdrawals prior to the first round, it would be the first time any major championship would feature each of the top 100 world-ranked golfers.
The so-called “strongest” field in golf has starred most the top 100 players in the world of any event in golf since 1994. Don’t get me wrong — that’s incredibly impressive, but the event also includes 20 PGA club professionals (which was formerly 40 until a few years ago). This year’s field features 29 major champions, 70 international players representing 24 countries, and all three of the reigning major championship winners, Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy.
The PGA of America unveiled 154 of the 156-player field for Valhalla. The two remaining spots to complete the field will be decided based on the results this weekend at the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational and the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Defending Champion Jason Dufner headlines 15 PGA Champions in the field. Dufner, who captured his first major championship last year at Oak Hill, is joined by Rich Beem (2002), Keegan Bradley (2011), Mark Brooks (1996), John Daly (1991), Padraig Harrington (2008), Martin Kaymer (2010), Davis Love III (1997), Rory McIlroy (2012), Shaun Micheel (2003), Phil Mickelson (2005), Vijay Singh (1998, 2004), David Toms (2001), Tiger Woods (1999, 2000, ’06, ’07), and Y.E. Yang (2009).
The 2014 U.S. Open and 2014 Open Championship winners Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy, respectively, will be paired with the 2014 Masters champion, Bubba Watson — this is the traditional grouping of the winners of the first three major championships of the season.
As the only major championship with an all-professional field, the PGA Championship also features 20 PGA Club Professionals, who earned berths in the field through their performances in June at the PGA Professional National Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Here’s a look at the field as of now:
Aphibarnrat, Kiradech – Bankok, THAILAND
Beem, Rich – Austin, Texas
Bjorn, Thomas – Silkeborg, DENMARK
Blixt, Jonas – Hammaro, SWEDEN
Block, Michael – Aliso Viego, Calif.
Bohn, Jason – Acworth, Ga.
Bowditch, Steven – Queensland, AUSTRALIA
Bradley, Keegan – Woodstock, Vt.
Broce, Jamie – Ottawa Hills, Ohio
Brooks, Mark – Ft. Worth, Texas
Brown, Scott – Aiken, S.C.
Cabrera, Angel – Cordoba, ARGENTINA
Cabrera-Bello, Rafael – Gran Canaria, SPAIN
Casey, Paul – Cheltenham, ENGLAND
Castro, Roberto – Atlanta, Ga.
Chappell, Kevin – Fresno, Calif.
Choi, K.J. – Seoul, S. KOREA
Cink, Stewart – Duluth, Ga.
Clark, Tim – Durban, S. Africa
Clarke, Darren – Portrush, N. IRELAND
Coetzee, George – Pretoria, S. AFRICA
Compton, Erik – Coral Gables, Fla.
Corcoran, Rob – Melbourne, Fla.
Crane, Ben – Westlake, Texas
Daly, John – Dardanelle, Ark.
Day, Jason – Queensland, AUSTRALIA
de Jonge, Brendon – Harare, Zimbabwe
Deane, Stuart – Arlington, Texas
DeLaet, Graham – Saskatchewan, CANADA
Donald, Luke – High Wycombe, ENGLAND
Donaldson, Jamie – Pontypridd, WALES
Dubuisson, Victor – Cannes, FRANCE
Dufner, Jason – Auburn, Ala.
Els, Ernie – Johannesburg, S. AFRICA
English, Harris – Sea Island, Ga.
Esposito, Frank – Florham Park, N.J.
Every, Matt – Jacksonville, Fla.
Fernandez-Castano, Gonzalo – Madrid, SPAIN
Fisher, Ross – London, ENGLAND
Fleetwood, Tommy – Formby Hall, ENGLAND
Fowler, Rickie – Murrieta, Calif.
Furyk, Jim – Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Gallacher, Stephen – Linlithgow, SCOTLAND
Garcia, Sergio – Castellon, SPAIN
Grace, Branden – George, S. AFRICA
Haas, Bill – Greenville, S.C.
Hadley, Chesson – Raleigh, N.C.
Harman, Brian – Sea Island, Ga.
Harrington, Padraig – Dublin, IRELAND
Hearn, David – Ontario, CANADA
Helminen, Ryan – Menasha, Wis.
Henley, Russell – Kiawah Island, S.C.
Hoffman, Charley – Las Vegas, Nev.
Holmes, J.B. – Campbellsville, Ky.
Hronek, David – North Port, Fla.
Ilonen, Mikko – Lahti, FINLAND
Ishikawa, Ryo – Saitama, JAPAN
Jacobson, Freddie – Gothenberg, SWEDEN
Jaidee, Thongchai – Bangkok, THAILAND
Jimenez, Miguel Angel – Malaga, SPAIN
Johnson, Dustin – Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Johnson, Zach – Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jones, Matt – Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Karlsson, Robert – Katrineholm, Gothenberg, SWEDEN
Kaymer, Martin – Mettmann, GERMANY
Kirk, Chris – Milton, Ga.
Knox, Russell – Inverness, SCOTLAND
Koepka, Brooks – Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Kok, Johan – Brentwood, Tenn.
Kokrak, Jason – Charlotte, N.C.
Krueger, Aaron – Norwalk, Iowa
Kuchar, Matt – Sea Island, Ga.
Lahiri, Anirban – Bangalore, INDIA
Larrazabal, Pablo – Barcelona, SPAIN
Leishman, Marc – Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Levy, Alexander – Bandol, FRANCE
Love III, Davis – Sea Island, Ga.
Lowry, Shane – County Offaly, IRELAND
Luiten, Joost – Bleiswijk, THE NETHERLANDS
MacKenzie, Will – Tequesta, Fla.
Mahan, Hunter – Dallas, Texas
Manassero, Matteo – Verona, ITALY
Martin, Ben – Greenville, S.C.
Matsuyama, Hideki – Miyagi, JAPAN
McDowell, Graeme – Portrush, N. IRELAND
McGovern, Jim – Oradell, N.J
McIlroy, Rory – Holywood, N. IRELAND
McNabb, David – Newark, Del.
McNeill, George – Ft. Myers, Fla.
Micheel, Shaun – Memphis, Tenn.
Mickelson, Phil – Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Molinari, Edoardo – Turni, ITALY
Molinari, Francesco – Turin, ITALY
Montgomerie, Colin – Dunning, SCOTLAND
Moore, Ryan – Las Vegas, Nev.
Na, Kevin – Las Vegas, Nev.
Noh, Seung-Yul – Seoul, S. KOREA
Norman, Brian – The Colony, Texas
Oda, Koumei – Fukuoka, JAPAN
Olesen, Thorbjorn – Copenhagen, DENMARK
Oosthuizen, Louis – Albertina, S. AFRICA
Perry, Kenny – Franklin, Ky.
Perry, Rod – Port Orange, Fla.
Pesta, Matt – Wixom, Mich.
Piercy, Scott – Las Vegas, Nev.
Poulter, Ian – Woburn, ENGLAND
Reed, Patrick – Houston, Texas
Rose, Justin – London, ENGLAND
Schneiter, Steve – Sandy, Utah
Schwartzel, Charl – Johannesburg, S. AFRICA
Scott, Adam – Queensland, AUSTRALIA
Senden, John – Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Simpson, Webb – Charlotte, N.C.
Singh, Vijay – Nadi, FIJI
Smith, Jerry – Oskaloosa, Iowa
Snedeker, Brandt – Nashville, Tenn.
Sowards, Bob – Dublin, Ohio
Spieth, Jordan – Dallas, Tex.
Stadler, Kevin – Scottsdale, Ariz.
Stallings, Scott – Knoxville, Tenn.
Steele, Brendan – Irvine, Calif.
Stenson, Henrik – Gothenburg, SWEDEN
Sterne, Richard – Stellenbosch, S. AFRICA
Streelman, Kevin – Wheaton, Ill.
Stricker, Steve – Madison, Wisc.
Stroud, Chris – Houston, Tex.
Stuard, Brian – Jackson, Mich.
Summerhays, Daniel – Fruit Heights, Utah
Tanihara, Hideto – Onomichi, JAPAN
Tentis, David – Woodbury, Minn.
Todd, Brendon – Atlanta, Ga.
Toms, David – Shreveport, La.
Tringale, Cameron – Niguel, Calif.
Volk, Dustin – Layton, Utah
Walker, Jimmy – Boerne, Texas
Warren, Marc – Glasgow, SCOTLAND
Watney, Nick – Sacramento, Calif.
Watson, Bubba – Bagdad, Fla.
Watson, Tom – Bucyrus, Kan.
Weekley, Boo – Jay, Fla.
Westwood, Lee – Close House, ENGLAND
Wiesberger, Bernd – Oberwart, AUSTRIA
Williamson, Eric – Shoal Creek, Ala.
Willett, Danny – Rotherham, ENGLAND
Williamson, Eric – Shoal Creek, Ala.
Wood, Chris – Bristol, ENGLAND
Woodland, Gary – Topeka, Kan.
Woods, Tiger – Hobe Sound, Fla.
Yang, Y.E. – Jeju Island, S. KOREA
Zanotti, Fabrizio – PARAGUAY
(Photo: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)