PGA Championship 2013 preview and TV schedule

Tiger Woods reacts after missing a birdie putt Tiger Woods reacts after missing a birdie putt on the fifth hole during the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. (Aug. 4, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Top Story Lines

Tiger Woods' continuing quest for his 15th major championship: Coming off a big win at the Bridgestone, he is the clear favorite, as he always is. That hasn't helped in the past five years.

Phil Mickelson's chance to burnish his legacy and build on his British Open victory: "He showed what he's made of," said Tom Watson, a five-time British Open champion.

Unpredictability: There have been 18 different winners in the past 20 majors, 14 of them first-timers. "I guess there's a lot of good players in the world," said Ian Poulter, who would like to continue the trend.

The year of great finishes: Each of the three majors has been a thriller. PGA of America president Ted Bishop, paraphrasing Ben Crenshaw, said, "I've got this feeling, based on as great as the majors have been this year, that something memorable is going to happen."

It's the PGA, so who knows? The greats have won it. Jack Nicklaus won a PGA. But this is the tournament that also has awarded the trophy to Mark Brooks, Rich Beem and Shaun Micheel. It basically created John Daly.

Looking to follow Adam Scott and Justin Rose in a first-time breakthrough year

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Hunter Mahan: New dad has been on the cusp the past two majors.

Dustin Johnson: Whenever fellow golfers talk about good golfers, they mention him.

Ian Poulter: Ryder Cup megastar admits "silly mistakes" have cost him in majors.

Henrik Stenson: Finished top three at his past three: Scottish and British Opens, WGC Bridgestone.

Brandt Snedeker: Needs spare change to buy nice baby gift for the Mahans (he won the Canadian Open after Mahan, the leader, left for the birth of his first child).

Also keep an eye on . . .

Keegan Bradley: August is his time of year, he played well last week, but his putting has to get sharper.

Rory McIlroy: He said he finally is playing well. Wouldn't that be a way to cap an awful year?

Zach Johnson: Top five in his past three events: John Deere, British Open, Bridgestone.

Don't bet the life savings on . . .

Darren Clarke: Hasn't exactly been in top form since winning the British Open in 2011. Looks more like semi-retirement.

Lucas Glover: Ditto for his career, post-U.S. Open win at Bethpage.

Stewart Cink: More of a trivia answer: Who was the guy who won the British Open that Tom Watson nearly took at 59?

Rickie Fowler: Well known for his flashy clothes, long hair and vaunted promise but hasn't finished inside the top 10 since March at Bay Hill (tied for 10th at the U.S. Open, but was 7 over).

Local Angles

Mark Brown, head pro at Tam O'Shanter in Brookville: Three-time New York State Open champion at the Black Course, Long Island Open winner at Bethpage Red, the 46-year-old still can play, 13 years after he qualified for the first of his five PGAs.

Danny Balin, teaching pro at Burning Tree in Connecticut: Coming off his second consecutive State Open title last month, he still is aiming for a career on the PGA Tour. His game is so solid that, during practice rounds played amid the world's best, fans went "Wow" or "Ooooh" after his drives.

Rob Labritz, director of golf at GlenArbor in Westchester: The former Shinnecock Hills assistant pro made the cut at the 2010 PGA and is much better now, especially in the short game that produced the holed 95-yard wedge shot that got him in this tournament. "If you play for four days the way you know you can play," he said recently, "it can change your life."

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What's in a number?

Golfers won't be using the driver very often at Oak Hill, which values accuracy more than length: Woods said he would use it two to five times a round. Mickelson might not carry a driver.

What does the Stimpmeter say? The PGA won't reveal green speeds, claiming it doesn't want to put pressure on courses around the country, which would try to match it.

Going low is no crime: "I think the great thing about the PGA Championship is we have never gotten caught up in what the under-par score is going to be to win this championship," PGA president Ted Bishop said.

Glory's Lost Shot

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The new slogan for the PGA Championship is "The Season's Final Major." That replaces "Glory's Last Shot," which was retired at the request of the PGA Tour, which noted that the golf season doesn't end with the PGA. The FedEx Cup is yet to begin.

TV schedule

Thursday: TNT, 1 p.m.

Friday: TNT, 1 p.m.

Saturday: TNT, 11 a.m.; Ch. 2, 2 p.m.

Sunday: TNT, 11 a.m.; Ch. 2, 2 p.m.

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