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Top contenders entering 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black

Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after

Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after sinking his putt to win during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

The following are among the world's top golfers who will be competing in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black (information current through May 6):

TIGER WOODS

United States

World ranking: 6

Best 2019 finish: Won Masters.

2019 top 10 finishes: 3

Career PGA Tour wins: 81

2019 money: $2,804,717

He’s got game: Shooting for 16th career major, coming off Masters victory. Also one shy of Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour wins . . . Four-time PGA Championship winner, a victory this week would be 12 years and about 35 degrees removed from his last one (102 degrees in Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Long Island moment: In 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, became first to win Masters and U.S. Open the same year since Jack Nicklaus, 1975.

DUSTIN JOHNSON

United States

World ranking: 1

Best 2019 finish: Won World Golf Championships-Mexico.

2019 top 10 finishes: 6

Career PGA Tour wins: 20

2019 money: $3,972,139

He’s got game: World No. 1 for large portions of past two seasons, including stretch of 64 consecutive weeks . . . Tied for second last month at the Masters . . . 2016 U.S. Open champion . . . At least one win in each of his first 11 seasons . . . Grandson of three-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference basketball player Art Whisnant (South Carolina).

Long Island moment: Hit 300-yard carry over water and birdied first playoff hole to beat Jordan Spieth for 2017 Northern Trust at Glen Oaks in Old Westbury.

JUSTIN ROSE

England

World ranking: 2

Best 2019 finish: Won Farmers Insurance Open.

2019 top 10 finishes: 5

Career PGA Tour wins: 10

2019 money: $2,968,469

He’s got game: 2018 FedEx Cup champion, winning $10 million as No. 1 overall on PGA Tour . . . 2013 U.S. Open champion . . . Tied for first at 2017 Masters, lost playoff to Sergio Garcia . . . Close friend of PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh, who is godfather to Rose’s son.

Long Island moment: Wore 2015 Olympic gold medal around his neck while finishing that year’s Barclays at Bethpage Black.

BROOKS KOEPKA

United States

World ranking: 3

Best 2019 finish: Won CJ Cup@Nine Bridges.

2019 top 10 finishes: 3

Career PGA Tour wins: 5

2019 money: $3,545,927

He’s got game: Won 2018 U.S. Open and PGA Championship after having missed Masters and much of the early season with serious hand injury . . . Tied for second at Masters this year . . . Mentor to younger brother Chase, who plays on European Tour. The Koepkas tied for 22nd in Zurich Classic team championship last month . . . Great uncle Dick Groat won two World Series, with Pirates and Cardinals, and was all-America basketball player at Duke.

Long Island moment: At Shinnecock Hills last June, became first repeat U.S. Open champion in 29 years.

RORY McILROY

Northern Ireland

World ranking: 4

Best 2019 finish: Won The Players.

2019 top 10 finishes: 8

Career PGA Tour wins: 15

2019 money: $5,068,264

He’s got game: Four-time major champion, including the PGA twice, 2012 and 2014. Also won 2011 U.S. Open and 2014 British Open . . . Left school at 16 to pursue amateur golf, supported by parents who took extra jobs . . . 2016 FedEx Cup winner, rallying from three shots down with three holes to go to win Tour Championship.

Long Island moment: A month after 20th birthday, made U.S. Open debut in 2009 at Bethpage, tied for 10th.

JUSTIN THOMAS

United States

World ranking: 5

Best 2019 finish: 2nd, Genesis Open.

2019 top 10 finishes: 5

Career PGA Tour wins: 9

2019 money: $2,745,300

He’s got game: Won 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow (North Carolina) . . . Winning event run by club pros association, meant more to him as son and grandson of longtime club pros. Was eighth son of a PGA pro to win . . . Reached No. 1 in world last year . . . Missed Wells Fargo this month at Quail Hollow with wrist injury.

Long Island moment: He was a member of the winning 2013 U.S. Walker Cup team, National Golf Links in Southampton.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI

Italy

World ranking: 7

Best 2019 finish: Won Arnold Palmer Invitational.

2019 top 10 finishes: 3

Career PGA Tour wins: 3

2019 money: $3,027,438

He’s got game: Risked place on European Ryder Cup team to play in 2018 Quicken Loans Open on PGA Tour (for FedEx Cup points). Won the tournament, then went on to win British Open and later was first European player to go 5-0 in Ryder Cup . . . Caddied for brother Edoardo in 2006 Masters in a group featuring Tiger Woods. Played in final group with Woods last month at Augusta, lost three-stroke lead.

Long Island moment: Tied 25th, 2018 U.S. Open, Shinnecock Hills.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU

United States

World ranking: 8

Best 2019 finish: Won Shriners Hospitals Open.

2019 top 10 finishes: 3

Career PGA Tour wins: 5

2019 money: $2,118,629

He’s got game: Won the 2018 Northern Trust at Ridgewood with course record 18 under par, then won the next week’s Dell Technologies Championship, at 16 under . . . Physics major at SMU, applies science to all phases of his game. Uses irons that are all same length, 37½ inches . . . His father, Jon, received needed kidney from high school friend with whom he reconnected at charity golf outing.

Long Island moment: Tied 25th 2018 U.S. Open, Shinnecock Hills.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE

United States

World ranking: 9

Best 2019 finish: Won World Golf Championships.

2019 top 10 finishes: 4

Career PGA Tour wins: 4

2019 money: $4,485,399

He’s got game: Great-grandson of two European premier league soccer players . . . Son of Stefan, naturalized citizen from Germany who is his son’s lifelong swing coach, and Ping-Yi, born in China and raised in Japan . . . In 2016, became first to shoot a bogey-free 66 in U.S. Open debut . . . In 2017, became first rookie to win Tour Championship . . . Tied for second at 2019 Masters.

Long Island moment: Tied 6th, 2018 U.S. Open, Shinnecock Hills.

RICKIE FOWLER

United States

World ranking: 10

Best 2019 finish: Won Phoenix Open.

2019 top 10 finishes: 5

Career PGA Tour wins: 5

2019 money: $3,164,230

He’s got game: Among most popular PGA Tour players among youngsters, who like his bright orange Sunday outfits (in honor of his school, Oklahoma State) . . . Serious dirt-bike racer before injuring his foot in a crash . . . Won The Players 2015 . . . In 2014, was among top five in all four majors, tying for second at U.S. and British Opens.

Long Island moment: Despite disappointment at losing lead in 2016 Barclays at Bethpage, spent a half-hour signing autographs afterward.

JON RAHM

Spain

World ranking: 11

Best 2019 finish: Won Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

2019 top 10 finishes: 8

Career PGA Tour wins: 3

2019 money: $3,075,538

He’s got game: First two-time winner of Ben Hogan Award (2015-16) as best male amateur/collegiate golfer . . . Played at Arizona State under coach Tim Mickelson, Phil’s brother, who later became his agent . . . Learned English by listening to rap music . . . Won 2017 Farmers Insurance at age 22 with 60-foot putt on final hole.

Long Island moment: Tied for 3rd at 2017 Northern Trust at Glen Oaks

TONY FINAU

United States

World ranking: 14

Best 2019 finish: 2, World Golf Championships.

2019 top 10 finishes: 2

Career PGA Tour wins: 1

2019 money: $2,184,659

He’s got game: Of Tongan and Somoan nationality, grew up in Utah as an expert in fire-knife dancing . . . Practiced golf by hitting into a mattress in family garage . . . Dislocated ankle celebrating ace at 2018 Masters par-3 contest, popped it back in by himself, played the tournament and got into contention . . . In final threesome of 2019 Masters . . . Cousin of NBA player Jabari Parker.

Long Island moment: Fifth at 2018 U.S. Open, Shinnecock Hills

JASON DAY

Australia

World ranking: 15

Best 2019 finish: T4, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM.

2019 top 10 finishes: 5

Career PGA Tour wins: 12

2019 money: $2,058,571

He’s got game: 2015 PGA Champion, became World No. 1 a month later . . . Supported as a teen in Australian youth golf academy by his mother after his father died . . .  Now a resident of Ohio, brought his mother to U.S. for life-saving treatment for lung cancer in 2017 . . .  Inaugural recipient of his country’s Greg Norman Medal . . . Collapsed from vertigo during second round of 2015 U.S. Open, then was tied for lead after third round.

Long Island moment: Tied fourth, 2016 Barclays, Bethpage Black..

TOMMY FLEETWOOD

England

World ranking: 16

Best 2019 finish: 2, Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

2019 top 10 finishes: 4

Career PGA Tour wins: 0

2019 money: $1,931,552

He’s got game: Became only the sixth golfer to shoot a 63 in a U.S. Open (no one has shot a lower score) on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills last June . . . Says he and his dad used to sneak onto Royal Birkdale. Made first British Open cut in 2017, at Royal Birkdale . . . He and Francesco Molinari in 2018 became first pair to go 4-0 in a Ryder Cup.

Long Island moment: With the 63, he finished one shot behind champion Brooks Koepka at Shinnecock.

PHIL MICKELSON

United States

World ranking: 23

Best 2019 finish: Won AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

2019 top 10 finishes: 2

Career PGA Tour wins: 44

2019 money: $2,293,980

He’s got game: Second of his five majors was 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol . . . A victory this week would make him oldest major winner of all time (48 years, 11 months) . . . Second and tied for second in 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens, respectively, at Bethpage Black.

Long Island moment: Crowd sang “Happy Birthday” during final round in 2002, starting his unique New York-area relationship. Considered the favorite to be named U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2024 at Bethpage.

JORDAN SPIETH

United States

World ranking: 39

Best 2019 finish: T21, Masters.

2019 top 10 finishes: 0

Career PGA Tour wins: 11

2019 money: $397,607

He’s got game: At 21 years old in 2015, was youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923 . . . Three-time major champion . . . Won John Deere Classic at 19, the first teenager to win on PGA Tour since Ralph Guldahl in 1931 . . . Won 2015 FedEx Cup . . . Hasn’t won since 2017 British Open . . . Younger brother Steven plays pro basketball in Spain, and was “Man of the Match” May 4 in Oviedo Club Baloncesto season finale.

Long Island moment: Lost playoff, 2017 Northern Trust, Glen Oaks.

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