The difference in strength is the player missing this year – Louis Oosthuizen at No. 16 – was ranked higher that the one player missing last year, Ben Crane.
The strongest PGA Championship field was in 2002 at Hazeltine. Even though it had only 98 of the top 100, those two players were toward the bottom of the ranking.
As for the other majors this year, the British Open had 89 of the top 100 players. The U.S. Open, which offers the most spots through qualifying, had 73 of the top 100. The Masters Tournament had 63 out of the top 100 in the world. Then again, the Masters only had a 94-man field.
RESTED AND READY: Jordan Spieth certainly is a lot more rested than the last major he played.
Spieth won the John Deere Classic and was on a charter to Scotland for the British Open that night. That was his eighth tournament in nine weeks. He wound up withdrawing from the Canadian Open, and the surprise was that he withdrew from the World Golf Championship at Firestone.
“I didn’t expect to be in the World Golf Championship ahead of time,” Spieth said. “I’ll never skip one again. I was worn out, very tired. I didn’t feel like I had anything with me. I want to be 100 percent every tournament I play in.”
The decision to skip Firestone wasn’t to rest up for the PGA Championship, but for the final stretch.
Spieth is at No. 15 in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning he is a lock for at least three playoff events, and could become the first player since Tiger Woods in 1996 to start a year with no status and make the Tour Championship.