Tough conditions at Oak Hill at the 2023 PGA Championship eventually threw Mizuno’s Keith Mitchell out of contention for his first major. Mitchell was exceptional for the first 3 rounds – showing once again that he has the talent to compete with the very best in the game. Mitchell shot 69, 71, 73 before falling away in the 4th RD with a 77.
A cut of +5 was just 2 shots out of reach for both Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald (+7) and Major first timer Ben Griffin (+7). However scores of more than 20 over demonstrated the difficulty of both the layout and wet conditions.
Mizuno’s Ryder Cup captain summed up the challenge of the set up at Oak Hill.
So disappointed to not be playing the weekend at the PGA Championship. Oak Hill was such a difficult golf course, but I loved the challenges it presented. My game was good in spurts – 16th in fairways hit and some good putting on Thursday, but I fell into the trap of chasing some pins and short siding myself 4 times on Friday, which you just can’t do in Major Championship set ups.
Firm fairways, a few semi-blind tee shits that add the slightest doubt in any golfers mind, penal bunkering placed in all the right places that offered up many different options off the tee, several tucked pins but soft enough greens to tempt you and greens that have some slope and character but not overdone.
The only small change i would make would be to make the first 3 yards of rough slightly lighter – with the firm fairways even good drivers could run into the rough.
Emerging talent and PGA Tour rookie Ben Griffin was playing his first Major championship. Missing the cut by just 2 shots. A second round 72 was not quite enough after a nervy first round 75.