PGA Championship: Can Bradley pull off double?

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — It is rarely a good omen to win the week prior to a major championship, especially when you are the defending PGA Championship winner like Keegan Bradley.

But is Bradley’s attempt to go back-to-back – in both cases – impossible? Did Bradley winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday doom his realistic chances of winning at Kiawah Island this week?

The last player to win the week prior to a major and then win that major was Tiger Woods, who won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and then captured the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

Woods was also the last PGA champion to win the event that preceded his title defense, winning the 2007 Bridgestone.

Woods and Bradley are paired for the first two rounds at Kiawah this week. They’ll be joined by Martin Kaymer.

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HE’S IN: With only the PGA Championship left to fill out the top eight spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team, Tiger Woods is the only player who has mathematically clinched his spot on the team.

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FIELDING THE BEST: The top 103 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are in the field at Kiawah Island, with No. 104 Andres Romero not in the field despite his third-place finish at the Reno-Tahoe Open.

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FIELD IS SET: With his win at the Reno-Tahoe Open, J.J. Henry was the final man earning a berth in the 156-player field. A couple hours earlier, first alternate William McGirt picked up a spot in the tournament by virtue of Keegan Bradley’s win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Bradley was already exempt for the tournament as defending champion.

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IT’S LONG, VERY LONG: Kiawah’s Ocean Course will play as the longest course in major championship history, with its 7,676 yards two yards longer than the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

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WHAT’S IN A NUMBER? Italian Matteo Manassero is the youngest player in the field at 19, while PGA club pro Darrell Kestner is oldest at 59.

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DODGING RAIN DROPS: The forecast on Tuesday calls for mostly cloudy skies with 60 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms, with a high of 88 and winds gusting up to 20 mph. Similar forecasts are posted for the remainder of the week.

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