The PGA Championship stuck to its mission of getting the strongest field of the four majors, with the list of expected participants announced Wednesday including 99 of the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking — no matter what tour they play.
One notable golfer who will not be part of the 155-player field next week at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, is 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia. The 43-year-0ld Spaniard had been eligible for every major championship tournament dating to the 1999 British Open, but he is currently No. 189 in the world.
Kerry Haigh, the chief championships officer for the PGA of America, said in February that players from all tours would be considered to assemble a strong field, and in that regard it looks no different from previous years.
The only player from the top 100 not in the field is ninth-ranked Will Zalatoris, who competes on the PGA Tour but is out for the rest of the season after having surgery on his lower back. Tiger Woods is not playing, either, because of ankle surgery last month that likely will keep the 15-time major winner out of this year's U.S. Open and British Open as well.
The field has 18 players from the LIV Golf League, which is the same number from the 89-man field last month at the Masters, where the PGA Tour retained major bragging rights as Jon Rahm won the green jacket for the first time.
The list of LIV players in the field includes Phil Mickelson, who won the 2021 PGA Championship at age 50 to become the oldest major champion. He did not attempt a repeat, missing last year's PGA Championship as he elected to take time off after making inflammatory comments about both the PGA Tour and the Saudis, whose sovereign wealth fund provides the financial backing for LIV.
LIV still does not get world ranking points for its 48-man fields and 54-hole events while its application remains under review. A number of players who fell out of the top 100 were not invited: Cameron Tringale (103), Jason Kokrak (110), Sebastian Munoz (111) and Kevin Na (117).
Kokrak, Na and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (163) were at the Masters from having been among the top 50 at the end of last year. Oosthuizen, a runner-up at the 2021 PGA Championship, had been eligible for every major dating to 2009.
Garcia's history in the majors goes back another decade. The last time he was not eligible was for the 1999 U.S. Open, when he was 19 and in his second month as a pro. Garcia did not play the 2020 Masters, held in November, because he tested positive for the coronavirus.
The only major champions from the past 10 years who are not in this year's PGA Championship field are Garcia, Henrik Stenson (2016 British Open) and Bubba Watson (2014 Masters), all of them now part of LIV.
The PGA of America does not say what constitutes a special invitation, though it offered one to 150th-ranked Webb Simpson, as well as LIV player Paul Casey (131), who tied for fourth at the PGA Championship in 2021 and did not return last year after missing four months with a back injury.
Another went to Francesco Molinari, whose five-year exemption from winning the 2018 British Open ran out last year. Molinari missed the 2020 PGA Championship because he did not play all summer while riding out the COVID-19 pandemic with his family in London. The 40-year-old Italian player is currently No. 132 in the world.
Among other players receiving special invitations were Danish twins Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard, both among the top 115 in the world, and Rikuya Hoshino (No. 125), who finished second on the Japan Golf Tour money list last year.
One spot in the field remains for the winner of the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson tournament, which tees off Thursday, if not already eligible for the PGA Championship. The PGA typically uses its points list — a PGA Tour money ranking over the past 12 months — to fill spots in the field.
Next in line would be Alex Smalley, who was born in Rochester. Smalley is ranked No. 102 in the world and withdrew from the Byron Nelson earlier this week.
At last year's PGA Championship, Justin Thomas rallied from seven shots behind and defeated Zalatoris in a three-hole aggregate playoff at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was the second PGA Championship victory for Thomas, who won in 2017 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The field for the 105th PGA Championship on May 18-21 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, with players listed in the first category for which they are eligible. One spot remains if the winner of the Byron Nelson, which begins Thursday, is not already in the field.
PGA Championship winners: Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, Jimmy Walker, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer, Y.E. Yang, Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh, Shaun Micheel, Davis Love III, John Daly.
Masters winners (five years): Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Dustin Johnson.
U.S. Open winners (five years): Matt Fitzpatrick, Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland.
British Open winners (five years): Cameron Smith, Shane Lowry.
Top three in the Official World Golf Ranking's International Federation Ranking on April 24: Kazuki Higa, Ockie Strydom, Sihwan Kim.
Senior PGA Championship winner: Steven Alker.
Top 15 and ties from 2022 PGA Championship: Mito Pereira, Cameron Young, Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Kirk, Abraham Ancer, Tom Hoge, Seamus Power, Brendan Steele, Tyrrell Hatton, Lucas Herbert, Max Homa, Davis Riley, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele.
Top 20 from the PGA Professional Championship: Braden Shattuck, Matt Cahill, Michael Block, Gabe Reynolds, John Somers, Kenny Pigman, Jeremy Wells, Wyatt Worthington II, Colin Inglis, Steve Holmes, Josh Speight, Alex Beach, Ben Kern, Greg Koch, Jesse Droemer, Russell Grove, J.J. Killeen, Chris French, Anthony Cordes, Chris Sanger.
Top 70 in PGA points from 2022 Byron Nelson through 2023 Wells Fargo Championship: Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Sam Burns, Jordan Spieth, Sunjae Im, Wyndham Clark, Kurt Kitayama, Sungjae Im, Sahith Theegala, Tom Kim, Viktor Hovland, Brian Harman, K.H. Lee, Corey Conners, Taylor Moore, Harris English, Nick Taylor, Rickie Fowler, Denny McCarthy, Scott Stallings, Adam Svensson, Emiliano Grillo, J.T. Poston, Russell Henley, Billy Horschel, Si Woo Kim, Sepp Straka, Keith Mitchell, Cam Davis, Mackenzie Hughes, Adam Hadwin, Brendon Todd, Hayden Buckley, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise, Trey Mullinax, Matt Kuchar, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Brandon Wu, Nick Hardy, Patrick Rodgers, Taylor Montgomery, J.J. Spaun, Adam Schenk, Chez Reavie, Mark Hubbard.
PGA Tour tournament winners from 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge through 2023 Byron Nelson: Nico Echavarria, Matt Wallace.
Special invitations: Adri Arnaus, Dean Burmester, Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Ryan Fox, Talor Gooch, Nicolai Hojgaard, Rasmus Hojgaard, Rikuya Hoshino, Zach Johnson, Sadom Kaewkanjana, Kevin Kisner, Anirban Lahiri, Pablo Larrazabal, Thriston Lawrence, Min Woo Lee, Robert MacIntyre, Adrian Meronk, David Micheluzzi, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen, Adrian Otaegui, Yannik Paul, Victor Perez, Thomas Pieters, Andrew Putnam, Patrick Reed, Callum Shinkwin, Webb Simpson, Jordan Smith, Justin Suh, Ben Taylor, Davis Thompson, Harold Varner III.
Players beyond 70th in PGA points to fill the field: Taylor Pendrith, Sam Ryder, Matthew NeSmith, Joaquin Niemann, Danny Willett, Thomas Detry, Beau Hossler, Ben Griffin, Maverick McNealy, Joel Dahmen.