10 key storylines: PGA Championship from Brooks Koepka to Scottie Scheffler to Tiger Woods

LOUISVILLE — Brooks Koepka is seeking his fourth PGA Championship, which would tie Tiger Woods and put him one behind leaders Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen.

Rory McIlroy is looking to make it three wins in three starts on the PGA Tour after dominating Sunday's final round at the Wells Fargo Championship.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is hoping to win for the first time as a dad and continue a stretch unlike any we've seen for more than two decades or since by a guy named Tiger.

Brooks Koepka hoists the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. (Photo: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooks Koepka hoists the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. (Photo: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports)

Those are the main storylines of this week's PGA Championship at Valhalla, but there are plenty more.

Here are 10 key storylines:

Ludvig Aberg

The 24-year-old Swede is the Tour's most prominent rising star. He's played in 26 career events, including his lone major, this year's Masters, where he was runner-up. Having placed in the top 25 in all but two of his starts this season and rising to No. 6 in the world, has Aberg a popular name among the top five favorites.

Brooks Koepka

The five-time major champion who typically thrives on the big stage may have lost a little of that aura after his disappointing 45th place finish at the Masters. Still, the Jupiter resident enters as the defending champion and is coming off his best weekend of the year on the LIV tour with a win a week ago in Singapore.

Rory McIlroy

The last time the PGA Championship was played at Valhalla (2014), McIlroy entered having won his previous two starts and then outlasted Phil Mickelson to win by one stroke. This year, the Jupiter resident and No. 2 in the world enters coming off wins at Wells Fargo Sunday and the Zurich Classic, where he teamed with Shane Lowry, two weeks ago.

Joaquin Niemann

The North Palm Beach resident earned invites to the year's first two majors and was 22nd at the Masters despite a 78 in the second round. Still, the Chilean has been playing solid golf on the LIV tour this season with two wins and six top 10s in seven events and is a dark horse to watch.

Jon Rahm

The Spaniard has been quiet in the last year, or since winning the 2023 Masters. He has not won on LIV since defecting to the Saudi-backed league in December, although he has been in the top 10 in seven starts, and he was 45th last month at the Masters. Still, he's very capable of winning his third major, and second PGA.

Xander Schauffele

Schauffele has finished in the top 20 in 18 of his 25 majors, including eighth in the Masters last month. And with eight top 10s in 12 events this season, including a runner-up at Wells Fargo, that first major championship for the Jupiter resident and world No. 3 is close.

Scottie Scheffler

Scheffler finally can play with a clear mind after his wife, Meredith, gave birth to the couple's first child Saturday, erasing any possibility he could miss the PGA Championship. Not that the pending baby impacted the most dominant player's game. He has four wins and a runner-up in his last five events.

Jordan Spieth

This is Spieth's eighth attempt to complete the career grand slam with wins at the 2017 British Open, 2015 U.S. Open and 2015 Masters. But the one-time world No. 1 is slumping. He hasn't won in more than two years, missed four cuts this season and his No. 24 world ranking his his lowest in three years.

Justin Thomas

If there is one event the Jupiter resident would love to win, it would be this one, this year. Thomas is a Louisville native who went to high school 18 miles from Valhalla. The one-time No. 1 in the world had his struggles since winning the 2022 PGA Championship, his ranking dropping to No. 31, his lowest in 7.5 years.

Tiger Woods

Any list of majors' storylines is not complete without the 15-time major champion from Jupiter Island. Tiger is a four-time PGA Championship winner, including at Valhalla in 2000. Although he made the cut at the Masters this year, in five majors since his 2021 auto accident, Tiger has been forced to withdraw after the second or third round twice and missed the cut once.

Tom D'Angelo is a senior sports columnist and golf writer for The Palm Beach Post. He can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: PGA Championship storylines include new dad Scottie Scheffler, Tiger Woods