European Ryder Cup captain Bjorn withdraws from PGA

Justin Thomas dedicated his win to former PGA Tour player Jarrod Lyle who is battling cancer for the third time

GETTY IMAGES Justin Thomas dedicated his win to former PGA Tour player Jarrod Lyle who is battling cancer for the third time

That's where some degree of normalcy returned.

The storms are particularly unwelcome for those arriving from last week's Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio. Here we pick five players to watch out for over the next four days.

The other was Woods, who has done it twice.

"I would take this year over the one where you win a major, but it is about the results at the end of the day", McIlroy told a news conference.

Thomas is coming off his first World Golf Championship title last week at Firestone and is among the favourites at Bellerive, which was starting to dry out from downpours earlier in the week. Woods, 42, has not won a major since the 2008 US Open and not won any event since 2013, having missed most of the past two years with back injuries.

Thomas hasn't heard that in a while.

Skinny: He could have made this a lot easier on himself had he closed out a pair of major opportunities, both past year at the PGA and again last month at Carnoustie, where he shared the 54-hole lead.

Since this is a rotating event, there isn't much data to go off of.

Thomas has come into his own.

'I just don't know what to say to you at this stage.

This is a deep friendship that transcends any rivalry, and Thomas was never overly bothered by the mention of being Spieth's close friend.

There will undoubtedly be more of that this week in steamy St. Louis, given that it is the final major of the year.

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"I was in that situation paired with Davis (Love) looking for a spot in "16", Furyk said. I need to train really hard and limit how much I do in practice, the wear and tear on the body, because I'm going to be putting it through its paces in tournament play".

Woods might be bigger now than when he was winning, perhaps because fans had every right to wonder if they would ever see him again, or see him when he was capable of posting low scores.

He took an ice bath.

Skinny: Like Schauffele, he'll play the first two rounds here with Furyk, and he also got some quality time with the captain during a scouting trip to Paris before The Open. All that did was ratchet up the hysteria that perhaps another major is in the cards.

"It will be pretty insane out there".

"I believe that my best golf has yet to come, absolutely", he said. So yeah, it will be a cool week. He would join Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen in the feat with a victory. At both the US Masters and British Open, McIlroy was firmly in the mix before falling short. You see these guys on TV, they're winning championships, and then you're face-to-face with them.

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But he is yet to win a major - or a tournament in the United States. "A good year becomes a phenomenal year with a major championship". I started this year at 11th, I'm back up to fifth. "If you find yourself in contention down the stretch, you'll be fully aware of what this means".

This may help explain why Woods' has a starkly different Ryder Cup record in the three formats used in the competition.

In the gallery, spectators dressed like golfers, tucked-in collared shirts and more pastels than an Easter brunch.

Woods indicated his comeback, and what we expected for him to confirm, has been all physical than mental.

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