When the PGA Championship begins on Thursday, Kevin Streelman and Julian Suri will each be attempting to become the first Blue Devil to win a major since Art Wall Jr. put on the green jacket at the Masters in 1959.
Streelman, a 2001 Duke graduate and two-time winner on the PGA Tour, was the first alternate entering the week. The 131st-ranked player in the world did not know if he would have the chance to compete until Thomas Bjorn withdrew on Wednesday due to issues with his back.
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The 39-year-old resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., will be making his first appearance in a major since failing to make the cut at the 2016 PGA Championship. So far this season, Streelman has advanced to the weekend in 19 of the 24 tournaments he has played; he also has five top-10 finishes.
Streelman’s best performance at the season’s final major came in 2013 when he finished T-12 — tying his result at the 2015 Masters for his best at any major.
As for Suri, his best finish at a major championship came at the last major played. In July, the 27-year-old New York native ended T-28 at the British Open. This will be his third appearance in a major and his first on American soil.
The 2013 Duke graduate is ranked 61st in the world. And while Suri has never won a PGA Tour event, he did take home a trophy from a tournament in both the European Tour and Challenge Tour in 2017.
This season, Suri has had the opportunity to make eight appearances at PGA Tour events as a result of sponsor exemptions. He made the cut in seven of those tournaments. His best finish was T-8 at the Houston Open back in the spring.
Streelman will begin his quest to become just the second Duke golfer in history to win a major at 8:23 a.m. EST on Thursday. Suri is set to tee off at 10:07 a.m.