The world's best golfers vs. America's toughest course.
That's the matchup the sporting world can look forward to next August when the 2012 PGA Championship comes to the Ocean Course, which has been crowned the toughest course in America by Golf Digest magazine.
The Pete Dye-designed course, on Kiawah Island, earned the distinction for the second time and will be featured in the January issue of Golf Digest. The 2012 PGA Championship will be played Aug. 9-12 on the Ocean Course, the first time South Carolina has hosted one of golf's four major championships.
"We're thrilled," said PGA Championship director Brett Sterba. "It's great news for the championship, a chance to pit America's toughest golf course against the world's greatest golfers."
The Ocean Course, situated on the eastern-most end of Kiawah Island, will subject the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to a course layout that features unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the unpredictable ocean winds that come with those views.
"With all the challenges that the Ocean Course brings, it really tests the players' all-around game from tee to green," Sterba said. "It doesn't favor one style of player. It favors the overall consistent player, and in past events, that's who has been at the top of the leaderboard at the Ocean Course."
Opened in 1991, the Ocean Course has hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, 1993 and 1997 World Cup, 2005 PGA Club Professional Championship and the 2007 Senior PGA Championship.
Only six players finished under par at the 2007 Senior PGA Championship. It's a good bet that Dye will make the Ocean Course, which can stretch to more than 7,800 yards, a much sterner test for Woods and company.
"For the fourth time since 1991, Pete Dye has come in to tweak his masterpiece," said Roger Warren, president of Kiawah Island Golf Resort and past president of The PGA of America. "He continually works to make it as spectacular as it can be."
Sterba said the PGA Championship averages about 97 of the world's top 100 players in its field; last year at the Atlanta Athletic Club, 100 of the top 101 players were in the field.
"It's traditionally the strongest field in golf," he said. "To see the world's best on America's toughest course, you could not ask for a better combination."
For more information on the PGA Championship, call (843) 768.6003 or visit www.PGA2012.com.