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USATSI

The clock is ticking towards the start of the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Playing host for the first time in 15 years, Southern Hills is used to weather being a hot topic of conversation whenever a major is held at its site. In fact, a significant storyline in 2007 was the intense, sometimes even dangerous, conditions.

Scorching heat bombarded the Tulsa area as temperatures reached 100 F all four days of tournament play. At times touching as high as 115 F, the PGA Championship became not only a survival of nerves but also a survival of the fittest.

"It was not cold that week," said 2007 PGA Championship winner Tiger Woods. "I remember playing behind [John Daly] the first day, which was awesome. It was, what, 109 I think that first day? And I asked J.D. how many waters he drank out there, he said, 'No, I had 13 Diet Cokes.'"

The epitome of physical fitness, Daly took an unorthodox approach leading up to the PGA Championship, forgoing practice rounds for rounds of spirits and a date with the slot machines at Cherokee Casino Resort. It seemed to work as Daly was the solo leader after the opening round, because why not? 

Since the PGA Championship has been moved from August to May, the Tulsa heat -- while still on players' minds the first two days -- will take a back seat to the winds. Expected to be prevalent throughout the championship, winds may create an easier draw for those who possess a morning tee time, particularly on Thursday. Forecast below via AccuWeather.

Southern Hills forecast (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

DayTempAM winds (gusts)AM rainPM winds (gusts)PM rain

Thursday

91 / 75

8 mph (15 mph)

3%

13 mph (32 mph)

3%

Friday

86 / 62

18 mph (28 mph)

25%

11 mph (20 mph)

55%

Saturday

71 / 48

15 mph (24 mph)

25%

15 (25 mph)

45%

Sunday

70 / 53

13 mph (20 mph)

24%

10 (20 mph)

24%

With gusts only up to 15 mph in the early goings of the first round, players who take advantage of the calm conditions will drastically improve their win probability. As once the clock strikes noon local time, the fan will be turned up to high for the next 48 hours.

Gusts of nearly 40 mph will engulf Southern Hills all the way through Saturday. This begs the question: How much is too much? Weather has played an important role on the PGA Tour this season (just look at the Players Championship), and with high winds, thunderstorms and cooler weekend temperatures all forecasted, it likely will again.

It is not unprecedented for play to be stopped due to high winds; in fact, that just occurred during the third round of the 2021 Genesis Invitational at Riviera. It is also impossible to know what the PGA of America defines as "unplayable." Not only will current form, course fit and mental fortitude be crucial for PGA Championship hopefuls, but tee time luck could play a role, too.

"I was just trying to stay alive," said Pat Perez after his opening round at the 2007 PGA Championship. A decade and a half later, players may be uttering the exact same phrase as they walk off Southern Hills.