Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, answers a question at a news conference before a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson
August 12, 2015

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) Ben Martin will have to wait to reach his coach if he needs any tips Thursday at the PGA Championship.

That's because Charles Frost will be teeing off two groups ahead of his pupil at Whistling Straits. He and Martin are that rare player-coach duo to make the field for a major championship.

''It's pretty cool to have a coach who can play and teach at the same time,'' Martin said Wednesday after a practice round. ''It will be a special week for us.''

Martin turned pro in 2010. He's playing in only his second PGA Championship, after missing the cut last year at Valhalla. Yet he's a grizzled PGA vet compared to Frost, the club pro at Kiawah Island in South Carolina. It also means in this case, the student can offer tips to his coach.

''This would be a situation where I'd feel a little more comfortable,'' Martin said. ''It can be a challenge for a club pro guy who maybe (isn't) used to being out here competing week in, week out.''

Frost qualified by tying for 10th in the PGA Professional National Championship in Philadelphia on July 1.

Martin and Frost played nine holes together in a practice round Tuesday. Martin described it as a ''once-in-a-lifetime'' experience.

''Anything I can do, playing practice rounds with him to get him in a comfortable mindset, give him the best chance to win,'' Martin said.

Ranked 63rd in the world, Martin is coming off a 57th-place finish last week at the Bridgestone Invitational. He tied for fourth at The Players Championship in May.


WEIGHTY WANAMAKER: A heavy burden is bestowed on the winner of the PGA Championship.

The regal Wanamaker Trophy, with its curved handles and ornate top, is the 27-pound prize behemoth awarded to the victor.

''Well, at first it was super heavy,'' said Martin Kaymer, recalling his trophy-winning moment in 2010, the last time the PGA was held at Whistling Straits.

Kaymer also remembered how, after his final round and three extra playoff holes, the trophy got harder to lift each time photographers requested it. Eventually, though, the adrenaline kicked in.

''I'm not the Hulk or anyone, you know, but you don't really mind,'' Kaymer said. ''I don't even know if you're happy in that moment because you're so in shock. I was really in shock.''

Last year's winner, Rory McIlroy, caught the lid when it accidentally slipped off during a photo opportunity. At least he had some experience with the heft of the Wanamaker, after also winning it in 2012.

''It's a good arm workout at the end of the day,'' he laughed. ''It's heavy.''


OLYMPIC DECISION: The John Deere Classic probably won't have defending champion Jordan Spieth in the field next year.

The tournament in Silvis, Illinois, will be held the week of Aug. 8 - the same week as the men's competition in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Spieth beat Tom Gillis on the second hole of a playoff for his second victory at TPC Deere Run. The tournament was held this year in July.

Spieth, the winner of the Masters and U.S. Open this season, might be tied up with Team USA.

''Yeah, certainly disappointing that they're the same week,'' Spieth said. ''It's obvious the decision I would make, but at the same time, it's a tournament that's close to my heart and one that I hope to get back to someday, depending upon how the schedules fall.''


LAND OF LINKS: There is some good news, too, for Illinois golf fans.

The PGA announced Wednesday that the Women's PGA Championship will be held in northeastern Illinois for two straight years starting in June 2017 at Olympia Fields.

The following June, the tournament will be held at Kemper Lakes.

''We believe that both will build off each other's momentum and deliver two magnificent championships befitting a world-class destination like Chicago,'' PGA of America President Derek Sprague said.

It will be the first time that an LPGA Tour major will be held in the Chicago area since the 2000 U.S. Women's Open at Gurnee, won by Karrie Webb.

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