The same question plagues every major, as everyone begins to pick apart the field, dissecting each statistic in the hope they can find some reliable way of predicting the outcome. When it comes to golf though, with so many people competing, it is anyone’s guess who will win the PGA Championship.
Jordan Spieth started the British Open at St. Andrews with high hopes, and was on the first page of the leader board until the final day. He was overshadowed though, by Louis Oosthuizen and eventual champion Zach Johnson. This year at the PGA Championship though, he has the opportunity to steal the crown from rival and World No.1 Rory McIlory.
The young gun was within a couple of shots of claiming his third major in a row, which would have put him in a position to win all four majors in a calendar year, a feat known as the Grand Slam, never before achieved. On this, he said, “I’ve got a little bit of revenge that I need to get out from having control of the Open Championship with two holes to go and not closing it out. That leaves kind of a bad taste in my mouth”. At 22, Spieth wants to keep rolling with the good form, after carding a 66 in the final round at Firestone in the WGC Invitational last week for another top ten finish.
Rory McIlroy will look to come out with all guns blazing – it may be a critical advantage that he wasn’t at firestone last week, as he will have used the extra time to prepare for the PGA Championship. Whether he can quickly fin form is another matter though – in golf, a short break could mean weeks of bad rounds before the ball gets rolling again.
Another man waiting in the wings to end his wait for a major win is Dustin Johnson. Known as one of golf’s best majorless players, he held a commanding position at the last two Major Championships. At the US Open at Chambers bay he bogeyed the last when he had a chance to force a playoff with Spieth, and a poor weekend at the British Open stopped him from being in contention. It would be no small irony if he could find form here at Whistling Straits to win, as it was here five years ago when he blew a one shot lead by grounding his club in a bunker on the last hole.
Of course, it would be unreasonable to condense the field down to just three serious contenders – only one thing is certain at the PGA Championship this year – nothing is certain until the final putt is in the hole come Sunday.
Author Eoghan Aston
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