It's hard to believe we've already arrived at the fourth and final major championship of 2012. Not long ago, I used this blog to complain about how far away the Masters was and how there was a chance I wasn't going to make it long enough due to golf depression. Now, the major championship season is about to come to a close and I will probably just re-post the same thoughts I had last year during the lull period. At least it's a Ryder Cup year, right?
I have no intention of complaining my way through the PGA Championship just because there's a long layover until the next major once this is through, though. The PGA may not be the most heralded major on the calendar, but it's still prestigious and deserves a few extra lines in this blog post, without question.
One thing we know for sure, the golfers will not be complaining since they are basically taking a paid vacation to go to a beautiful island of Hawaii to play golf. What's that? Kiawah Island Resort is stateside? In South Carolina? Get out of here! I won't even try to pretend like I didn't have that conversation with myself a week ago when I started doing some research for this tournament. Pathetic, yet understandable, isn't it?
Questions that will be answered in the next 5 days, but I attempt to answer now anyway:
- Can Keegan Bradley repeat?
Bradley was awesome on his way to winning the 2011 PGA in a playoff against Jason Dufner. He appears to be in even better form this year, coming off a win at the WGC-Bridgestone in Akron, OH and almost certainly locking up a roster spot for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. This question gets fully answered in my picks below.
- What of Tiger Woods?
Maybe it's a shocker, but I'm not taking Woods to win this week. I mean, I feel like he probably will, but that's the same feeling I get every week and find myself only being right about 1% of the time. Very savvy of me. He's played well enough to win a major this year, just not in the majors themselves which makes trying to pick how he'll do as impossible as landing a rover on Mars... see what I did there?
During Woods' press conference on Tuesday, he didn't say anything uncharacteristic by any means, but did go through his normal routine of "my game is progressing... I'm healthy... I can still catch Jack... I have a better chance this year." No shock there.
- The weather has been an annoyance during practice rounds, will that continue during play?
It looks like there's a good chance of it, with mid 80's temperature projections and 30-40% chance of rain and thunderstorms from Thursday-Sunday. It's like that old saying goes, picking the weather is like trying to pick of Tiger will do in 2012... you might as well not even try.
Groups to watch
Starting on the 1st tee:
Schwartzel, Fowler, Colsaerts
Mahan, Scott, Garcia
Watson, Simpson, Els
Starting on the 10th tee:
D. Johnson, McIlroy, Furyk
Bradley, Kaymer, Woods
Westwood, Haas, Cabrera
Something tells me Scott and Garcia will have a lot to talk about in terms of collapsing in big moments... same goes for Furyk lately, but I doubt McIlroy and Johnson will want to hear anything about that.. Watson/Simpson/Els could be a group that comes out on fire... on the flipside I don't expect much out of Schwartzel/Fowler/Colsaerts...
1. Keegan Bradley - He's on a serious hot streak right now and there's no reason he can't repeat, but we'll see.
2. Bill Haas - He's always quietly lurking and it's just a matter of time for him.
3. Jason Dufner - He's a popular pick that I don't see coming through.
4. Tiger Woods - Fourth in a major again? Well, at least I didn't pick him to win.
5. Adam Scott - Sure, he's had a string of bad golf coming down the stretch, but a Top 5 is absolutely in reach.