Who will putt it there?

2014-08-07 00:00


The final leg of the Major championship season has a number of serious contenders but newly crowned world number one McIlroy is the name on every one’s lips, while Tiger Woods is unlikely to play after injuring his back on Sunday.

McIlroy already has one Major win under his belt this year after winning the Open Championship at St Andrews last month and he followed that up by winning his first World Golf Championship event (WGC) at the Bridgestone Invitational last week.

However, McIlroy is yet to play a round at Valhalla.


Australia’s Scott, who won the 2013 Masters in Augusta, is McIlroy’s direct competition going into the tournament. The 34-year-old is itching for a chance to regain his number one world ranking, which the Irishman took last week.

Scott’s best performances of the year include winning the Crowne Plaza Invitational in May and third place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.


Garcia is another prospect and he will be desperate to finally win his first Major since he went pro in 1999. The PGA Championship has been his most successful Major, where he finished runner up in his maiden Pro tour and was tied second in 2008. Very much in the mix on Sunday at the Open a few weeks ago, Garcia will fancy his chances this time around.


South African-born Rose could feature prominently at Valhalla after an impressive showing at the WGC last week where he finished in tied fourth. The English golfer’s best performance at the US PGA was tied third in 2012, though he did go on to lift his first Major trophy at the US Open in 2013.


Mickelson has had somewhat of a torrid time this year and only managed to finish in tied 15th place at the WGC. Mickelson has five Major wins under his belt, one of which was a US PGA victory in 2005. Cut at the Masters before modest finishes in U.S. and British Opens, Mickelson will be eyeing this as his last chance to impress at this year’s Majors.


Fowler has had a great year and was neck and neck with McIlroy at St Andrews but ended up coming tied second with Garcia. He also came tied second at the U.S. Open in June. The U.S. PGA could be his chance to claim his maiden Major victory, something that appears to be a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’.


Masters Champion Watson has had a mixed season. He didn’t make the cut at both the U.S. Open and the Open Championship but claimed Golf’s highest honour at Augusta. You never quite know what to expect with Bubba. When it goes well, it goes really well. And when it doesn’t, well then he struggles to be a part of the weekend action.


Stenson is another contender who is respected as one of the world’s best. The Swede was tied fourth at the U.S. Open in June but could not make it into the top 15 at St Andrews or the WGC. However Stenson came third at last year’s U.S. PGA and was tied fourth in 2008 and tied sixth in 2009. He is becoming known as one of the tour’s best golfers never to have won a major.

South African contenders:

CHARL SCHWARTZEL played well at the WGC last week. He finished in tied fourth and will be confident going into the final Major of the year. He will also looking to beat his previous best at the U.S. PGA, where he came tied 12th in 2011.

ERNIE ELS will also swing it out to turn around what has been a tough year for the “Big Easy”. Els could claim his fifth Major win of his career if he is able to win the tournament. His best performances at the U.S. PGA were third place 1995 and tied third in 2007.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN will be looking for a good performance in a year where he struggled to finish in the top 10 of most opens this year. Oosthuizen’s best placing at the U.S. PGA was tied 21st in 2012.

Durban-born TIM CLARK will be confident after winning the RBC Canadian Open at the end of July. He was unable to do better than tied 50th at the WGC last week but will be hoping to emulate his form of 2003, where he came third at the U.S. PGA.

RORY SABBATINI, another Durban boy, features in his first Major of the year. His best performance of the U.S. PGA was tied 39th in 2008.

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