PGA Championship preview: Who will reign supreme at Whistling Straits?
The last major of the year kicks off in Wisconsin this week. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy is back on the field after missing the Open due to an ankle injury.
Whistling Straits will host the PGA Championships for the third time, the last two being in 2004 and 2010. Jordan Spieth who narrowly missed out on winning the Open is aiming for his third major of the year at Wisconsin. He is one of the best putters on the tour and is a strong contender to emerge victorious come Sunday.
He posted this picture from Whistling Straits.
Great 18 holes this morning with haza136 @ Whistling Straits Golf Club https://t.co/4z4OxIzysc— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) August 8, 2015
How McIlroy performs will be keenly watched. Will he be rusty in the first couple of rounds or get going right away? Spieth is closing in on the No. 1 ranking as well. Will that play on McIlroy’s mind as he looks to defend his title?
Here’s how McIlroy won the PGA Championship last year:
McIlroy is paired with Spieth and Open champion Zach Johnson this week. Spieth shot an impressive 66 in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational and can’t wait for the last major to begin on Thursday. If he goes on win the PGA Championship this weekend, he will become only the third golfer after Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods to win three majors in the same year.
He isn’t affected by the pressure and is keen to put up a good show.
“I recognise that there’s only been a couple times that people have won three majors in a year, and that I would be in just such special company,” Spieth told the Telegraph. “But it will be easier to keep that from being the only thing on my mind than it was at the Open. There, I will not be having to think about three in a row, slash grand slam, slash whatever. So that will a little bit off my shoulders, and it It will be easier. All that will be on my mind is the championship.”
Dustin Johnson, who threw away the lead after two rounds at the Open will be eager to prove a point when he comes to Whistling Straits. The American missed a golden opportunity at pocketing his first major here in 2010 when he missed a playoff with Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, after grounding his club in a bunker.
He three-putted at the US Open this year and a major continues to elude him despite being one of the best drivers on the tour. It is more to do with his mental side of the game at the moment.
Bubba Watson finished runner-up to Martin Kaymer five years ago, but he is one of those who can never be ruled out. Jason Day is another player who finished in the Top 10 in 2010 and played marvellously at the US Open earlier this year. Justin Rose is coming off a superb performance at Firestone and can be a challenger to the top three this week.
Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship in 2005, but his major draught has been over two years now. Can the lefty turn it around at Whistling Straits this week? It would be entertaining if he does so.