Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Who will win the 93rd PGA Championship

Atlanta Athletic Club website

Who will win the 93rd PGA Championship this week at the Atlanta Athletic Club?  I cannot remember the last time I was so excited to watch the PGA.  There are a lot of great story lines leading into this event that it already has the feeling of being a great one.  Just consider what has happened in the game since last year’s PGA Championship when Martin Kaymer won his first major and DJ had the most unfortunate ending, losing out on his first chance to compete in the playoff.
Let's begin by looking back at last week’s “Caddiegate” episode with Steve Williams in his post- round interview on the 18th green with CBS.  He made an obvious dig at Tiger and you really cannot blame the guy for the pent up frustration.  Can you imagine if Adam Scott and Tiger are paired together this week?  Now, that will make for some exciting TV.
With Irishmen Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy winning the past two majors, will they contend this week for another major?  Of course we cannot forget another Irishmen, McDowell, who can play well in any big tournament.  Paddy Harrington also cannot be overlooked this week; he could show up and be the third Irishmen to win a major this year. 
Serious consideration also needs to be given to numbers one and two in the world; Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.  They both seem poised to win their first major and they've got to be feeling the pressure.  Every time they go into the press room at a major they are asked about winning a big one.
Tiger Woods - what else do you need to say?  He is coming off of his first start since returning from injury.  Oh yeah, plus the “Caddiegate” drama I mentioned earlier.   He can win anytime, anywhere. We all know that.
Phil Mickelson has to be a favorite this week for three reasons.  First, the primary rough will be cut shorter than it was in 2001 when Lefty almost won this event.  That will favor his tendency to hit the occasional wayward drive.  Second, the word is that the greens are really firm with this new grass so his high ball flight will be an advantage for him.  Finally, he almost won this event in 2001, the last time it was played here.
Adam Scott has to also be considered a favorite coming into the PGA after winning his first WGC event last week.  However, I believe we will see a letdown from Scott this week.  Between the emotional win last week and dealing with Caddiegate questions from the media I think he may be a little worn down.
Lastly, we cannot overlook all of the young guns on tour playing well.  Remember last week at Firestone how well Jason Day and Ryo Ishikawa played?  Also, Schwartzel put on a great performance at The Masters in April.
Who do you think is going to contend at the PGA this week?