July 26, 2016
PGA Championship Predictions
It's a shame that the fourth major of the year will be played only two weeks after one of the great championship duels of all-time contested at Troon Golf Club for the Claret Jug. This championship will feel anticlimactic and almost an afterthought. It is a shame, because it is going to be played at a classic major championship course, the Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. Because of golf being added to the Olympics and the Ryder Cup, it necessitated the moving up of the PGA Championship. Usually it is played four weeks after The Open and it gives the top players in the world time to regroup and peak for the final major and a chance to save their year with a major win. Now it is almost like the two are played on top of one and other. It will still be a major setting, but it will lack some of the mystique and drama.
For that reason, I see a relative unknown to emerge with the Wannamaker Trophy, a player in the mode of a Keegan Bradley, Y E Yang, Shaun Micheel, or Rich Beem. All fine players, but not someone that you would expect to have a major championship trophy. This could be a breakout victory for a young player and be the springboard for greater success.
Favorites to go from relative unknown status to a major winner this week
Top Ten Favorites in order
Dustin Johnson - Troon wasn't his type of course. He could steamroll Baltusrol for other major.
Jordan Spieth - Last chance this year for a major. Like his mental approach and could muster up the will for a victory.
Jason Day - Disappointing so far, but could be first to defend his title since Tiger.
Bubba Watson - Has to be in top five, but never sure which Bubba will show up
Rory McIlroy - Also has to be in top five, but a mystery this year. Mostly disappointing.
Henrik Stenson - Might be drained of all the great shots and putts, but could still be on a continuing run and win again.
Phil Mickelson - Good feeling about Phil. He probably feels like he should have won two weeks ago, so he will be out to prove it this week.
J.B. Holmes - If Dustin or Jordan don't win, watch out for J.B.
Brandon Grace - So solid and his day will come
Adam Scott - Adam is as good as his putter will let him
Sure to Disappoint
Not to be overlooked
Even with the short gap between majors, the event, the setting, and the New York/New Jersey crowd should make this a memorable championship.