By: Marcus “Mook” Washington
The slogan for the PGA Championship used to be “Glory’s Last Shot” (it was dropped in 2013) and for Rory McIlroy it is the number one player in the world’s last shot at winning a major this season. McIlroy has spent 2015 listening to how Spieth is the best player in the world and as nice of a guy Rory is, that can’t sit well with him. He proclaims to be 100% going into the PGA Championship so I expect to see his best foot put forward.
Rory McIlroy – We will see a motivated Rory McIlroy at Whistling Straits. His chances sits with his driver. If McIlroy is letting his driver loose, he’s the overwhelming favorite this weekend. The defending champion has won 2 of the last 3 PGA Championships. This season, Rory finished 4th at The Masters and T9 at the US Open.
Jordan Spieth – All you need to know about Jordan Spieth’s great year is that he’s 2nd in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, Strokes Gained: Putting and Strokes Gained: Total. No one is better in big moments with the putter than Spieth. Out of the 29 PGA Tour putting stats, Spieth is first in 6 of them and top 10 in 11 of them.
Jason Day – It seems like Day is always there on Sunday but never closes the deal in a major. He was so close to being in the playoffs at The Open leaving his putt on 18 short. Like Mickelson, once Day gets his first major, the floodgates will open up and he’ll get a few more. He finished T9 at the US Open and T4 at The Open.
Bubba Watson – Watson was runner up the last time the PGA was at Whistling Straits. Watson has finished first or second in 3 out of his last 5 tournaments. He’s playing some of his best golf at the right time. He is in the top 10 in 16 of the 27 PGA Tour Scoring stats.
Dustin Johnson – We all know what happened to Dustin the last time he was here. Hopefully, he’s all caught up on the local rules. Johnson has finished top 10 in 2 out of the 3 majors. What keeps him out of my top 3 is he hasn’t had a sub-70 round on a weekend in his last three tournaments.
Rickie Fowler – In 2014, Rickie Fowler finished in the Top 5 in every major. If he wins half of them then he has the same year Spieth is having this year. Then are we talking about him being “the next”? In his last two tournaments, Fowler has finished 2nd and T10. He’ll try to recapture some of his Major Mojo this week.
Justin Rose – In Rose’s last 3 tournaments he’s finished T6, T4, and T3. He comes to Whistling Straits trending upward and could be there on Sunday. His big question will be his putting. Rose is 139th on Tour when it comes to Putts Per Round – Round 4.
Louis Oosthuizen – Oosthuizen has 6 top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season but he hasn’t won. He was T2 at the US Open and lost in a playoff at The Open.
Martin Kaymer – Kaymer has missed 4 Cuts on the PGA Tour this season including The Masters and the US Open. I give him a chance simply because he won at Whistling Straits in 2010.