The Australian PGA Championship tees off on the Gold Coast tomorrow, is Adam Scott assured of victory?
It’s no surprise to see the world’s number two ranked golfer Adam Scott as the clear favourite to win the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines tomorrow. After the late withdrawal of Brandt Snedeker the next best ranked player in the field is Rickie Fowler, ranked number 43.
So is there anyone in the field that could genuinely challenge Adam Scott?
Marc Leishman is the first obvious choice that comes to mind. Leishman hasn’t had a great start to the 2013/14 PGA Tour season but produced some magical shots at the Presidents Cup. He just needs a decent opening round to get his confidence going again.
American draw-card Rickie Fowler has had his most consistent year to date and put himself in contention to win on multiple occasions. He’ll be around the mark come Sunday as he can go low but I’m not sure he has the game to overhaul Scott down the stretch.
Peter Senior returns from the US this week and as one of only two previous Australian PGA Championship winners in the field (the other being Peter Lonard) he could surprise. Senior’s form on the Champions Tour has been very good, finishing in tie for second behind Fred Couples last week but he will be tired after a long season and flight home.
Keep an eye on young unheralded Aussies Dimitrios Papadatos and Brody Ninyette. Both finished in a tie for third place at the Perth International at Lake Karrinyup last month, just two strokes behind Ross Fisher and eventual champion Dustin Johnson.
Scott Hend hits the ball a long way and had a good tournament at last week’s WGC HSBC Champions in China. This should give him loads of confidence. If he can keep it straight at Royal Pines expect to see him on the leaderboard on the weekend.
But can any of these guys beat Scotty this week?
I don’t think so. The biggest challenge to Adam Scott this week will be himself. He’s been relaxing with family across the globe for a few weeks, playing golf with his Dad and revelling in his return to Australia as our first ever Masters champion. And so he should.
The question is; is Scott focussed enough to bring his A-game to Royal Pines. If he does, he’ll win.