2014 Australian PGA Championship: Preview, favourites, dark horses and our picks

The Australian PGA Championship returns for a second time to RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast this week.

Adam Scott returns to the Australian PGA Championship defend his title after beating Rickie Fowler in a great final round in 2013. He is joined in the field by internationals Boo Weekley, Brendon De Jonge and Scott Stallings, as well as a host of Australian golfers in some pretty good form including Marc Leishman, Robert Allenby, Greg Chalmers and Brett Rumford.

The golf course won’t be as familiar to the golfers as it was last year. Graham Marsh has been given the tough task of turning the golf course (considered to be nothing much more than ‘ok’ a few years ago) into a special place to annually host the Australian PGA Championship.

Marsh has completely redesigned the front nine at Royal Pines with the intention of redesigning the back nine next year, and despite golfers having to deal with two different grass types on each nine, players are giving it the thumbs up ahead of this week’s tournament. John Senden has already sung its praises:

“Golf courses take a year of two to get really settled and I think with time this will be really, really good,” Senden said.

“They’re in the process of making it a full 18 of Graham Marsh design and I’m seeing some really interesting changes which is developing the golf course into a fine resort [course] and [with] typical Queensland grasses.”

So with the new stage set, let’s take at the favourites for the 2014 Australian PGA Championship, the dark horses, as well as a few of our own tips to win this week.

Favourites
It’s no surprise to hear that Adam Scott is a very short price favourite to defend his Australian PGA championship title this week. Scott has tried to get out of second gear for the past month and only his green reading has let him down. If he gets it right, we can see him winning by plenty.

Marc Leishman has been installed as second favourite (albeit a long way behind Scotty) in his only appearance in front of Aussie crowds this summer. He finished well on the PGA Tour and if his form is still with him, he will challenge Scott on Sunday. John Senden is also listed as a favourite with good finishes in his last two Australian starts.

Dark horses
After Nick Cullen‘s Australian Masters victory, one poor round sent him out of contention at the Australian Open; Wade Ormsby landed back in Australia after a great year in Europe to miss the cut at the Australian Open – we not only expect both of these guys to bounce back at Royal Pines but are capable of winning.

Robert Allenby looks in good touch and has notched up two top-10 finishes in his last two starts, but we will be keeping a close eye on Nathan Holman and Jake Higginbottom who both followed up their top-10 finish at the Australian Open with a top-10 finish at last week’s Indonesia Open. Definitely ones to watch.

Our picks
To win: Adam Scott, of course. But if he brings a cold putter along, then Brett Rumford is our man.
Top-10: Nathan Holman, Robert Allenby
Top-25: Ryan Fox, Jake Higginbottom

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