A quick guide to the five favourites ahead of the 2015 US PGA Championship.
A victory this week will see Jordan Spieth take Rory McIlroy’s mantle as the world’s highest ranked golfer (provided McIlroy doesn’t finish outright 2nd). After victory at the US Masters and US Open, combined with a remarkable shot at the Claret Jug at St.Andrews, it would be a fitting end to a majestic year for the 22-year-old American. Spieth’s rise as an élite golfer means that some have been surprised at just a 10th place finish at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational last week, but Spieth has eyes firmly set on winning his third major for the year at Whistling Straits. You’d be silly to bet against him.
The world number one returns for his first golf tournament since an ankle injury sustained while playing football prior to The Open Championship. McIlroy can be hard to gauge at any time but after a long lay-off with injury it’s almost impossible to tell what he’ll do. It’s possible McIlroy could win the US PGA Championship by eight strokes (as he did in 2012), but after injury a few poor rounds are also well within his range.
Easier to predict is Australia’s highest ranked golfer, Jason Day. Through thick and thin, Jason Day always gets up for the big tournaments and you can bet that this week will be no exception. In the early stages of his career, Day was very much a very good target-golf player who seemed to struggle on the more links style layouts. This is no longer the case as Day relishes a tough, demanding golf course of any type. Particularly if it’s a major golf tournament. An excellent chance to win his first major this week.
Dustin Johnson returns to the scene of the crime. DJ was cruelly given a two-stroke penalty on the 18th hole of Whistling Straits at the 2010 US PGA Championship, meaning he missed the playoff with Bubba Watson and eventual winner Martin Kaymer. If you’re talking about golfers who step up for the big tournaments, Dustin Johnson is now in that conversation. But after a sixth place finish at The Masters, heart-break at the US Open, and a fade-out at The Open, does he have enough left in the tank close out 2015 with his first major?
Bubba Watson looks to be the favourite among golf experts. With a swing to match the wild terrain of Whistling Straits, good memories of this golf course should see Bubba in a good frame of mind heading into this week. The booming left-hander has had two second place finishes since the missed cut at St.Andrews. Bubba will be craving a victory to finish the year and with distance a big key to Whistling Straits, we can see Bubba Watson winning his third major this week.