2012 PGA Championship Preview: The Top 10 Contenders.

Glory’s Last Shot… that what they call the Golf’s 4th and final major. I know there’s the FedEx cup and such, but for me the PGA Championship marks the end of the golf season. Winning the year’s last major, can turnaround a poor season or make a mediocre one great. This year’s event is being held at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, SC. Who are this year’s top contenders?

1. Tiger Woods

Why wouldn’t the 4 time PGA Champion be the favorite? Woods has already won 3 times this year, and  just finished T3 at his last major, the British Open. He’s coming off a top 10 at the Bridgestone-Invitational against a world class field. Tiger can’t overwhelm opponents anymore, but he’s playing as well as anyone in the world.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 10 to 1

2. Rory Mcilory

After a sizzling start to the season, Mcilory cooled of considerably during the summer, but a T5 finish at Bridgestone says he might be ready to contend at the majors again. We know Mcilory is young, talented, and already owns a major. He’s seems to have overcome a period of spotty play from the past few months.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 15 to 1

3. Jason Dufner

A year ago nobody knew who Jason Dufner was then he had his breakthrough near-win PGA Championship in 2011. He just shows up on leaderboard after leaderboard. He’s won twice this year and hailing from Alabama, the southern heat should be right up his alley.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 17 to 1

4. Matt Kuchar

Here’s another guy that should thrive in the southern heat. Kuchar played his college golf at Georgia Tech, and he had a top 10 this week. You’ll notice several top players had fine tournaments at the Firestone course. He’s moved into the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings and won the Players Championship in May. It might be time for Kuchar’s first major victory.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 20 to 1

5. Luke Donald

Donald is another elite player with another top 10 this week. The world’s number one player also had a top 10 at the recent British Open. Donald is probably the most consistent golf on the planet, but he hasn’t won a major yet. The wind swept Kiawah course has the potential to favor guys who are strong wind players. That may give the players from the British Isles an advantage.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 25 to 1

6. Bubba Watson 

It’s a long course at the PGA Championship, and who leads the tour in driving distance? It is Bubba Watson who earned his first major at the Masters earlier this season. He missed a couple of CUTs back in June, but now has followed that up with 3 straight top 25 finishes. Should Watson win his 2nd major, he may end up your player of the year.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 30 to 1

7. Dustin Johnson

There won’t be another player with more a home field advantage this week than South Carolina native Dustin Johnson. He was born in South Carolina, played his college golf in South Carolina at Coastal Carolina, and currently resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He’s one of the longest players on tour, and he’s contended at majors before. If he gets into contention he’ll have a lot of support.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 35 to 1

8. Keegan Bradley 

The defending champion has to be on the list right? Defiantly he should after winning this week’s Bridgestone event reeling in Jim Furyk. The Ocean Course will play over 7600 yards and Bradly is a long hitter. He’s starting to build an impressive resume that includes wins at a major and a WGC event.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 40 to 1

9. Phil Mickelson

I’ve never had this Mickelson this low on one my major previews, but I can’t justify placing him an higher. He hasn’t had a top 10 since May, and this week’s results at Bridgestone don’t inspire much confidence finishing T43. Could he find his game and contend? Sure he’s got that much talent, but you do wonder if maybe his health isn’t 100%.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 45 to 1

10. Steve Stricker

My 10th spot is normally reserved for my darkhorse pick. I’m going with Steve Stricker here. Stricker has had a consistent season that includes a win and only1 missed cut. He finished T2 this week so his game is rounding into shape right before a major. He’s not especially long, so he’ll need strong iron play. I could certainly see an win like Ernie Els at the British Open. You know the forgotten veteran that’s quietly had a nice season.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 50 to 1

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