Top Contenders Leading Up to the 2014 PGA Championship

Posted Aug. 07, 2014, at 7:21 a.m.

This coming weekend, the final major on the PGA Tour is up for grabs and will grab most golfers’ attention before the onslaught of FedEx Cup fever. Who will win? Obviously, that’s anyone’s guess but here are some of the professional golfers whose careers are ones to watch at this year’s PGA Championship:

Rory McIlroy – On a Roll

At this point in time, every discussion of the 2014 PGA championship must begin and end with the current golfing juggernaut named Rory McIlroy. With eight consecutive and demonstrably solid rounds and the two consecutive wins to go with them – one of them a major on the British Open course at Hoylake – this young man from Northern Ireland is certainly a force to be reckoned with and must be considered the odds-on favorite to take the Wanamaker Trophy. Not for nothing, he was a hurricane force in those two tournaments. Hey… you don’t get to be No. 1 in the world by holding back.

Jason Dufner – The Defending Champ

A solid four rounds including a final one at two-under par when the rest of the field and JIm Furyk, his closest competitor, struggled to stay even gave Dufner his first major win after a failed tiebreaker attempt in 2011. However, Mr. Dufner is coming off a very weak performance at the WGC-Bridgestone where he shot 14-over and tied for 66th place.

One can only hope that he is merely reconfiguring his swing and concentrating on the putter so that he is in the same form that brought him victory last year.

Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson – Two Old Timers with the Right Chops

It’s no secret to any golf fan that either of these two guys can come out of the woodwork, stun the crowd and win a golf tournament. They have both done it on numerous occasions.

This year, Jim Furyk, at the ripe old age of 44 has seven top-ten finishes in just 16 tournaments and is currently ranked world’s number 5. Don’t discount this wily veteran. Unfortunately, our other veteran, the lefty, Phil Mickelson has not kept his game in the same order. Still, Phil – a five time major winner – must have a few tricks left up his sleeve that could allow him to sneak away with the prize. Nothing would make us happier.

Tiger Woods – Always the Great Unknown

For better or worse, no discussion of a major golf championship can be complete without a mention of the man who dominated the game for the past two decades.

His personal and physical problems aside, Mr. Woods has been an ardent proponent of the game and, arguably, has introduced it to more people in the world than any other player. Nevertheless, his recent outings have been less than stellar and one wonders if the magic is gone. It would certainly be a shame. Most recently, Tiger missed the cut at the WGC-Bridgestone. His lingering back problems from his late-March surgery are certainly having an effect.

The Best of the Rest

The redoubtable Adam Scott, the resurgent Sergio Garcia, the indefatigable Henrik Stenson and the ever-popular “Kooch,” Matt Kuchar will all be on hand to test their skills.

In all likelihood, it will be one of these young guns or some other who actually takes the title on August 10th. While all of the previous nominees on our list have a higher than average likelihood of winning a golf tournament, there are just too many talented competitors to make it a sure thing.

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