The string of recent major winners is quite astounding. Stretching back to the 2012 British Open you have Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Justin Roseand Phil Mickelson in succession winning major championships.
So it's hard to imagine a top-10 golfer or aging hall-of-famer not winning the PGA Championship at Oak Hill this week.
But the PGA is the deepest field in golf which is the reason the names of Y.E. Yang, David Toms, Shaun Micheel and Rich Beem are etched on the Wanamaker trophy. Not only do you have to beat the top 10 golfers in the world, you also have to beat 146 other great golfers.
But based on recent history, and maybe a little bit of my hope that we get to cap this season with a fourth truly wonderful major (the other three have been spectacular), I think a monster name gets it done this week.
At the two PGA Championships in Oak Hill's history we've had Micheel and Jack Nicklaus as our two winners -- maybe we can split the difference and get Jason Day, Dustin Johnson or Hunter Mahan their first big one.
Or maybe Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson will seal the deal on the player of the year race. Tiger with his sixth win and first major since 2008 or Mickelson with his second major in as many tries.
It may take something at or around par to get the job done this week, as Adam Scott noted Monday, so ready yourself for the third mental slog in a row following the US Open and British Open. Some people hate that type of golf, but I love it -- I want to see my champion mentally wasted when he's taking the trophy. That's what major winners are supposed to be made of.
Woods is (as usual) the big story this week -- especially after his massive win at Firestone. But there are a host of guys playing great golf gunning for him which is, as we all know, the best thing about golf.
Here are the 10 golfer I think are most likely to win this week at the 2013 PGA Championship:
|1||After his brilliance at the Bridgestone Invitational it's hard to imagine Tiger Woods not at least competing for the title here. In the two majors at Oak Hill only four men have been under par -- that's Tiger's greatest strength. Odds: 7-2|
|2||How much fun would a Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods Sunday showdown be? It would be a fitting end to what's been a spectacular major season. Odds: 14-1|
|3||Adam Scott, like the man beneath him, is becoming a staple in the top 10 of these rankings at majors no matter where the major is. He said on Monday he still gets nervous at majors. I like that. Odds: 16-1|
|4||Jason Day is looking three top five finishes at majors in 2013 right between the eyes. He was 15 the last time the PGA Championship was played at Oak Hill, this time he could be hoisting the trophy. Odds: 50-1|
|5||Brandt Snedeker will win a major, Brandt Snedeker will win a major, Brandt Snedeker will win a major. Odds: 28-1|
|6||A perfect gift for Hunter Mahan's new saughter, Zoe? How about putting her to bed (with a few blankets of course) inside the Wanamaker trophy. He can finish what he started at the Canadian Open a few weeks ago. Odds: 33-1|
Oak Hill has been called a "long, fair course." When I think Dustin Johnson I think "great long, fair course player." Just hope he doesn't find a "bunker" on the 72nd. Odds: 40-1
|8||I know nobody is "made" for the PGA Championship because the field is as deep and as ridiculous as fields get. But for some reason it feels like this is a tournament Keegan Bradley can win multiple times. A T2 at Bridgestone isn't hurting either. Odds: 33-1|
|9||Nobody's been more consistent in big tournaments over the last month than Henrik Stenson. Second alone at the British Open and a T2 at the Bridgestone Invitational. His highest major finish ever is a T4 in 2008, I think he betters that this week. Odds: 25-1|
|10||That's right, everybody's bailing on the Rory McIlroy train and I'm hopping on. His last three PGAs have resulted in two top threes and a win. I'll back the defending champ. Odds: 28-1|