A Quick Nine: Who will win the PGA Championship?

Redington/Getty Images
Phil Mickelson heads to Whistling Straits looking to win his second major this season.
By
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
PGA.com

Series: A Quick Nine

Published: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 | 8:41 a.m.

It's time for the final major championship of the season - Glory's Last Shot - the PGA Championship at the breathtaking Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisc.

So far, it's been an outstanding year for majors. Phil Mickelson had an emotional victory at the Masters. Graeme McDowell won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on Father's Day with his father walking along every step of the way. Formerly little-known South African Louis Oosthuizen put on a clinic in his unlikely, yet methodical win in the Open Championship at the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews.

All three players have earned a spot in the PGA of America Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda - the most difficult tournament in the world to qualify as it features the year's four major champions. Who will round out the foursome that heads to lovely Bermuda in October?

That's where you come into the equation. PGA.com asked its Facebook fans earlier this week: Who do you think will win the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits?

You covered loads and loads of names - some usual suspects, some surprises. Here are the top 9:

Tiger Woods. It doesn't matter that Tiger has yet to win in 2010, according to the majority of you, he's still the favorite whenever he tees it up. Will this be the case at Whistling Straits? If history is any indication, probably not. Woods tied for 24th when the PGA Championship was held at Whistling Straits in 2004.

Facebook fan quotes:

"I would like to see Tiger win and shut up all the detractors. I also would like to see him golf in more tournaments too. Not just once a month like he used to. He hasn't been golfing great, so what does he do, he doesn't golf? Makes very little sense." -- Martin Mulrenin

"Always rooting for Tiger no matter what!!" -- Kimmi P.

"Tiger Woods will re-emerge to win the next 4 majors... then next year at this time we will be looking for a Grand Slam (all in the same year)." -- Anthony Razzano

"I'll put another vote in for Tiger because he is, after all, the greatest golfer of all time and because I wouldn't mind if all you folks that judge and have never done anything wrong cringe. Go Tiger!" -- Jess Fowler

"Can't wait to go and watch it on Saturday. I'd love to see Tiger grab the title and show he's back!" -- Douglas Wruck

"Tiger makes his come back." -- David Turetzky

"Tiger... It's his comeback time." -- Kevin Stiles

"Tiger, at some time the best will rise, and he is far and away the best." -- Mark Reckner

Phil Mickelson. The reigning Masters champion has enjoyed a fine season with just one missed cut in 14 starts. He's a great pick at Whistling Straits, having tied for sixth there in 2004. Plus, as many of you pointed out, bookend majors would make for what has already been an extra special year for the Mickelson family.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Mickelson's got this one and the number one ranking!" -- Tim Johnson

"Phil all the way!" -- Pete Kountanis

"Phil Mickelson… a couple of major bookends this year and a No. 1 world ranking to top it off!" -- Michael Garrity

"Phil... started the year winning the first major, hopefully ends it winning the last one." -- James Q. Gross

"The Europeans have had a strong showing this year, but I think Phil is going to keep the trophy in the U.S." -- Steve Hausman

Lee Westwood. I'm with the rest of you - Westwood absolutely has to win a major sooner or later! The guy plays great at seemingly every major championship he tees it up in. He's got 10 top-10 finishes in the four big ones in his career, including four in his last six. Amazing stuff. Westwood did miss the cut at Whistling Straits in 2004, but he's a different, more confident player today than he was then.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Not Tiger or Phil because they can't hit the ball straight enough. I'm thinking Lee Westwood and he leap frogs Phil and Tiger for world No. 1!" -- Daniel Green

"Lee Westwood! It's about time for his well deserved crowning! Don't rule out good old Ernie Els - don't think Tiger or Phil will even get into top 3." -- Maleek Misbah

"I'll take a darkhorse. A first-timer even. Give me Lee Westwood!" -- Joseph Dieffenbach

"It's the year of the International player… Westwood." -- Rusty Darter

Steve Stricker. A major is the only element missing from Stricker's resume and, granted, that's a big vacancy. You can try, but to no avail, you won't find a nicer guy on Tour. A win at Whistling Straits would prove to be the mother of all wins for Stricker, a Wisconsin native.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Hope it will be Steve Stricker since he is the Wisconsin native; but realistically, maybe Phil Mickelson." -- Vicki Bass

"Stricker - of course!!" -- Jean Ayers

Padraig Harrington. Sure, he hasn't been the Paddy we all saw win three majors in two years lately, but the fact remains that Harrington is someone we've grown accustomed to expecting to be a contender in the big ones. Plus, he's got something to prove to himself with two missed cuts and a tie for 22nd in the previous three majors this season.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Paddy will crush them!" -- Derek Short

"Gooooo Paddy!" -- Joel Mclendon

Stuart Appleby. He's the hot pick and for good reason - after all, the man just fired an 11-under 59 in the final round of the Greenbrier Classic to win. Apples tied for 17th at Whistling Straits in 2004. Trust us, he won't be shooting anything close to a 59 around Whistling Straits, but the 59 at Greenbrier could very well be the turning point in what had been a mediocre season at best. Apples is a grinder. If he's confident, he can contend anywhere.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Stuart Appleby is looking great let's see what he can do." -- Jeff Evans

"Stuart Appleby, Tiger I hope misses the cut. He needs a swing coach and something else to get back on track." -- Arthur Kelsch

Anthony Kim. Interesting pick here, folks. Not because Kim doesn't possess the game to win a major, but because he's playing for the first time this week since May and the PGA Championship will be just his second start since thumb surgery. Will he be rusty? Probably.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Anthony Kim all the way!" -- Dennis Mortensen

"Anthony Kim, yeah buddy." -- Zack Lee

John Daly. He must have inspired you guys with that tie for 27th at the Open Championship a few weeks back.

Facebook fan quotes:

"John Daly will be in the hunt!" -- Ben Fallon

PGA Professionals. Lots of love for the 20 PGA Professionals who earned their way to Whistling Straits based on their finish at the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship at the French Lick Resort in Indiana.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Rob McClellan.... from Butler, PA.... but no pressure Rob!.... Just have fun and enjoy the experience!" -- Sharon Leonardi

"Bruce smith, club pro!" -- Justin Marano

"He who shoots the lowest score... I'm cheering for one of the 20 PGA Professionals in the field... see you there!" -- Laurie Hebert

"Chip Sullivan! :) or Mike Small, Ryan Benzel, Tim Thelen, Scott Hebert, Bruce Smith.... go team PGA of America!!!!" -- Kari Hall Sullivan

"No way will Tiger win, he may never win again... Just a top ten player... Your winner will be ok, Chip Sullivan.....(: Yea" -- Don Arrington

"I'm with Chip Sullivan!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -- Bill Carder


Comments

hubertchevre

Both are great champions, of course : Tiger is evidently not at his best but will become again himself soon or late !! Phil deserves to be N°1 and winning the PGA would be the best way for that ! Ernie ELS, Lee WESTWOOD : why not ??

jacklawton

Tiger nor Phil will win, however I do think Phil has better chance out of the two. He is just so mental that he number one ranking is driving him crazy, he may never get there. He needs to play more tournaments to achieve #1.

jacklawton

Bubba Watson or Villegas will win