Thursday, August 09, 2007

2007 PGA Championship Picks

The PGA Championship begins today at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK.. Southern Hills is a bit of a rarity in that it regularly hosts both US Opens and PGA Championships. Most of our great courses align with one or the other.

It will be over 100 degrees F each day of the tournament. This will have two big effects. The first is course playability, and the second is player conditioning. The ball will fly further and straighter in the heat, and tee shots will get a lot of roll. The greens will have to be watered to withstand the temperatures. The combination of the ball being hot and soft greens may lead to some lower scores. Players' stamina, both physical and mental, will be tested in the brutal heat, too.

Tiger Woods: #1 player in the world with 15 career majors is coming off a dominant win on a tough course last weekend. He is the favorite, but I have a hunch a crooked driver will keep him from winning. Top five finish.

Phil Mickelson: Has had an injured wrist and just switched to new irons a week ago. That does not add up to a great week. Top 30 finish.

Ernie Els: He is too good to go the past five years without a major, but he does not get one this weekend. Top 15 finish.

Vijay Singh: This course should suit one of the best drivers in the game. His putter is probably not good enough right now to win the PGA, but he still gets a top 20 finish.

Henrik Stenson: His stock continues to rise, and I think he will win at least one major in his career, but it probably won't be this week. I give him a good shot at a top 10, and watch out for him in 2008 at the majors.

Sergio Garcia: He had a disappointing playoff loss at the Open Championship. He also revealed an immature attitude after that loss, making me question if he has what it takes to win a professional major. Top 15 finish.

Stewart Cink: It will be a shame if never wins a major. His game is so perfectly suited for the toughest courses. He finished one shot out of a playoff at Southern Hills in the 2001 US Open, and I think he plays well again this week. Top 10 finish.

Retief Goosen: He won the 2001 US Open on this course and has the toughness and poise to win this week. His game has not been in great shape lately, but he gets a top 15 finish.

Angel Cabrera: The current US Open champ can play and is confidence is sky high. I don't think his putter will let him win at this course, but he gets a top 25.

Jim Furyk: I picked Furyk to win the US Open and the Open Championship, and he had good finishes at both. The best player in the world not named for an animal is deadly accurate off the tee and is one of the best putters in the world. He is mentally tough, so I am predicting he hoists the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.


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