The fourth and final major of the year begins tomorrow and the 93rd PGA Championship is set-up to be a gripping and fascinating contest. This year’s championship is being held at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia and it is set to be a warm and humid affair, having being dubbed Hot-Lanta by several media organisations already. With numerous high profile players finding good form in the last few weeks, along with the well publicised return of a certain Tiger Woods, you can be sure it will make compulsive viewing.
So who are the main contenders? Adam Scott and his new caddy, Steve Williams of Tiger fame, blew away the field last week but winning back to back on tour is a feat rarely accomplished in the modern era. Tiger showed glimpses of form last week, though struggled to find the fairways off the tee, and with McIlroy, Donald and Westwood shooting 67, 66 and 65 respectively, it is difficult to select a pre-tournament favourite. The pressure is really on Donald and Westwood, who are looking to pick up their first major title and justify their respective world rankings of 1 and 2 to a sceptical American public. Jason Day, the young Australian, has showed impressive form at this year’s majors and a strong finish last week also makes him one to watch.
Team ISM, otherwise known as International Sports Management, the golfing stable of both McIlroy and Westwood, currently hold all the major titles from this year and are looking to complete the slam with this week’s prize, the USPGA’s Wannamaker Trophy. Fellow ISM charger, Charl Schwartzel, started the ball rolling at the Masters, then McIlroy took the U.S. Open in emphatic fashion, before Darren Clarke rolled back the years to capture the Claret Jug in July at Sandwich. Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler ISM MD and former European Tour golfer said “I’ll be delighted if any of our boys collects the trophy, but it would be particularly pleasing if Lee Westwood could finally cross the grand slam line after going so close, so often.”
All the while, the Americans will be hoping for a home victory. Phil Mickelson was the last American to win a major, the 2010 Masters, and since then 6 majors have been and gone with an American claiming top spot. This period symbolises the biggest drought in American major winners in the Open era and the US fans are eagerly waiting for one of the new kids on the block, like Anthony Kim or Rickie Fowler, to take over the reins from Woods and Mickelson.
Check back to the blog next week where we will use Optimal’s Coaching Studio video analysis software to make an in-depth analysis of the PGA champion’s swing. Optimal’s Coaching Studio software forms part of our groundbreaking eAcademy offering, for more information please click here.
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