1. Rory Mcilroy
“Rors” fearless Northern Irish youngster loves to play in the wind as we saw at St. Andrews with a 3rd place finish. A 9th last week (and one of only 2 players to shoot under par for all 4 rounds) at Firestone, his form is excellent. Will always compete till the final putt drops and can win from behind. Having a win under his belt this season, he knows he is capable of playing with the best.
2. Jim Furyk
2 wins and 10 top 10s this season means he is on great form coming into this major. Although not long off the tee, he’s very accurate and has all the experience to be in contention on Sunday afternoon.
3. Retief Goosen
12th in total driving, and 8 top 10s from 14 starts on the PGA Tour (3rd in scoring average) make him a very strong contender.
4. Hunter Mahan
2 victories this year and first in Total Driving (which for me is the key stat this week). His form and confidence must be very high.
5. Dustin Johnson
He’s long and straight from the tee and on a course with 4 par 5’s, his 2nd on number of eagles stat will do him no harm. He birdies the par 3’s too (currently 5th on birdies on par 3’s). Four top 10s this season and a win gives him a great chance to claim his first major.
6. Justin Rose
2 wins and 9 top 10s on the PGA Tour this season along with plenty of experience for a young player give him a great chance this week.
7. Luke Donald
Four finishes in the top 6 this season puts Donald as one of my favourite picks. He leads scrambling on the PGA Tour and his low ball flight means the wind won’t be a worry for the Englishman. If he putts well he’ll go close.
8. Tim Clark
He’s accurate off the tee (5th in driving accuracy) and tied for 3rd on number of top 10 finishes this season. Clark also leads proximity to the hole stats. He won the Players Championship earlier in the year so he knows he can compete in the big events.
9. Miguel Angel Jimenez
2 wins in big European Tour events this season and a 65 in round 2 when it was played at Whistling in 2004, means he has the confidence in his ability to score there.
10. The Long-shot: Brian Gay
This season he’s is 3rd in Driving accuracy, 2nd in scrambling & 5th in putts per round. Whistling Straits is a course where all these components could make him a contender. Although not the longest of hitters, when the PGA Championship was hosted at Whistling Straits in 04 there were a number of short hitters in the top 25.
Whistling Straits (Straits Course) Scorecard