This time next week, we will be in the long, dark offseason between major championships (and next year it will get even longer!). But between now and then, we have 72 more holes of the highest level of golf with 110 of the top 112 golfers in the world competing in the 2018 PGA Championship field.
There are seemingly more monstrous names every time I put my list of who I think will win any given major together, and this year’s PGA Championship is no different. The players I left my “Ranking the field from 1-25″ piece could form a pretty formidable Presidents Cup squad that would probably beat the international team.
That’s why picking from this 156-player field and narrowing it down to nine who will win is next to impossible. Regardless, I have thoughts and opinions on who is going to take down the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club just outside of St. Louis.
It feels like it’s building to this since he missed the cut at the U.S. Open, doesn’t it? How many times have we seen a golfer come closer and closer at big events before breaking through with a win at the last of a long string of huge tournaments? I could see the swing finally clicking and McIlroy winning by four on Sunday.
I think I might like him too much this week. There is mild concern that he might be the basketball-playing Matt Kuchar, but like McIlroy, it feels like his last years have been building toward one special week.
If you’re going based on stats only, this is your guy. Or if you’re going based on “most likely to strip down to nothing to enter one of the bodies of water at Bellerive, make par and make the whole thing actually look cool,” this is also your guy. Either way, I find it intriguing that nobody is discussing him. 4
He’s not actually going to win three of seven majors in this era, right? Not even Jordan Spieth has done that. It feels like Koepka could, though, which would mean four wins with three of them being big boys.
You bet your MacBook Pro I’m going to ride for Cantlay until the very end because I picked him to make the Ryder Cup team at the beginning of the year, and I need a massive performance from him at Bellerive. He’s also gaining over 1.4 strokes per round on the field from tee to green.
I feel the same way about both of these next two guys. For Johnson, a PGA Championship feels inevitable (until he’s 44 and it isn’t), and it seems as if every year we say, “No, really, is the course that suits him best.” He could easily lock up the PGA Tour Player of the Year award and maybe the money list this week with a victory.
The questions for me have started to become, “How many?” and, “Which ones?” as it relates to majors. Quail Hollow-Bellerive would be a nice start that suits his game, and I’m excited to see what he can do with places like Augusta National and Winged Foot in the future.
If you were to choose five guys for whom this course could not set up more perfectly, he would be on your list. He has five top-five finishes in his last nine events worldwide.
There is a zero percent chance I’m leaving Fowler off on the week when nobody is picking him, because the minute that happens, he’ll win his first major.