Major contenders: 15 golfers to keep an eye on at the US PGA Championship

Simon Lewis breaks down the favourites and the dark horses to watch out for on at TPC Harding Park this week
Major contenders: 15 golfers to keep an eye on at the US PGA Championship
Brooks Koepka looks over a putt with his caddie, Ricky Elliott, on the 16th hole at the World Golf Championship-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

THE FAVOURITES 

Brooks Koepka (USA) 9/1 co-fav 

Age: 30 World 

Ranking:

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: 1st (2018, 2019) 

Last Year: Champion 

Going for a PGA Championship three-peat and looks to have regained form at the right time as he contended last week at WGC-FedEx St Jude (62, 71, 68, 69) only to fade over the last three holes on Sunday into a tie for second.

Justin Thomas (USA) 9/1 co-fav 

Age: 27 

WR:

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: 1st (2017) 

Last Year: T6 

Back at the top of the rankings after four weeks at No.1 in 2018 thanks to three victories this season, including last Sunday at the WGC-FedEx St Jude where he held off a charging Koepka to confirm red-hot form since the restart.

Rory McIlroy (N Irl) 12/1 

Age: 31 

WR:

PGAs Played: 11 

Best Finish: 1st (2012, 2014) 

Last Year: T8 

Two-time PGA champion but his 2014 win at Valhalla was the most recent of his four majors and McIlroy has struggled for form post-lockdown but he has won big at TPC Harding Park before, at the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship.

Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 12/1 

Age: 26 

WR:

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: T33 (2017) 

Last Year: MC 

Bulked up during lockdown and now driving the ball further and quicker than ever he has broken into the world’s top 10 thanks to victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic but still unproven in the majors, a T25 at the 2018 US Open his best showing.

Jon Rahm (Esp) 12/1 

Age: 25 

WR:

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: T4 (2018) 

Last Year: MC 

Briefly at number one in the world after a stunning win at The Memorial in his second-last start and with his victory hangover was expunged last Sunday with a closing 66 in Memphis the Spaniard is surely on the brink of a maiden major victory.

NEXT BEST 

Xander Schauffele (USA) 16/1 

Age: 26 

WR: 11 

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: T16 (2019) 

Last Year: T16 

Another of the twentysomethings knocking on the door of major success, he tuned up nicely last weekend with rounds of 67 and 66 to claim a T6 at WGC-FedEx St Jude.

Webb Simpson (USA) 22/1 

Age: 34 

WR:

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: T13 (2016) 

Last Year: T29 

Won the 2012 US Open nearby at San Francisco’s Olympic Club and in strong form with a win at the Heritage in June, coming in with a PGA Tour stroke average of 68.14.

Collin Morikawa (USA) 25/1 

Age: 23 

WR: 12 

PGAs Played:

Already in the world’s top 20 having turned pro last summer, and claimed a second PGA Tour victory last month at the Workday Charity Open beating Justin Thomas in a play-off.

Tiger Woods (USA) 30/1 

Age: 44 

WR: 15 

PGAs Played: 20 

Best Finish: 1st (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007) 

Last Year: MC 

Chasing a fifth PGA title, 16th major and a record 83rd PGA Tour victory but has only one start since the restart, a T40th at Memorial and San Francisco’s cool climate may not suit the GOAT.

Daniel Berger (USA) 33/1 

Age: 27 

WR: 20 

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: T12 (2018) 

Last Year: T71 

Won the first event back from lockdown, the Charles Schwab Challenge in June, defeating Morikawa in a play-off, and rubber-stamped his form with a 65 last Sunday to claim T2 alongside Koepka and behind Thomas.

ALSO KEEP AN EYE ON 

Matt Fitzpatrick (Eng) 35/1 

Age: 25 

WR: 18 

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: T41 (2019) 

Last Year: T41 

Is this the year Fitzpatrick finally enters the big leagues? A T3 at Memorial and T6 last Sunday at the WGC-FedEx St Jude suggests the Yorkshireman may be.

Viktor Hovland (Nor) 35/1 

Age: 22 

WR: 31 

PGAs Played:

Championship debut for former US Amateur champion in his first year as a professional and already making waves with a maiden PGA Tour win in Puerto Rico. Was third at Workday Charity Open last month.

Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 40/1 

Age: 28 

WR: 14 

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: T10 (2016, 2018) 

Last Year: T48 

The Ryder Cupper made a big splash winning at Bay Hill in the spring and has played well since the restart. Another looking to make the leap.

Shane Lowry (Ire) 45/1 

Age: 33 

WR: 26 

PGAs Played:

Best Finish: T8 (2019) 

Last Year: T8 

The Open champion is on an upward curve after breaking out of a so-so season and missed cut at Memorial with a T6 last weekend in Memphis, putting together four rounds in the 60s for the first time since June 2019.

Matt Wolff (USA) 90/1 

Age: 21 

WR: 53 

PGAs Played:

Another debutant with a big future, Wolff turned pro last summer and picked up his maiden the PGA Tour win at the 3M Open soon after. Was runner-up to DeChambeau at the recent Rocket Mortgage.

Selected Day One tee times (times Irish) 

Tee No. 1 

3pm: Brian Harman, Jeff Hart, C.T. Pan 

9.14pm: Kevin Na, Patrick Reed, Robert MacIntyre 

9.25pm: Matthew Wolff, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell 

9.36pm: Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, Hideki Matsuyama 

9.47pm: Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott 

9.58pm: Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia 

10.09pm: Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Webb Simpson Tee 

No. 10 

3.27pm: Tony Finau, Danny Willett, Patrick Cantlay 

3.38pm: Martin Kaymer, Jason Dufner, Jason Day 

3.49pm: Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Steve Stricker 

4pm: Henrik Stenson, Collin Morikawa, Zach Johnson 

4.11pm: Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland, Shane Lowry 

4.22pm: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose 

4.33pm: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas 

9.42 pm Jimmy Walker, Davis Love III, Keegan Bradley

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