Sunday August 12, 2012
Who will it be, this time …
By SHAUN ORANGE
The PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort is set up to give us yet another different Major championship winner, but will it pan out like that?
TRYING to determine who will win the PGA Championship – or any other Major for that matter – before it starts is as difficult as it’s ever been over the past four years.
Much of that has had to do with the form, not necessarily the ability, of one Tiger Woods.
Gone are the days when he was installed as the odds-on bet to triumph even before a ball was struck in competition.
Notwithstanding this tough, Woods has shown that he is back to his winning ways – on the regular PGA Tour at least – with three wins thus far, this season.
And because of this alone, he went into the PGA Championship as one of the players [not THE player] to beat at Kiawah Island Resort this week.
The PGA Championship, the fourth and final Major of the season, started as a tournament that had any of maybe 20 or so players in with a real decent chance of landing the title.
As things turned out, after the first round on Thursday, Carl Pettersson led the tournament and had Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Alex Noren, Gary Woodland and 2011 US Open champion Rory McIlroy a stroke adrift and tied for second.
Such has been the Majors following Tiger’s game collapsing so dramatically since his last Major victory, at the US Open of 2008, that there have been different winners on each occasion of the last 16 Majors.
Thus, even going into the last round – today – it would be folly to say exactly who will triumph.
Last month’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in England, is a vivid reminder of this and a brilliant example of just how fickle this lovely sport is.
Australian Adam Scott led by four strokes with four holes to play at The Open, and then in a spectacular meltdown allowed Ernie Els of South Africa to lift the Claret Jug.
Still, Woods remains the main drawcard of any event he plays, and I for one, will not dare declare that he will not win this or any other Major.
The former world number one and 14-time Major winner, who has climbed back up the world rankings to No. 2, started his week at Kiawah Island with a (3-under 69) round that left him three strokes shy of the leader, and in with every chance of winning his 15th Major championship crown.
McIlroy, for his part, has battled with poor form after a win on the PGA Tour early in the season, but should he find himself in the mix on the back nine of the last round, he could well add a second Major to his resume.
Without attempting to be pessimistic, least we not forget his falling from grace in the last round of the last season’s Masters when he had a comfortable lead going into the last day and shot an 80.
It is this sort of collapse and the way things have panned out over the last 16-17 Majors, that prompts one not to write off the possibility of seeing yet another different player winning the PGA Championship and lifting the Wannamaker Trophy in the early hours of tomorrow morning.