The final major of the 2015 season is upon us and it looks all set to be a cracking tournament. The 2015 PGA Championship, will be the 97th time the tournament has been played and over the years, it’s witnessed some illustrious winners.
The likes of Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Nick Price and Tiger Woods have all enjoyed great success at the PGA Championship. However, going in to 2015, it’s Rory McIlroy who’s the defending champion, having won it for the second time last year.
This year, sees Whistling Straits host the event for the third time in PGA history. The theme of this year’s major tournaments seems to be links style golf and the PGA Championship is going to be no different. The Straits offers up a very open, rugged style golf course, which is subject to the elements, meaning strong winds are not uncommon. That’s not to say low scoring is not possible, because it is, every hole can be attacked but with deep bunkers, water and fescue rough, any sign of a strong wind could cause havoc.
Judging by the previous PGA Championships held at Whistling Straits, anything around the 10 under mark could be good enough to win.
Considering the course set-up and potential weather conditions, looking at recent Open Championship form is important here. Over the past 20 years, the winner of the Open Championship has gone on to claim the PGA Championship title five times, which is a good omen for Zach Johnson. The American has finished inside the top 10 three times in his last six attempts at the PGA Championship and has to be considered one of the favourites.
Keeping the information above in mind, it would be foolish to back anyone who has not shown some good form this year. Therefore, Jordan Spieth, who could easily be attempting a Grand Slam at Whistling Straits, has to be the outstanding favorite. With Rory McIlroy making a return to action, Spieth may find he is allowed a little more time to himself than previous events and this could work to his advantage. As for McIlroy, he can’t be discounted but it’s asking a lot for him to come straight back in and win this tournament.
Both Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson, have what it takes to win at Whistling Straits. Watson has finished runner-up in his previous two events and also reached the play-off on this course in 2010. Johnson, has a T2 and T6 to his name in major tournaments this year and also finished T5 at Whistling Straits in 2010. Both players are certainly capable of winning the 2015 PGA Championship but considering Watson’s experience of winning The Masters twice, he has to be the favourite out of the two.
However, taking in to account his performances across the previous three major tournaments of 2015, Jordan Spieth is the man to beat.