By Paul Myers
The final major of the golf season always has plenty of drama, but the 2015 version of the PGA Championship may be one of the most exciting in recent memory. There will be multiple storylines coming together when the world’s best golfers descend on Whistling Straits – will Jordan Spieth win his third major of the year? How will Rory McIlroy respond in his first event after his ankle injury? Will Dustin Johnson get redemption for the heartbreak suffered on the 18th hole of the 2010 PGA Championship? All of these stories and more will come together in Wisconsin on the third weekend of August.
Jordan and Rory
Among the various stories in play, the budding rivalry between Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy is certainly the main attraction. The world’s top two golfers will be paired together on Thursday and Friday, with most of the golf world hoping that they are both near the top of the board when the weekend rolls around. Although Rory is the top ranked player, it is Spieth that comes in with all of the momentum. Spieth won the first two majors of the season before barely missing a playoff at the British Open. Putting together one of the best seasons in golf history, Spieth will head to the PGA as the clear favorite. Rory, on the other hand, is something of a wild card in this event. Although he is the defending champion, McIlroy has missed several weeks with an ankle injury and will be making his return to competitive golf at Whistling Straits. While he has the talent to win any tournament he enters, McIlroy may have an uphill battle in front of him in order to contend.
Will There Be a Surprise?
It seems like most golf seasons include at least one surprise major championship winner – but none of the first three majors have provided such a result in 2015. With Spieth taking the first two titles, and established veteran Zach Johnson winning The Open, there has been no ‘Cinderella story’ to capture the attention of the golf world. Although such a story would be exciting, it is probably unlikely to develop at Whistling Straits. With the top of the game so dominated by players like Spieth, McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and others, the likelihood of a surprise winner sneaking through is slim at best.
The Tiger Factor
No matter what the current status of his game, Tiger Woods is always a major story when he puts a tee in the ground, and that will certainly be the case at the PGA Championship. Woods has missed the cut in the last two majors after posting a solid performance at the Masters in April. Will Woods miss a third straight cut, or will he put together 36 good holes and head into the weekend in contention?
The PGA Championship always brings plenty of drama simply because it is the final opportunity of the year for players to grab a major championship title. This season, with so many great players performing at the top of their game, the battle for the Wannamaker Trophy is sure to be intense late into the evening on Sunday.