WHO TO WATCH AT THE 2015 US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
JASON DAY (Aus)
World Ranking: 4
Worldwide wins: 5
Best in a major: 2nd (2011 US Open); T2 (2011 Masters); T2 (2013 US Open)
PGA Championships played: 5
Best PGA Championship: T8 (2013)
Why he can win: You don’t have nine top 10s in majors from just 20 starts without having the right stuff. Comes off an impressive win at Canadian Open, his second of the year, a week after T4 at British Open. Primed to break his major duck.
Why he might not: Critics say he can’t close and leaving his putt to join the playoff at the British Open short added fuel to that fire. But he finished birdie, birdie, birdie the following week, draining a 22-foot putt to secure his win in Canada.
ADAM SCOTT (Aus)
World Ranking: 11
Worldwide wins: 23
Best in a major: Win (2013 Masters)
PGA Championships played: 13
Best PGA Championship: T3 (2006)
Why he can win: Has major championship winning experience, hasn’t missed a cut in the last 17 majors, and is stinging after throwing away another chance at the British Open with a final round collapse.
Why he might not: The pressure of his broomstick putter window closing. This is Scott’s last major where he can use an anchored stroke before the rule change from next year.
MARC LEISHMAN (Aus)
World Ranking: 30
Worldwide wins: 1
Best in a major: T2 (2015 British Open)
PGA Championships played: 4
Best PGA Championship: T12 (2013)
Why he can win: Jumped inside the world top 30 with his stunning weekend at the British Open that ended in a playoff loss. Not overawed by the big stage.
Why he might not: Leishman’s driving accuracy could hurt him at Whistling Straits. He has hit just 57 per cent of fairways this season to be ranked 164th on the US tour.
JOHN SENDEN (Aus)
World Ranking: 54
Worldwide wins: 6
Best in a major: T4 (2007 PGA Championship)
PGA Championships played: 9
Best PGA Championship: T4 (2007)
Why he can win: Senden is ranked inside the top 40 in ball-striking and total driving on the US tour and if he can position his ball well he could be a good roughie.
Why he might not: The Queenslander’s form has yielded just one top 25 finish since early May and he missed the cut at Whistling Straits in 2010.
MATT JONES (Aus)
World Ranking: 72
Worldwide wins: 1
Best in a major: T30 (2015 British Open)
PGA Championships played: 3
Best PGA Championship: T40 (2013)
Why he can win: Jones is having an impressive year with the putter and has two third place finishes on the US tour this season after a breakthrough win last year. Ranks high in birdie average.
Why he might not: Despite becoming more comfortable on the majors scene, having played six of the last eight, Jones is yet to contend on the big stage.
STEVEN BOWDITCH (Aus)
World Ranking: 63
Worldwide wins: 2
Best in a major: T26 (2014 Masters)
PGA Championships played: 1
Best PGA Championship: CUT (2014)
Why he can win: Won earlier this year on US PGA Tour, his second win in less than two years. Bowditch is a wild card who could easily go on a birdie blitz and throw his name into the mix.
Why he might not: He can also have a bogey barrage in his game, or sometimes it gets even worse with bigger numbers.
GEOFF OGILVY (Aus)
World ranking: 104
Worldwide wins: 10
Best in a major: WIN (2006 US Open)
PGA Championships played: 12
Best PGA Championship: T6 (2005,2007)
Why he can win: He is hitting the ball reasonably well despite not getting much result to show for it because of poor putting. A major winner who showed glimpses of his old self at the British Open.
Why he might not: While he showed glimpses of good, he also showed glimpses of terrible play at St Andrews. His putter just continues to desert him.
CAMERON SMITH (Aus)
World Ranking: 103
Worldwide wins: 0
Best in a major: T4 (2015 US Open)
PGA Championships Played: 0
Best PGA Championship: On debut
Why he can win: Smith showed on major championship debut in the US Open he won’t be overawed. Finished T4 with a stunning near-albatross on the 72nd hole to gain his berth here and sew up a card for the US tour next season.
Why he might not: Without a regular tour spot this season he is relying on practice rather than tournament play to get him in shape. Lack of experience still a factor.
RORY MCILROY (NIR)
World ranking: 1
Worldwide wins: 18
Best result in a major: 4 Wins (2011 US Open, 2012, 2014 PGA Championships, 2014 British Open)
PGA Championships played: 6
Best PGA Championship: Win (2012. 2014)
Why he can win: He’s the defending champion, has won four majors already and can blow away the field. Has top eight finishes in five of six PGA Championship starts, with two wins and two further third places including 2010 at Whistling Straits.
Why he might not: Comes in under a serious injury cloud having busted his ankle playing soccer with his mates, an injury that forced his withdrawal from the British Open.
JORDAN SPIETH (USA)
World ranking: 2
Worldwide wins: 6
Best result in a major: WON (2015 Masters, 2015 US Open)
PGA Championships played: 2
Best PGA Championship: CUT (2013, 2014)
Why he can win: Speith took out the year’s opening two majors and was just a shot outside the playoff in the third. Looking to join the likes of Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods to win three of the four majors in one year.
Why he might not: For whatever reason, Speith has missed the cut in his only two previous PGA Championship appearances. Whistling Straits can favour the bigger hitters so he will need to be on.
DUSTIN JOHNSON (USA)
World Ranking: 7
Worldwide wins: 9
Best in a Major: T2nd (2011 British Open, 2015 US Open)
PGA Championships Played: 5
Best PGA Championship: T5 (2010)
Why he can win: The big hitter was looking the winner at Whistling Straits in 2010 before grounding his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole with the penalty taking him out of a playoff. One of the best players in the world without a major, with nine top 10s from 26 starts.
Why he might not: The demons are well and truly around Johnson at the majors. Has lost a few now in different ways. Shooting a final round 80, being penalised for grounding a club in a bunker, hitting a ball out of bounds late and then his recent US Open 72nd hole three-putt.
JUSTIN ROSE (Eng)
World ranking: 8
Worldwide wins: 14
Best in a major: Win (2013 US Open)
PGA Championships Played: 12
Best PGA Championship: T3 (2012)
Why he can win: Has the accuracy to tame Whistling Straits and has major championship winning pedigree. Already has a win on the US tour this year and has hit some form of late.
Why he might not: The last time the event was at Whistling Straits, Rose was out of sorts and missed the cut.
BUBBA WATSON (USA)
World ranking: 3
Worldwide wins: 8
Best result in a major: 2 Wins (Masters 2012, 2014)
PGA Championships played: 8
Best PGA Championship: 2nd (2010)
Why he can win: Big-hitting Bubba can shape the ball unlike anyone else and pound it a mile. Has two wins already this year and was in the playoff at Whistling Straits in 2010.
Why he might not: Can lose interest on the course if things aren’t going his way. Will need a fast start to keep his head in the game.
RICKIE FOWLER (USA)
World ranking: 5
Worldwide wins: 4
Best result in a major: 2nd (2014 US Open, 2014 British Open)
PGA Championships played: 5
Best PGA Championships: T3 (2015)
Why he can win: Won the Players Championship and the Scottish Open this year and was inside top 5 of all four majors last year, including a T3 at the PGA.
Why he might not: He ranks 106th on the US tour in greens in regulation and many judges think this stat could be key to the week.