Our Six Picks for the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island
The world's best golfers have arrived in South Carolina to do battle for the 103rd Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.
As we all get ready for the season's second major championship, here at Hole19 HQ, we've been throwing around a few names and have settled on six picks for the 2021 PGA Championship.
Here's a half-dozen golfers we believe could hoist the Wanamaker Trophy aloft come Sunday evening.
We had to start our 'Super Six' with the golfer we highlighted last week as a possible champion at Kiawah Island. After the win at the Wells Fargo, thanks (in part) to his more simplified approach to the game, it seems that Rory McIlroy could be primed for a strong performance.
He has placed inside the PGA Championship top-10 once in six years since the 2014 victory, which is a little concerning, but let's not forget this is the course he dismantled back in 2012 when finishing EIGHT shots clear of the field.
It was a long time ago, but if scar tissue is a real thing in sport, then, on the flip side, surely McIlroy can use his previous success as a driving force this week.
There are few golfers on Tour with the same level of consistency as Victor Hovland. The in-form Norwegian has placed T-3 in his last 2 PGA Tour events and, after finishing 2020 strongly, has placed T-6 or better on six separate occasions (more than 50% of his starts).
One of the most likeable golfers in the game, Hovland also has the game to match. Taking the next step and becoming a major champion is well within the world no.11's grasp if he can translate his consistency into impressive performances on the biggest stage.
Many of you may agree that golf is just far more enjoyable now that Jordan Spieth is back playing some of his best stuff. The upturn in form is undeniable, and he arrives at Kiawah Island with another chance of closing out the career grand slam.
Only five golfers in the modern era have achieved the feat, and now that Spieth has rediscovered some of the old magic, there's a solid chance that he could join them come Sunday evening.
Four top tens in the last four events - including a win at the Valero Texas Open -tell us that the three-time major champion must be on the shortlist for the second major of 2021.
Long-hitters will likely prosper at the 2021 PGA Championship, not least because the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island will play the longest in major championship history. Who is the longest golfer on Tour? That's right - Bryson DeChambeau.
OK, so that's pretty simplistic of us, but if Bryson can keep the ball in play from the tee, he has an undeniable advantage. His putting is also a pretty impressive weapon; so much will come down to his accuracy with the wedges on approach.
He might be the shortest from the tee on our list, but that doesn't make us any less hopeful of another gutsy major performance from Cameron Smith. His T-2 at Augusta's autumnal Masters back in November was impressive, and the Aussie followed it up with a T-10 at the 2021 Masters in April.
He is most recognisable for what he describes as a "filthy" mullet, but the current world no.25 also has a standout golf game. With only one missed cut in 2021, he's played some of the best golf of his career this year.
A few tweaks to his game pre-Kiawah Island and there's no reason he can't contend.
The defending champion probably needs a mention here, but not as any sort of token gesture. He's been playing pretty well in 2021 and does have a WGC win under his belt already.
Last time out at the RBC Heritage he finished T-7 on a Pete Dye designed course (Harbour Town Golf Links) and ranked second in Strokes Gained Tee to Green and third in Strokes Gained Approach. Kiawah Island is also a Pete Dye design.
He's been taking a rest from tournament play in the past month and it's very possible that the brief hiatus will be a good thing.
Who do you think will win the 103rd PGA Championship this week in South Carolina? Let us know in the comments.