The game of golf is far from cookie cutter.
This is not the Daytona 500 where cars whiz around an oval track again and again. This is raw terrain. And, the Ocean Course at Kiawah is the most stark kind of playing course the world's best players have seen this side of the Atlantic. Add sand waste areas, gnarly bunkers, wind and water. When Pete Dye designed the Kiawah Ocean course he knew that wind direction was going to be tricky. Banking on the prevailing wind off the ocean is a lot like expecting to receive a Ferrari for your birthday - it can just flat be disappointing.
Expecting this years champion to be another experienced player adding to their loot is just plain silly. Fourteen of the last fifteen major winners were first timers. Ernie Els broke the rookie major winner streak dating back to when Padraig Harrington rolled in that putt at Oakland Hills in 2008.
The winner at Kiawah will be someone that has never won a major. The winner at the 2012 PGA Championship will be long off the tee and someone that can adjust to the ever changing wind conditions hole to hole. Pete Dye wanted it that way and that is the reason it became the venue for the 1991 Ryder Cup.
Taking a closer look at the players that can best persevere through the angles that Kiawah presents, is kind of like looking through the fog as the South Carolina sun burns it into the atmosphere. Let's take a look at the 10 players (that have never won a major) that figure to be getting into red numbers at Kiawah.
One will be holding the Wanamaker on Sunday.