PGA Championship 2012: 10 Top PGA Tour Players That Need a Major

Fred AltvaterContributor IIAugust 3, 2012

PGA Championship 2012: 10 Top PGA Tour Players That Need a Major

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    Next week, the top golfers in the world will tee it up in the final major championship for 2012.

    The 94th edition of the PGA Championship will be held at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island beginning on Thursday, August 9.

    Keegan Bradley burst onto the world golf scene last year with his win at the PGA Championship.

    Professional golfers' careers are measured by their performance on the biggest stage.  There is no stage bigger for a golfer than a major championship.

    There are only four majors every year and over 200 golfers capable of winning each one.  The competition is fierce and the prize is huge.

    Here are 10 golfers who have yet to win their first major title and whose careers will not be complete until they hold a major trophy.

Justin Rose

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    Justin Rose is rated at 40/1 to win the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.  If you are looking for a solid bet, this might just be it.

    Justin Rose has not missed a cut in 2012 and is ranked No. 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).  He won the WGC-Cadillac at Doral in March and has had five top-10 finishes this year.

    Justin has been a stalwart on the European Ryder Cup teams for several years, but he does not have a major trophy at home.

    He just turned 32 years old and has five wins on the European Tour and four wins on the PGA Tour.

    Rose has missed six cuts and only has one top-10 in his last 13 majors.

    He has been playing some of the best golf of his career this year.

    He has the talent and the game to compete and win a major.

    Will the PGA Championship at Kiawah be the one? 

Rickie Fowler

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    Rickie Fowler is ranked No. 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings.  He got his first PGA Tour win earlier this year at the Wells Fargo.

    Rickie turned professional in 2009 after a very successful amateur and collegiate careers.

    He posted a T-7 and T-15 in his first two professional events on the PGA Tour and earned his card via a 15th-place finish in the 2009 PGA Tour Qualifying School.

    In just his third year on tour, he has had five second-place finishes, 18 top 10s and has won over $8 million.

    Even though he is only 23 years old, he has made the cut in nine of the 11 majors that he has entered.  He even had a T-5 in the 2011 Open Championship.

    He enters the PGA Championship at 33/1 odds. 

    Is this his time?

Matt Kuchar

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    Since turning professional in 2000, Matt Kuchar has four wins and has won over $20 million.

    With 27 top-10s and 50 top-25s in his last 60 events, he has been one of the most consistent golfers on tour over the past three years.

    Matt has not missed a cut since May 2010, and he has had top-10 finishes in all four majors over the past three years.

    He also won the fifth major, the 2012 Players Championship.

    He is ranked No. 9 in the world and is rated at 33/1 odds for the 2012 PGA Championship.

Steve Stricker

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    Steve Stricker has 12 career PGA Tour wins and has finished top-10 in nearly 30 percent of all the tournaments that he has entered.

    He has been a standout on the Presidents and Ryder Cup teams, plus he has had multiple top-10s in majors over the past years.

    Steve Stricker has done everything in golf to assure his spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame except win a major championship.

    With his steady demeanor and his wizardry around the greens, one would think that a major could still be in his future.

    But at 33/1 odds and now at 45 years old, has his time past?

    He doesn't want to be remembered as just a good four-Ball partner for Tiger Woods in team events.

Dustin Johnson

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    Dustin Johnson missed two months in 2012 due to injury. 

    Since returning to the PGA Tour, he has a win at Memphis and a T-9 at Royal Lytham.

    Dustin has flirted with major success in the past but a final-round 80 at the 2010 U.S. Open and an unfortunate mishap with a bunker at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits kept him from winning either time.

    He is No. 16 on the OWGR and is rated at 33/1 odds to win the PGA Championship.

    Dustin definitely has the length and talent to win a major, but does he have the patience to withstand the wind and difficult conditions that the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island will present?

Jason Dufner

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    Does anyone remember that Jason Dufner was the runner-up to Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship?

    Since his playoff loss last year, he has gotten married, won twice on the PGA and moved up to No. 8 in the OWGR.

    Jason is 35 years old, so the clock is ticking slightly for a major win.  He has the demeanor and the game to win a major.

    Kiawah Island will provide wind and tough conditions.  Jason is accurate off the tee and is solid around the greens. 

    At 25/1 odds for the win, this could be his time.

Hunter Mahan

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    Hunter Mahan is ranked No. 13 on the OWGR.  He has two wins in 2012 and is No. 4 in the FedEx Cup rankings.

    One of his wins this year was the WGC-Accenture, where he beat Rory McIlroy in the final.

    Since April and his win at Houston, Hunter has only had one top-10 in his last 10 events. 

    He was T-12 at the Masters, T-38 at the U. S. Open and T-19 at the Open Championship.

    Hunter has a solid all-around game and will probably win a major before he is done. 

    At 25/1 odds for the 2012 PGA Championship and given his lapse over the past few weeks, it doesn’t appear that this will be the one. 

Adam Scott

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    Adam Scott had the Claret Jug firmly in his grasp and clumsily passed it off to Ernie Els last month at Royal Lytham.

    Bogeys at the last four holes in the final round proved to be his undoing.

    You all know the old saying, “If she bucks you off, you have to get right back on.”

    Adam needs to get right back into the mix at the PGA Championship and beat off the demons that can rattle around in a player’s head.

    His last win came at the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone, but he has had a second and a third this year, plus seven top-25s in just 10 events on the PGA Tour.

    He is rated at 25/1 for the win at Kiawah Island. 

    Adam Scott will win at least one major.  He is just too good to think otherwise.

    Not too sure this will be the one, though.

Lee Westwood

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    Perhaps one of the two men who really need a major win the most is No. 4-ranked Lee Westwood.

    Lee Westwood is rated at 16/1 odds for 2012 PGA Championship.

    He is 39 years old and since 1995 is 0-58 in majors.  He does have nine top-10s in his last 18 majors, however.

    He was T-8 at the 2011 PGA, T-3 at the 2012 Masters and T-10 at the 2012 U. S. Open.  Lee knows how to play major championships.

    He was ranked No. 1 in the OWGR for 22 weeks and has done everything there is to do in golf except win a major. 

    The time is now for Lee Westwood.

Luke Donald

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    Luke Donald has been ranked No. 1 in the world for over 55 weeks and still does not get the respect due to him for his consistent play because he has not won a major championship.

    Luke Donald is comfortable in his own skin, as the soap commercial says on TV.

    Over the past two-and-a-half years, he has been the best golfer on the planet. 

    I always ask this question of any golf fan that knocks Luke for his lack of a major championship:

    Would you rather be good for just one week, or would you rather be good for a whole year?

    As golfers, we are striving to be consistent and be among the leaders every time we play.

    Luke Donald plays with the best golfers in the world and he is at the top of the leaderboard every week.

    He is rated at 16/1 for the PGA at Kiawah.

    I would not bet against him.