PGA Championship 2012: Favorites to Capture the Final Major of the Year

Chris HummerAnalyst IAugust 3, 2012

AKRON, OH - AUGUST 03:  Tiger Woods plays a shot from the 13th tee during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 3, 2012 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The top-ranked players in the world may be playing at the WGC-Bridgestone championship this week, but the golf world is already anticipating next week’s 2012 PGA Championship.

It's the last chance of the year for major championship glory, and for Tiger Woods, the last opportunity to make this season a successful one.

The tournament is being held at the beautiful Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., and it should be an interesting test.

The Ocean Course is considered to be one of the windiest in the world, and from day-to-day, players could see an eight-club difference from one hole to the next.

This will place a premium on solid ball striking and the ability to fight the ball low.

So, with that being said, let's take a look at a few players who should be favored this week.


Jason Dufner

Quietly, Dufner has been one of the most consistent players on tour this season.

He's already won two tournaments this year, and he always seems to be near the top of the leaderboard on the weekend.

He's also performed well at majors this season, making all three cuts. He finished in a tie for 24th at the Masters, a tie for second at the U.S. Open and tied for 31st at The Open Championship.

He's been in contention all season, and the PGA Championship could be the event in which he finally breaks through.

Dufner has a game perfectly tailored to the Ocean Course, He's a remarkably consistent ball striker, and has a piercing flight that will cut help cut through the wind.

Last year, he finished a disappointing second at the PGA, falling in a playoff to Keegan Bradley.

However, Dufner could very well alleviate those painful memories this week with a victory.


Luke Donald

He may be the No. 1 player in the world, but Donald has had his share of issues at majors over his career.

Actually, saying issues is being nice. He's been a terrible choker.

Donald has yet to win a major, despite all of his talent and numerous accomplishments on the PGA and European tour. And more often than not, he's not even close on Sundays to getting it done.

However, he seemed to have a bit of a turnaround at this year’s British. He finished in a tie for fifth there, and looked remarkably relaxed and balanced.

If he can keep that up mentally, Donald has an excellent shot at the PGA. He has beautiful iron game, and around the greens, there aren't many better.

Expect Donald to be in contention all the way until the back nine on Sunday.


Tiger Woods

Huge surprise here, right?

Woods is still the best player on the planet. He may have had his struggles over the last few years, but with three wins in 2012 so far, there's no doubt that Woods has his game back.

However, doubts still linger about his ability to break through at a major.

Woods has been at or near the top of the leaderboard on the weekend the two majors, but each time he’s faltered.

At the U.S. Open he was a combined eight shots over on Saturday and Sunday, and at the British, he failed to take advantage of a shaky field and finished third.

Still, Woods has displayed unbelievable mental toughness on numerous occasions during his run of dominance, and people don't just loose that edge.

When the lights get bright at the PGA, expect Woods to perform. And when the tournament concludes, he should be one step closer to catching Jack.