2012 PGA Championship: Five Picks for Kiawah Island's Ocean Course
Keegan Bradley defined the term "sleeper pick" 12 months ago when he won the 2011 PGA Championship on what was his "major" debut.
A similar shock would be incredible in 2012. As such, here are five players with varying levels of expectations according to bookmakers who are capable of making their presence felt at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course this week.
All odds quoted are taken from Betting Directory
Padraig Harrington: 45/1
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Harrington is showing more than just glimpses that he is getting back to his best form. He is also one player who will relish the conditions at the Ocean Course. He has already proven himself on the links here when winning the 1997 World Cup of Golf.
The Irishman has been a regular top-20 finisher on tour this year and has moved back into the top 60 in the world. He won the PGA Championship in 2008 and has a great chance of doing so again in 2012.
Dustin Johnson: 33/1
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Dustin Johnson has been knocking on the door of a major championship win for the past few years and has enjoyed five top-10 finishes, including two in this event.
His game is clearly suited to links golf. That was apparent when he tied for second at the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George's, a course that can play as difficult as the Ocean Course.
It would be no surprise to see him flirting with the leading group on the final day with a chance of ending his major championship drought.
Graeme McDowell: 40/1
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The 2010 U.S. Open champion, Graeme McDowell, has been prominent in all three major championships so far this year. He had his best finish in the Masters when tied for 12th. He tied for second in the US Open in June and finished fifth at the Open Championship last month.
McDowell will head to South Carolina supremely confident and buoyed by the fact that players from outside the States have accounted for three of the past four winners of this competition.
Martin Laird: 125/1
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Martin Laird has struggled with his form in major championships, but there is little doubt that he has the game to match any of those at the top. He could be this year’s "sleeper pick" for the PGA Championship.
This tournament often throws up a surprise winner. Bradley was a fine example 12 months ago and Laird has been playing well enough to be among the front-runners this week.
He certainly seemed to be rediscovering his best form at the WGC Bridgestone last week. Although he only tied for 29th, he played a lot better than that. His tie for second at the Players Championship is proof enough that the Scotsman has the temperament to win a major.
Scott Piercy: 125/1
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Scott Piercy recently won the Canadian Open and followed that with a creditable tie for 19th place in last week’s WGC Bridgestone. He has two wins in the last two years on tour and finished in a tie for 26th in this tournament 12 months ago.
His third place in the John Deere Classic a few weeks ago confirms that he is in good enough form to be very competitive this week. Provided he gets off to a solid start, he is another golfer who could be prominently featured.