With the 2012 PGA Championship approaching fast, the talk about which international stars will be able to tame the tough South Carolina Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is everywhere.
Who will finish highest?
Some of the biggest stars in the sport are from outside the United States, but how they handle a course that has never held a major will be interesting. Odds are that many of the sport’s biggest international names have never even played on this course.
Despite the disadvantage coming into the PGA Championship, all of the following stars will keep their composure and be there in contention for a win on Sunday.
While Irish sensation Rory McIlroy’s 2012 hasn’t been close to what he imagined after bursting onto the mainstream scene in 2011, his two top-three finishes in his last three PGA Championships means he knows how to turn it on for the biggest of matches.
A win in South Carolina would salvage what has been an awful season of golf for McIlroy.
The hope is the fresh slate at Kiawah Island will give the young man less expectations and allow him to just play his brand of golf. If Rory can keep his focus through all four days, he will be there when it counts most.
Predicted Finish: Fifth
After posting a terrible weekend score that dropped him to 45th in the 2012 British Open, English star Lee Westwood is looking to get to foreign soil where he does much better.
In his two previous majors in 2012—The Masters and the US Open—Westwood finished in third and 10th respectively. He will look to bring that same magic to the Ocean Course and the PGA Championship.
Westwood has a history of doing well at this event in recent years as well, finishing in third in 2009 and eighth last year.
All the planets are aligning for a huge comeback performance, but he will come up just short.
Predicted Finish: Eighth
Another English star to watch this week at the PGA Championship will be World’s No. 1 golfer Luke Donald. With a title that prestigious, how could you not keep an eye on this star!
While Donald has yet to win a major, his consistent play has put him in the right place to score enough points to keep him atop the standings. This week in South Carolina feels about the same.
Donald is red hot, though, finishing in eighth in the PGA Championship last year and coming off a fifth place finish at the British Open. Whether he can put it all together for a major win is still something he has yet to prove he can do.
Predicted Finish: 14th
Where: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, S.C.
When: Thursday, August 9 through Sunday, August 12
Watch: TNT and CBS
Live Stream: PGA Championship LIVE
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