This year, when it comes to the Majors, no lead is safe.
Ask Adam Scott or Jim Furyk about that.
Going into the year’s last major, the PGA Championship, it should be noted that Kiawah Island, which might be bunker-free, has a treacherous back nine heavily affected by the wind. (See: Ryder Cup 1991).
Here are five players that are trending under-the-radar, but could be contenders for “Glory’s Last Shot.”
Harrington is the last player to win two Majors in the same year—The Open and PGA Championship in 2007.
For a time the Irishman was the leading European player at the PGA before faltering in 2010 and missing the cut at three Majors.
This year Harrington has fared much better coming in T8 at the Masters and T4 at the U.S. Open, his closest bid at a major since 2008.
His swing and confidence are back, so don’t be surprised if Harrington makes a late charge at Kiawah.
Huh has been on the PGA tour for less than a year but already has a tour title to his name.
In only his fifth Tour event, he won the Mayakoba Golf Classic in an eight-hole playoff with Robert Allenby.
Huh cracked the top 100 of the Official Golf Ranking earlier this year after great showings at the Valero Texas Open, the Crowne Plaza Invitational and the Farmers Insurance Open.
His only appearance in a Major to date came at The Open last month, where he failed to make the cut.
Huh’s drive and accuracy has initiated his recent success, which is why he shouldn’t be discounted at the PGA Championship.
Australian John Senden is currently ranked 39th in the FedEx Cup after finishing fourth in the John Deere Classic and T10 in the U.S. Open.
Senden is by no means an unknown, but his only PGA Tour victory came way back in 2006 at the John Deere.
Senden is consistently hitting greens in regulation—a major reason he has emerged as a leaderboard contender this season—and that accuracy will serve him well at Kiawah Island.
It’s hardly fair to call Stricker under-the-radar; he’s won the PGA Comeback Player of the Year two years in a row (2006, 2007).
And only last week at the Bridgestone Invitational, Stricker confirmed his game was in good order, finishing tied-second, one stroke behind Keegan Bradley.
Stricker is mounting a charge to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team, where he’s currently ranked 10th in the standings.
He’s a great putter, and will take a lot of the momentum he’s garnered this year to South Carolina.
It’s been a disappointing few years for Garcia.
After coming tantalizingly close to Major victories at The Open in 2007 and the PGA Championship in 2008, Garcia entered a slump, to say the least.
Garcia debuted with a new putting grip in 2010 but maintained his excellent ball-striking ability.
This year he finished T12 at the Masters, but failed to make the cut at The Open at Lytham St. Annes.
Garcia has always had critics knock him for making excuses, taking a Major now would be an unexpected turn towards a career resurgence.