PGA Championship 2012: Favorites Who Will Make Leaderboard Charge

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIAugust 10, 2012

KIAWAH ISLAND, SC - AUGUST 09: Tiger Woods of the United States hits a shot on the ninth hole during Round One of the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on August 9, 2012 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The last major of this golf season, the PGA Championship, teed off August 9, and several tournament favorites are ready to make a Day 2 charge at the leaderboard. Here are three big names you need to keep your eye on as the tournament continues August 10:


Tiger Woods

Woods is obviously the biggest of the big names playing on the South Carolina course and considering his performance in three of his last four tournaments, he should challenge for the top spot in this one. 

Woods won the AT&T National tournament and finished in the top-10 of the British and Bridgestone Open in recent months. While he found himself floating around the 8-11th place rankings through much of the first day, Woods showed flashes of brilliance and put together an overall solid performance.

The 16-year professional has won this tournament four times in his career and as recently as 2007. Woods is going to be closer to the top three than bottom three spots of the top-10 rankings through Day 2 and beyond.


Rory McIlroy

McIlroy has also seen a mild amount of success recently on the tour, with two top-10 finishes in the past four tournaments. While the British and U.S. Open were not kind to the Northern Ireland-native, he did finish fifth and seventh at the Bridgestone Invitational and FedEx ST. Jude Classic respectively.

Confidence would probably be running higher for McIlroy if he had top-10 finishes at the Opens instead of the other tournaments, but he's been doing alright so far in South Carolina regardless.

The 23-year-old was in a battle with five other golfers for the second place spot the entirety of Day 1. That shows there will obviously be some stiff competition from all involved in that Day 1 battle, and it should give McIlroy fans a good feeling about this major.

He shot a 67 on August 9 with four birdies and, perhaps more importantly, no bogeys on the day. It was a strong start out of the gates by McIlroy, and he's shown no signs of slowing down.


Louis Oosthuizen

Oosthuizen may be the the least well-known out of these three golfers, but he did have an impressive first 11 holes played on Day 1. He finished his day tied for No. 20 on the leaderboard, but there's reason to believe he can get back into the hunt on Day 2.

The talented South African had five birdies through his first eight holes. It was holes 11-18 where he would see a drought in birdies and a rise in bogeys that ultimately led to his not-so-great finish on the first day.

Oosthuizen is the 2012 Masters Tournament runner-up and finished fourth at the Bridgestone Invitational, so it's not like he's been making a habit of finishing 20th.

He's had trouble making the cut at times during 2012 and over the years at the PGA Championship, but his early start on Day 1 showed this could be the year Oosthuizen finishes within the top-10 at this major.