PGA Championship 2012: Pairings and Predictions for Saturday

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PGA Championship 2012: Pairings and Predictions for Saturday
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Friday's second round of the 2012 PGA Championship brought with it the emergence of some big names to the top of the leaderboard, which will make for an exciting Moving Day at Kiawah Island.  

Day 2 of the year's final major was a windy one, as many golfers struggled with the conditions. The final golfer—Joost Luiten—couldn't even finish his round, which means Saturday's tee times won't come out until 7:30 a.m. ET, according to Golf World's Ryan Harrington

 

49-year-old Vijay Singh joins Tiger Woods and Thursday's standout Carl Pettersson in a three-way tie for first at four-under.

Big names like Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Trevor Immelman are all under par for the tournament and are in prime position to make a surge at the leaders. 

Take a look at the top pairings for Saturday's Moving Day and predictions for each of the top golfers in the hunt.

 

Tiger Woods (-4) and Vijay Singh (-4)

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Vijay Singh continued the trend of yesterday's best golfers emerging as major contenders—started late last month by Ernie Els—as Singh is tied atop the leaderboard at four-under. He climbed past 31 golfers in the standings Friday. 

Joining him in a tie for first place is Tiger Woods, who is keeping on with his stellar 2012 season and proving that he wants to end it the right way—with his first major championship since the well-documented public downfall. He shot a 71 Friday amid the subpar weather conditions and looks locked in.

 

Carl Pettersson (-4) and Ian Poulter (-3)

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Carl Pettersson, who shot a scintillating 66 on Day 1, rounds out the trio of golfers at four-under. However, he struggled mightily down the stretch Friday as the weather and pressure seemed to start weighing on the golfer. 

Ian Poulter shot somewhat better—a one-under score of 71—and hopes to win his first major after being in contention many times in his career. 

Poulter needed a strong showing at the PGA Championship to have any chance of making the European Ryder Cup team, and he looks poised to produce those results on Saturday.

 

Jamie Donaldson (-2) and Rory McIlroy (-2)

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Maybe it's just because of his status as a top golfer and a bit of overanalysis, but it seems like forever since Rory McIlroy was last in contention after two days of a major. 

McIlroy's poor year of golf has a chance to quickly disappear if he can win the second major of his career at Kiawah Island. If he's going to do so, though, he needs to quickly forget about the three-over score of 75 that he posted Friday. 

Jamie Donaldson probably didn't expect to rise as highly as he did on the leaderboard, but that's just what the windy conditions did to the field on Friday. His one-over 73 was good enough to keep him just two strokes back of the lead. 

 

Predictions

We can split hairs at the notion of whether Tiger is 'back' to his old dominance or not, but he's proven this year that he's currently the most consistent golfer in the world. That's plenty enough to convince me.

Anything is possible with Singh, but it's hard to bank on him staying at the top of the pack at his age. Pettersson showed all the signs of collapsing late Friday, and suggesting that he's still in the hunt is tough despite being tied for the lead.

I envision Tiger staying at, or near, the lead throughout Saturday while Poulter, McIlroy and Graeme McDowell (E) nestle in around him for what should be an exciting final round. 

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