The 2014 PGA Championship will have no shortage of tantalizing storylines as the top golfers in the world descend upon Louisville, Kentucky, to play in the year's final major.
Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia are primed to continue their burgeoning rivalry in this event, while Adam Scott will surely be anxious to battle back and regain his world No. 1 ranking after McIlroy usurped him in the standings with a win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Rickie Fowler is a good bet to switch into the Terminator mode that allows him to play so well at majors at the expense of consistent performances in other tournaments.
Majors offer good opportunities for big names to polish up and refine their legacies, but a number of golfers who aren't getting much press heading into the tournament could still find immortality at Valhalla Golf Club.
Here are the latest odds and a primer on some of the overlooked golfers ready to take on the stars at this year's final major.
|2014 PGA Championship Odds|
Odds courtesy of Vegas Insider and updated as of Monday, August 4.
Jim Furyk's strong performances as of late and his second-place finish at this event last year—albeit on a different course—bode well for his chances at the PGA Championship in 2014.
Furyk will have to shake off a recent disappointment at the RBC Canadian Open, where he blew a three-shot lead on the final day and ended up finishing in second place behind South Africa's Tim Clark.
|Jim Furyk Top Finishes 2014 Season, Scorecards|
|Tournament||Finish||Score||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4|
|Wells Fargo Championship||2||-13||72||69||69||65|
|The Players Championship||2||-12||70||68||72||66|
|The Open Championship||4||-13||68||71||71||65|
|RBC Canadian Open||2||-16||67||63||65||69|
Consistency has been key to the 44-year-old's recent success; Furyk is sixth in the FedEx Cup standings and has yet to miss a cut in the 2014 season. Look for him near the top of the leaderboard throughout the weekend, if not at the pinnacle.
Marc Leishman has been playing arguably the best golf of his career heading into the PGA Championship and could very well be peaking at just the right time.
As CBSSports.com's Kyle Porter noted, Leishman is often overshadowed by a couple of his countrymen: "The 'not talked about at all because Jason Day and Adam Scott are also Australian' Australian. Leishman has been mammoth of late and like Walker is a birdie fiesta waiting to happen. He'll be a long shot to be low Australian and one you should hit."
Leishman's confidence is soaring heading into the tournament. He boasts top-10 finishes in three of his last four events, including a third-place finish at the Bridgestone Invitational, a perfect warm-up heading into the PGA Championship.
Leishman recently spoke of his ambitions to improve his stock on tour.
"I am feeling good about my game. It is the first time I am in the top 50 and I feel like I am good enough to be in there and I have to try to sneak up higher and higher," Leishman said, per a report from the Australian Associated Press, via ABC Grandstand Sport.
If Leishman is to make big strides at Valhalla, he will have to improve his driving accuracy, which stands at a paltry 58.26 percent, per PGATour.com.
Keegan Bradley is a relatively young golfer who is often overlooked heading into major tournaments. He burst onto the scene with a win at the PGA Championship in 2011 but hasn't come close to winning the event since. He hasn't fared well in golf's other majors, although he did place fourth at The Open Championship this year.
Bradley is also on a run of strong recent performances in lesser tournaments; he tied for fourth at the Bridgestone Invitational and the Greenbrier Classic.
He also has plenty of motivation beyond winning a major championship. Bradley is looking to make the Ryder Cup team, and a strong showing here would definitely boost his chances of making the team.
"I know I’ve got to play good golf the next two weeks,” Bradley said via Doug Ferguson of The Associated Press. “There’s plenty of points available to make the team. My plan is to make the team on my own. The best thing I can do is play good rounds."
The 28-year-old has the potential cement his status as one of golf's better young stars alongside McIlroy and Fowler. This weekend at Valhalla would be an excellent time for him to prove his victory at this tournament three years ago was no fluke.
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