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PGA Championship 2011 Field: 10 Golfers Who May Surprise Us at Highlands Course

David LevinSenior Writer IIAugust 9, 2011

PGA Championship 2011 Field: 10 Golfers Who May Surprise Us at Highlands Course

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    We know who the best are. We know who we want to see in contention. We know the dream matchups we would like to see.

    Golf is one of the hot topics again in sports. While the Europeans have done their best to run away with the flag sticks and prove they are the best, the Americans will have something to say about it. Remember 12 of the top 21 finishes at the Open championship were by Americans and some could argue that the two top Americans, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, blew opportunities to take the Claret Jug home to the States.

    While the top players in the World Golf Rankings would appear to be in the thick of things this week, there are others to consider. There are always surprises in major events such as these where someone can come from nowhere and take home the title.

    If there are going to be golfers who are not among the favorites to contend, these names might just creep up on the leaderboard on Sunday morning, giving us all pause and hope for something spectacular.

Ryo Ishikawa

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    I love his game.

    Only 19 years old and he played so well at the Firestone this past weekend.

    So calm on the course and doesn't let the pressures of the media or the course get to him.

    He is maturing and could make some noise this weekend.

Keegan Bradley

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    For a while, we thought he could win at Bridgestone.

    Admittedly, I do not know a lot about him other than what I saw this weekend.

    He has three wins to his credit since he turned pro three years ago and his first on the PGA Tour was this year at the Byron Nelson Championship.

    After the strong play last week, I would look to him as a possible sleeper.

Bo Van Pelt

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    His best finish in the PGA is 17th in 2005.

    Van Pelt has two professional wins on his resume. Winning a major would boost his world ranking.

    Right now, he is 35th overall.

Paul Casey

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    He is ranking in the top 20 in the world. Still, not a lot of people talk about him as a contender for the major.

    He had a 12th place finish last year at the PGA and has been relatively quiet this year. All of his wins except for one have come on the European Tour.

    If he won here, he would be more known to the golf public.

Lucas Glover

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    He may look like the fifth member of the Wolfpack from The Hangover, but there is no denying Glover's game.

    He won the U.S. Open in 2009, so he is no stranger to the pressures of playing with the lead in a major tournament.

    The southern from Greenville, SC is not in the top 50 golfers in the world right now, so he could play some awe-inspiring golf without having the spotlight on him to begin the tournament.

    Definitely a sleeper.

Hunter Mahan

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    One of these days, he is going to break through.

    One of the young guns expected to take American golf to new heights in the next decade.

    With four professional wins he sure could boost his stature in the golf world with a win in Atlanta.

Fredrik Jacobson

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    Personally, I would like to see the Swedish-born star win here this weekend.

    Four professional wins and coming off a 16th place finish at the Open Championship.

    If he wins, he can be linked to the Europeans that are owning the majors as of late.

David Toms

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    Wouldn't it be great to see him break through with a major win this season?

    Thought he had The Player's Championship and lost it in a playoff to KJ Choi.

    Toms has had a good season of golf.

    Currently ranked 19th in the world, Toms has won once this season on the PGA Tour, but it marked the first time he has won on the tour since 2006.

    Toms has overcome injuries over the past four years and has a chance to make a splash here in Atlanta.

Sergio Garcia

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    Never count out the Spaniard.

    Garcia looked good at the U.S. Open and the Open Championship, finishing in the top 10 in both events.

    Garcia has finished twice at the PGA in 1999 and 2008.

Rickie Fowler

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    The golfing greats must be shuddering at his wardrobe.

    But clothes have nothing to do with strong play.

    Fowler finished second at Bridgestone. He could take the title this weekend.

    He tied for fifth overall at the Open Championship, so he on a roll of sorts and hopes the momentum can carry over to this week.

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