It’s Wednesday and it’s that time I attempt to win the lottery by guessing who’s going to win the PGA Championship. This week I feel good as I think I’ve come up with an exceptionally unique method to determine the winner.
If you want to get a preview of the course in a new not so boring way, pop in that “Legend of Bagger Vance” DVD and take a moment to realize it was shot at the Ocean Course … and to also realize where I’m coming from.
Now, for the picks.
The best news for my No. 1 pick this week is that he can ground his club in the bunkers with impunity. That’s why I’m going with Dustin Johnson as I’m assuming he read the “NO BUNKERS” sign this year. I suppose if he didn’t, it wouldn’t matter anyway.
Winner: Johnson has had one of those ‘ho-hum’ kind of seasons and by ‘ho-hum’ I mean he’s finished in the top 25 in half of his 14 starts. He’s rolling into Kiawah with a T-9 finish at The Open Championship and also a solid showing last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a T-19.
The Ocean Course is intimidating like most Pete Dye tracks are and it’s going to play a little long this week which favors into DJ’s distance, not to also mention his local knowledge. Having played his collegiate career at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, he’s familiar with the conditions, and I think it’s about time he got a little redemption for Whistling Straights. Local favorite, I think so.
Contender: Steve Stricker, because the Legend of Bagger Vance must live on somehow. Do I need to remind anyone who Rannulph Junuh was aside from that fact he was Matt Damon? He was the player that lost his game only to find it again over time and for it to all come together at the Invitational. Yes, I know this was a made-up story but, still, anybody who’s ever watched that movie believes in the legend just a little bit.
Stricker is my Junuh of the PGA Championship. However, I don’t think the PGA Championship will end in the 3-way tie, which is exactly why he’s my contender this week. Hopefully the legend is somewhat untrue and Johnson doesn’t take another stroke penalty on the last due to his ball moving in the woods like Junuh did to give Stricker the win, because then I’ll just be mad at how this post all turned out.
Dark Horse: It’s kind of laughable that I consider Padraig Harrington a dark horse but, at 40-to-1, he’s not a bad bet. Paddy has been dialed in at the majors this year: T-8 at the Masters, T-4 at the U.S. Open and T-39 in the British. Not to mention he’s won here before. Who cares if it was in 1997 or that it was the World Cup of Golf? He has good vibes at Kiawah!
Bunker factor: there are a lot and Paddy is 13th in sand saves this year. It’s been too long since his 2008 win at the PGA Championship.
If the PGA does come down to a three-way tie and they can’t finish due to rain, well just remember who reminded you of the legend because crazier things have happened this year on Sunday!