US PGA Championship: Five to watch in the year’s second Major
Philip Reid marks his card as the world’s best head for South Carolina and Kiawah Island
Rory McIlroy raises his putter as he walks off the 18th green after winning the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Tannen Maury/EPA
World ranking: 7
Form guide: 10-MC-28-MC-1
Almost like a perfect storm coming together in a good way, McIlroy heads into the championship - where he was a runaway winner in 2012 - with a win at the Wells Fargo in his last outing (his third career success at Quail Hollow). We know McIlroy wins on courses he likes, and we know McIlroy can get streaky when he gets the winning habit, so he is very much the man to beat. His odds, however, have dramatically halved since ending that 18-month winning drought.
World ranking: 22
Form guide: MC-2-54-18-29
It’s only a matter of time before the 24-year-old American claims a breakthrough win on the main tour. Certainly, Scheffler has all of the attributes associated with a potential Major champion - long off the tee (15th in strokes gained off the tee on the PGA Tour this season) - although there can be a question mark over his putting at times. Scheffler (a two-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019) has three top-10s so far this season and would become the first player to make his first main tour win a Major since Ben Curtis’s British Open win in 2003.
World ranking: 29
Form guide: 25-18-40-8-18
The 22-year-old Chilean is arguably the most consistent player on the PGA Tour, having made 18 straight cuts dating back to his last missed weekend at the Northern Trust last August. His only PGA Tour success came in the Greenbrier in 2019 but he has been knocking on the door again (three top-10s in 10 appearances this season) and is due another win.
World ranking: 44
Form guide: MC-MC-MC-39-1
Another of the young guns who has made a quick transition to life on the main circuit, the 24-year-old American has a strong all-round game. He averages over 300 yards in driving distance and seventh in birdie averages on the PGA Tour this season. There is a question mark on his scrambling but, as he showed in his win at the Valspar, when all components click he can close the deal.
World ranking: 47
Form guide: 36-42-21-9-65
Lowry has settled into family life in the United States and this is reflected in consistent performances week-in and week-out with the only missing ingredient being another win, which has eluded him since capturing the Claret Jug in 2019. He has two top-10s on Pete Dye-designed courses already this year (eighth at the Players in Sawgrass and ninth in the Heritage at Hilton head). He is trending in the right direction.