93rd PGA: A look at 20 top contenders

David Toms won the 2001 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.

David Toms won the 2001 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.

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PosNameTodayThruScore
1K.J. Choi-4F-5
2Robert Allenby-25-4
T3Scott Langley+2F-3
T3Luke Donald-2F-3
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A capsule look at 20 players who could contend in the PGA Championship, to be played Aug. 11-14 at Atlanta Athletic Club:

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Lee Westwood

LEE WESTWOOD

Age: 38.

Country: England.

World ranking: 2.

Worldwide wins: 34.

Best 2011 performance: Wins at Ballantines Championship, Indonesian Masters

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T11, US Open-T3, British Open-Cut.

Backspin: The last player to shed label as "best to have never won a major" at the PGA Championship was Davis Love III in 1997 at Winged Foot. Westwood has been in contention far too often at majors not to get it done. Plus, a win gives agent Chubby Chandler the Grand Slam.

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Steve Stricker

STEVE STRICKER

Age: 44.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 4.

Worldwide wins: 11.

Best 2011 performance: Wins at Memorial, John Deere Classic.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T11, US Open-T19, British Open-T12.

Backspin: Has done everything he could have imagined in his career except winning a major. His window is starting to close, but five wins in the last two years show that he still has time.

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Tiger Woods

TIGER WOODS

Age: 35.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 28.

Worldwide wins: 82.

Best 2011 performance: T4 at the Masters.

Majors: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005), U.S. Open (2000, 2002, 2008), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006), PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007).

2011 majors: Masters-T4, US Open-DNP, British Open-DNP.

Backspin: Hard to picture him having a chance to win since he only just returns from a three-month break. He can catch Nicklaus — not in majors, but with a fifth Wanamaker Trophy.

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Luke Donald

LUKE DONALD

Age: 33.

Country: England.

World ranking: 1.

Worldwide wins: 8.

Best 2011 performance: Wins at Match Play Championship, BMW PGA Championship, Scottish Open.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T4, US Open-T45, British Open-Cut.

Backspin: No one has ever won Europe's PGA Championship and America's PGA Championship in the same year. Doesn't need to win a major to prove why he's No. 1, but it certainly would cut back on the chatter.

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Phil Mickelson

PHIL MICKELSON

Age: 41.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 6.

Worldwide wins: 41.

Best 2011 performance: Win at the Houston Open.

Majors: Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), PGA Championship (2005).

2011 majors: Masters-T27, US Open-T54, British Open-T2.

Backspin: He used to be unpredictable before a shot. Now he's hard to figure out before the tournament even starts. Showed at the British Open that his game is capable of showing up without warning. Has second-lowest score in major championship history at Atlanta Athletic Club.

•••

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Martin Kaymer

MARTIN KAYMER

Age: 26.

Country: Germany.

World ranking: 3.

Worldwide wins: 9.

Best 2011 performance: 8-shot win at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Majors: PGA Championship (2010).

2011 majors: Masters-Cut, US Open-T39, British Open-T12.

Backspin: Can join Tiger Woods as the only players to repeat at PGA Championship in stroke play. Only two top-10s in stroke play since he won Abu Dhabi to start the season.

•••

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Dustin Johnson

DUSTIN JOHNSON

Age: 27.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 7.

Worldwide wins: 4.

Best 2011 performance: Runner-up at World Golf Championship at Doral and British Open.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T38, US Open-T23, British Open-T2.

Backspin: Surprising that he has not won yet this year. Has shown the ability to bounce back from major failures, but they're starting to pile up.

•••

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Adam Scott

ADAM SCOTT

Age: 31.

Country: Australia.

World ranking: 17.

Worldwide wins: 17.

Best 2011 performance: Win at Bridgestone Invitational.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T2, US Open-Cut, British Open-T25.

Backspin: The long putter is making him a factor again, at least temporarily. Trying to win his first major. His caddie is trying to win his 14th major.

•••

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Nick Watney

NICK WATNEY

Age: 30.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 9.

Worldwide wins: 4.

Best 2011 performance: Wins at World Golf Championship at Doral, AT&T National.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-46, US Open-Cut, British Open-Cut

Backspin: Having the kind of year that makes him an elite player — except the majors, which define great players.

•••

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K.J. Choi

K.J. CHOI

Age: 41.

Country: South Korea.

World ranking: 13.

Worldwide wins: 16.

Best 2011 performance: Won The Players Championship.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T8, US Open-Cut, British Open-T44.

Backspin: Only three players have won a major after winning The Players Championship — Jack Nicklaus (1978), Hal Sutton (1983) and Tiger Woods (2001).

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Bubba Watson

BUBBA WATSON

Age: 32.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 14.

Worldwide wins: 3.

Best 2011 performance: Wins at Torrey Pines and New Orleans.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T38, US Open-T63, British Open-T30.

Backspin: Talked himself out of the British Open before it started. A rare major held in the South should only help him build off last year's playoff loss in PGA.

•••

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Darren Clarke

DARREN CLARKE

Age: 42.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 31.

Worldwide wins: 18.

Best 2011 performance: Winning the British Open.

Majors: British Open (2011).

2011 majors: Masters-DNP, US Open-DNP, British Open-Win.

Backspin: Just like Tiger Woods, will be playing on his second major this year. Players who win a major tend to do well in them the rest of the year.

•••

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David Toms

DAVID TOMS

Age: 44.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 26.

Worldwide wins: 13.

Best 2011 performance: Winning at Colonial.

Majors: PGA Championship (2001).

2011 majors: Masters-T24, US Open-Cut, British Open-DNP.

Backspin: Won the last PGA at Atlanta Athletic Club. Tiger Woods is the only player to win the PGA twice on the same course (Medinah).

•••

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Rory McIlroy

RORY MCILROY

Age: 22.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 5.

Worldwide wins: 3.

Best 2011 performance: Winning the U.S. Open.

Majors: U.S. Open (2011).

2011 majors: Masters-T15, US Open-Win, British Open-T25.

Backspin: Back on home soil, so to speak. Said at the British Open that he prefers sunny, calm conditions in the 80s. Might be closer to 90 in Atlanta.

•••

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Charl Schwartzel

CHARL SCHWARTZEL

Age: 26.

Country: South Africa.

World ranking: 10.

Worldwide wins: 7.

Best 2011 performance: Winning the Masters.

Majors: Masters (2011).

2011 majors: Masters-Win, US Open-T9, British Open-T16.

Backspin: Last player to win the Masters and PGA Championship in the same year was Jack Nicklaus in 1975.

•••

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Gary Woodland

GARY WOODLAND

Age: 27.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 36.

Worldwide wins: 1.

Best 2011 performance: Winning the Transitions Championship.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T24, US Open-T23, British Open-T30.

Backspin: A great talent who is still learning. First year playing all four majors and getting the hang of it quickly.

•••

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Jason Day

JASON DAY

Age: 23.

Country: Australia.

World ranking: 8.

Worldwide wins: 1.

Best 2011 performance: Runner-up at the Masters (by a little) and the U.S. Open (by a lot).

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T2, US Open-2, British Open-T30.

Backspin: An explosive talent who looked like he was ready in the spring. Has played only twice the last two months.

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Matt Kuchar

MATT KUCHAR

Age: 33.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 11.

Worldwide wins: 3.

Best 2011 performance: Runner-up at the Memorial.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T27, US Open-T14, British Open-Cut.

Backspin: A steady, consistent player who doesn't win enough. Was in the lead at PGA last year.

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Rickie Fowler

RICKIE FOWLER

Age: 22.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 47.

Worldwide wins: None.

Best 2011 performance: Tied for fifth at the British Open.

Majors: None.

2011 majors: Masters-T38, US Open-Cut, British Open-T5.

Backspin: Game might be better suited for links and wind. Has enough flair about him that when he finally gets a win, it could be a big one.

•••

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John Daly

JOHN DALY

Age: 45.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 600.

Worldwide wins: 9.

Best 2011 performance: A tie for ninth at the Canadian Open.

Majors: PGA Championship (1991).

2011 majors: Masters-DNP, US Open-DNP, British Open-Cut.

Backspin: All it takes is one weekend in contention to think of the impossible, which is what Daly is all about. It's been 20 years since he won the PGA Championship as the ninth alternate.

•••

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