PGA Championship: Staff predictions

Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar

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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. - Will this be the week that Tiger Woods breaks his major-less drought?

Not according to our panel of experts.

As the 156-player field takes in practice rounds at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course in preparation for the 94th PGA Championship, our panel is divided three ways on who will take home the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.

All of our favorites have won on the PGA Tour this season.

Our top fantasy expert, Jim McCabe, is putting his money on Matt Kuchar, while Jeff Rude also expects "Kooch" to take home his first major title. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy and Jason Dufner picked up a pair of nods, while Luke Donald got some love from Nick Masuda, banking on Donald's short-game prowess on a course that will demand accuracy around the greens.

Whom do you think will win the title? Take a gander at our picks and then let us know below who you think will be celebrating in South Carolina on Sunday:

Staffer Favorite Sleeper
Babineau Rory McIlroy

Played nicely at Bridgestone, and is ready for his major wake-up call.

 

Jonathan Byrd

Southern gentleman makes a run at Glory's Last Shot. Good storyline.

Rude Matt Kuchar

A hunch and more. He's a top-10 machine. He lives in that part of the country. He won the Players. He seems like a PGA champion.

 

Jim Furyk

Kiawah Ocean Course might be too big of a ballpark for him, but clearly he's in form, given his contention in the U.S. Open and his stellar 71-hole performance last week at WGC Bridgestone.

 

McCabe Matt Kuchar

His last four major starts? T-9, T-27, T-3, T-19 . . . in other words, he hangs around. He drives it well, strikes it well, putts it well – and darn it, he looks so damn happy doing it. Imagine how happy he'll be when he wins a major?

 

Bo Van Pelt

Check out his track record at two Pete Dye courses that are annual PGA Tour stops – Harbour Town GL and the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Van Pelt either plays very well or misses the cut – or so it seems. Here's a guess that he plays well this week on this Dye course.

 

Miceli Rory McIlroy

Seems to be getting comfortable with his new fame. His game has progressed notably over the last month or so.

 

Robert Garrigus

Came close two weeks ago, why not closer this week? It's a perfect course for him.

 

Martin Jason Dufner

Looking for a little revenge after last year's PGA collapse. He's a different player than he was 12 months, though, having won twice this year. He's finished in the top 10 in five of his past seven starts, including a seventh-place showing at last week's WGC-Bridgestone.

 

Bud Cauley

Fourth in his past two starts, at the True South Classic and Canadian Open. Long hitter in a little package.

 

Ringler Jason Dufner

It's not the name that we are used to tossing out there for a major winner heading into the week, but why not? Dufner nearly won last year and his form is as good as just about anyone right now. Dufner has posted five top-10s in his last seven starts with a pair of victories.

 

Vijay Singh

Consecutive top 10s in the Open Championship and the RBC Canadian Open in his last two starts.

Masuda Luke Donald

For the first time all year (in a major), I am going in a Tiger-less direction, which probably means he'll win. But, Kiawah requires a solid short game, and Luke Donald is the best in the business. The World No. 1 finally breaks through for his first major win.

 

Nicolas Colsaerts

The guy can simply mash off the tee and he showed flashes of brilliance at the Open Championship with great book-end rounds. He could be this year's Keegan Bradley.

The field according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings:

  • 1. Lee Westwood
  • 2. Luke Donald
  • 3. Matt Kuchar
  • 4. Tiger Woods
  • 5. Steve Stricker
  • 6. Adam Scott
  • 7. Rory McIlroy
  • 8. Jason Dufner
  • 9. Sergio Garcia
  • 10. Hunter Mahan
  • 11. Francesco Molinari
  • 12. Jim Furyk
  • 14. Zach Johnson
  • 15. Webb Simpson
  • 16. Bubba Watson
  • 17. Phil Mickelson
  • 18. John Senden
  • 19. Bo Van Pelt
  • 20. Ian Poulter
  • 21. Peter Hanson
  • 22. Rickie Fowler
  • 23. Nick Watney
  • 24. Charl Schwartzel
  • 25. Marcel Siem
  • 26. Dustin Johnson
  • 27. Brandt Snedeker
  • 28. Fredrik Jacobson
  • 29. Ernie Els
  • 30. Louis Oosthuizen
  • 31. Keegan Bradley
  • 32. Carl Pettersson
  • 33. Nicolas Colsaerts
  • 34. Jason Day
  • 35. Padraig Harrington
  • 36. Martin Kaymer
  • 37. Geoff Ogilvy
  • 38. Graeme McDowell
  • 39. John Huh
  • 40. Jamie Donaldson
  • 41. Ryan Palmer
  • 42. Bud Cauley
  • 43. Paul Lawrie
  • 44. Greg Chalmers
  • 45. Bill Haas
  • 46. Brendon de Jonge
  • 47. Pat Perez
  • 48. Bryce Molder
  • 49. Charles Howell III
  • 50. Rafael Cabrera-Bello
  • 51. Seung-Yul Noh
  • 52. Ryan Moore
  • 53. Thomas Bjorn
  • 54. Brian Davis
  • 55. Joost Luiten
  • 56. Martin Laird
  • 57. Simon Dyson
  • 58. Matteo Manassero
  • 59. Vijay Singh
  • 60. Kevin Na
  • 61. Jonathan Byrd
  • 62. K.J. Choi
  • 63. Charlie Wi
  • 64. David Lynn
  • 65. Jimmy Walker
  • 66. Jeff Overton
  • 67. Marc Leishman
  • 68. Sean O'Hair
  • 70. Spencer Levin
  • 71. Pablo Larrazabal
  • 72. Cameron Tringale
  • 73. Ben Crane
  • 75. Alex Noren
  • 76. Robert Garrigus
  • 77. Scott Piercy
  • 78. Aaron Baddeley
  • 80. David Toms
  • 81. Ken Duke
  • 83. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
  • 85. Thongchai Jaidee
  • 86. Kyle Stanley
  • 87. Y.E. Yang
  • 88. Retief Goosen
  • 89. Gary Woodland
  • 94. Robert Karlsson
  • 97. George McNeill
  • 98. Trevor Immelman
  • 102. Sang Moon Bae
  • 103. Charley Hoffman
  • 104. Mark Wilson
  • 105. William McGirt
  • 110. George Coetzee
  • 112. Anders Hansen
  • 116. Blake Adams
  • 117. Johnson Wagner
  • 119. Brendan Jones
  • 120. Miguel Angel Jimenez
  • 122. John Rollins
  • 129. Robert Rock
  • 130. Marcus Fraser
  • 131. Justin Rose
  • 131. Jeev Milkha Singh
  • 132. Matt Every
  • 135. Toru Taniguchi
  • 136. Michael Thompson
  • 138. Hiroyuki Fujita
  • 140. Thomas Aiken
  • 146. Ben Curtis
  • 154. K.T. Kim
  • 164. Ryo Ishikawa
  • 166. John Daly
  • 170. Robert Allenby
  • 173. Davis Love III
  • 178. Tim Clark
  • 189. Chez Reavie
  • 192. Alvaro Quiros
  • 196. Rory Sabbatini
  • 197. Thorbjorn Olesen
  • 200. D.A. Points
  • 202. J.J. Henry
  • 202. J.J. Henry
  • 222. Ted Potter Jr.
  • 224. Branden Grace
  • 232. Stewart Cink
  • 335. Lucas Glover
  • 345. Tommy Gainey
  • 359. Michael Hoey
  • 390. Shaun Micheel
  • 393. Scott Stallings
  • 470. Paul Casey
  • 502. Jose Maria Olazabal
  • 528. Darren Clarke
  • 597. Rich Beem
  • 676. Angel Cabrera
  • 698. Mark Brown
  • N/R. Daniel Balin
  • N/R. Frank Bensel
  • N/R. Mark Brooks
  • N/R. Brian Cairns
  • N/R. Roger Chapman
  • N/R. Jeff Coston
  • N/R. Matt Dobyns
  • N/R. Michael Frye
  • N/R. Brian Gaffney
  • N/R. Marty Jertson
  • N/R. Darrell Kestner
  • N/R. Mitch Lowe
  • N/R. Kelly Mitchum
  • N/R. Alan Morin
  • N/R. Bill Murchison
  • N/R. Rod Perry
  • N/R. Corey Prugh
  • N/R. Paul Scaletta
  • N/R. Mike Small
  • N/R. Bob Sowards
  • N/R. Scott Verplank
  • N/R. Doug Wade
  • N/R. Bernd Wiesberger
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