Rose, Scott, Tiger top player-by-player outlooks

Justin Rose after his 2013 U.S. Open win at Merion Golf Club.

A capsule look at 20 players expected to contend in the PGA Championship Aug. 8-11 at Oak Hill Country Club (players listed in predicted order of finish):

• • •

THE BIG FIVE

(The three major champions, the defending PGA champion and Tiger Woods)

JUSTIN ROSE

AGE: 33.

COUNTRY: England.

WORLD RANKING: 4.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 11.

2013 WINS: U.S. Open.

MAJORS: U.S. Open (2013).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T25, US Open-1, British Open-Cut.

PGA MOMENT: Has missed the cut five out of 10 times at the final major.

BACKSPIN: Rose can join some ultra-exclusive company with a win at the PGA Championship. Tiger Woods (2000), Jack Nicklaus (1980), Ben Hogan (1948) and Gene Sarazen (1922) are the only other players to win the U.S. Open and the PGA in the same season. They all went on to capture the career Grand Slam. Rose only has one leg of the slam after his win at Merion. His missed cut at the British Open was troubling. His swing at a U.S. Open-like course makes him a favorite.

• • •

ADAM SCOTT

AGE: 33.

COUNTRY: Australia.

WORLD RANKING: 5.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 20.

2013 WINS: Masters.

MAJORS: Masters (2013).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-1, US Open-T45, British Open-T3.

PGA MOMENT: Tied for third at Medinah in 2006, even though he was six shots behind Tiger Woods.

BACKSPIN: Mike Weir was the Masters champion and made a spirited run at the PGA title when it was played at Oak Hill in 2003. Scott had the lead at the British Open with six holes to play until he made four straight bogeys to fall back. Don't read anything into that, for it doesn't take much to get going the wrong way at Muirfield, especially under the stress of trying to catch up. A win at the PGA could move him to No. 2 in the world.

• • •

TIGER WOODS

AGE: 37.

COUNTRY: United States.

WORLD RANKING: 1.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 90.

2013 WINS: Farmers Insurance Open, Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Players Championship.

MAJORS: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005), US Open (2000, 2002, 2008), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006), PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T4, US Open-T32, British Open-T6.

PGA MOMENT: Becoming the first player to win back-to-back after the PGA Championship switched to stroke play in 1958.

BACKSPIN: This is looking more and more like an empty year in the majors for Woods, which would mean seven months of analysis until the Masters. Why wait? Some will argue it's his putting on the weekend. Others point toward distance control. Jack Nicklaus suggested that maybe the major champions this year played better. That would be one thing out of Woods' control. Not to be forgotten are his four wins this year, and his No. 1 ranking. Yes, he's still capable of winning any major on any course.

• • •

RORY MCILROY

AGE: 24.

COUNTRY: Northern Ireland.

WORLD RANKING: 3.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 10.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: US Open (2011), PGA Championship (2012).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T25, US Open-T41, British Open-Cut.

PGA MOMENT: Breaking the PGA record for margin of victory (8 shots) last year at Kiawah.

BACKSPIN: This is where it all turned around last year for McIlroy. The difference is he was not as far away as he is now. McIlroy started the year with a missed cut in Abu Dhabi, an early exit from Match Play and a WD from the Honda Classic with sore wisdom teeth. He still hasn't had his wisdom teeth removed. He still doesn't have a win this year, shocking for a guy who started at No. 1. A win allows him to join Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus as the only players in the last 50 years to win a major in three straight seasons.

• • •

PHIL MICKELSON

AGE: 43.

COUNTRY: United States.

WORLD RANKING: 2.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 44.

2013 WINS: Phoenix Open, British Open.

MAJORS: Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), British Open (2013), PGA Championship (2005).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T54, US Open-T2, British Open-1.

PGA MOMENT: Tapping the Nicklaus plaque with his 3-wood and hitting a shot to easy up-and-down range for birdie on the 18th hole to win by a shot in 2005 at Baltusrol.

BACKSPIN: Mickelson's win at Muirfield makes him one of the greatest players in golf history, even if he never wins a U.S. Open. But he has never been No. 1 in the world, nor has he ever been voted PGA Tour player of the year. If he wins at Oak Hill, he's a slam dunk for player of the year no matter what Woods does in the FedEx Cup. Still, is any other top player more unpredictable?

• • •

LAST CHANCE

(Five best players to have never won a major)

LEE WESTWOOD

AGE: 40.

COUNTRY: England.

WORLD RANKING: 10.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 38.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T8, US Open-T15, British Open-T3.

PGA MOMENT: Having to miss the 2010 PGA Championship because of a leg injury.

BACKSPIN: Westwood missed his best chance yet to win a major by failing to hold a two-shot lead at Muirfield last month. Perhaps more troublesome is that he now has gone 30 tournaments since his last win at the Scandinavian Masters. The question is whether his tie for third in the British Open drained him or gave him renewed hope that he can win a major. The last player to win his first major in his 40s? His best mate, Darren Clarke, in the British Open two years ago.

• • •

LUKE DONALD

AGE: 35.

COUNTRY: England.

WORLD RANKING: 9.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 12.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T25, US Open-T8, British Open-Cut.

PGA MOMENT: Playing in the last group — and wearing a red shirt — with Tiger Woods at Medinah in 2006, and closing with a 74 to tie for third.

BACKSPIN: Donald is best defined by the tale of two Opens this year. He was within two shots of the lead going into the final round of the U.S. Open, played with eventual champion Justin Rose and shot 75 to tie for eighth. He missed the cut at Muirfield. Expect a reasonable chance to bounce back at Oak Hill. He tied for 23rd in the '03 PGA Championship when he was known primarily for his art degree from Northwestern and painting as a hobby.

• • •

STEVE STRICKER

AGE: 46.

COUNTRY: United States.

WORLD RANKING: 11.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 12.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T20, US Open-T8, British Open-DNP.

PGA MOMENT: Finishing runner-up to Vijay Singh at Sahalee in 1998, right before his first child was born. Yes, he cried that day.

BACKSPIN: His most recent chance to win a major ended at Merion when he blocked a tee shot out-of-bounds on the second hole of the U.S. Open. Stricker is cut out for the PGA Championship — a runner-up in '98, an opening 63 in '11 — but it's been nearly two months since he played in a major. If he challenges at all at Firestone, his chances at a major only improve. He would have a chance to become the oldest first-time winner of a major.

• • •

HUNTER MAHAN

AGE: 31.

COUNTRY: United States.

WORLD RANKING: 22.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 5.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-Cut, US Open-T4, British Open-T9.

PGA MOMENT: Missed the cut at Kiawah Island last year that cost him a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

BACKSPIN: He will be a crowd favorite at Oak Hill for leaving a tournament (Canadian Open) with a two-shot lead going into the weekend upon hearing his wife had gone into labor. He made it home to Dallas in time for his daughter's birth. Mahan also goes to the PGA Championship with a chance to become the first player since Tiger Woods to be in the final group of three straight majors. The difference is Woods won them. Mahan has gone 38 tournaments since his last win anywhere in the world.

• • •

SERGIO GARCIA

AGE: 33.

COUNTRY: Spain.

WORLD RANKING: 16.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 23.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T8, US Open-T45, British Open-T21.

PGA MOMENT: Hitting that 6-iron out of the base of a tree at Medinah as a 19-year-old in 1999 and finishing runner-up to Tiger Woods. He was much happier then.

BACKSPIN: This should have been a year when Garcia gave himself great chances to take his place among the major champions. Instead, he made a major boo-boo by whining about Tiger Woods on television, and using a racial inference to try to make fun of Woods at a high-brow dinner in London. The apology was sincere, though it was clear at the next two majors that he had lost another level of joy. The game is fine. Garcia needs to regain the edge.

• • •

CIRCLING THE BASES

(Players looking to add another leg to the career Grand Slam)

ERNIE ELS

AGE: 43.

COUNTRY: South Africa.

WORLD RANKING: 14.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 66.

2013 WINS: BMW International Open.

MAJORS: US Open (1994, 1997), British Open (2002, 2012).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T13, US Open-T4, British Open-T26.

PGA MOMENT: Losing a 54-hole lead at Riviera in 1995, a major that was his to win.

BACKSPIN: This might be the major that has kept the Big Easy from winning more than four. He was in control at Riviera in 1995 when he played cautiously and failed to win. Otherwise, he would have had two majors before Tiger Woods turned pro, and who knows how that might have shaped him. Els showed at Merion that his game is still suited for the toughest conditions. Imagine him winning the PGA, and then going to Augusta National needing a green jacket for the career Grand Slam. That place has been vexing to him with only two legs of the Grand Slam, let alone three.

• • •

ANGEL CABRERA

AGE: 43.

COUNTRY: Argentina.

WORLD RANKING: 43.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 41.

2013 WINS: Central Open in Argentina.

MAJORS: Masters (2009), US Open (2007).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-2, US Open-Cut, British Open-T11.

PGA MOMENT: The only major where he has failed to crack the top 10.

BACKSPIN: Perhaps one reason Cabrera shows up at the big events is because there is a greater premium on driving, even if a lot of guys don't use driver as much. Cabrera does, and if he's in the short grass, with typically soft greens in August he could contend again at Oak Hill. Came within inches of a third major at the Masters, and was a factor on the front nine at Muirfield. A third leg of the Grand Slam would make him hard to ignore for the Hall of Fame.

• • •

GRAEME MCDOWELL

AGE: 34.

COUNTRY: Northern Ireland.

WORLD RANKING: 8.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 12.

2013 WINS: RBC Heritage, Volvo World Match Play Championship, French Open.

MAJORS: U.S. Open (2010).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-Cut, US Open-Cut, British Open-T58.

PGA MOMENT: Only one top 10, and that was at Hazeltine in 2009. He finished eight shots behind.

BACKSPIN: A year ago, he contended in two majors and failed to win during the regular season. This year he has won three times — once on the PGA Tour, twice on the European Tour — and was happy to make his first cut in a major this year at Muirfield. He went through a spell of either winning or missing the cut. If he's driving it well, he shouldn't be counted out to add a second major at Oak Hill. It would be a nice wedding gift for someone just over a month away from matrimony.

• • •

CHARL SCHWARTZEL

AGE: 28.

COUNTRY: South Africa.

WORLD RANKING: 13.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 9.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: Masters (2011).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T25, US Open-T14, British Open-15.

PGA MOMENT: Playing the best among the first-time major champions grouped together in the 2011 PGA Championship. Small consolation. He tied for 12th.

BACKSPIN: He's one of 11 players from the top 20 in the world ranking without a win this year, which is surprising because he looks as though he can win on any given week. He flirted with contention at the British Open, only to lose his temper — and break his 9-iron — when he slammed the club to the ground. He fits the profile of recent PGA champions. The last three have all been in their 20s.

• • •

JIM FURYK

AGE: 43.

COUNTRY: United States.

WORLD RANKING: 29.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 17.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: U.S. Open (2003).

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T25, US Open-Cut, British Open-Cut.

PGA MOMENT: Since winning his lone major, he has yet to finish in the top 10 at the PGA Championship.

BACKSPIN: He missed the cut by a mile at Merion and by a fraction at Muirfield, and they both bothered him. He should fare well on a traditional layout like Oak Hill. And after missing the cut in both Opens — he's only done that once before, in 2002 — he would be determined not to make it three in a row. As he gets older, his good golf seems to be every other year. And last year was a good year.

• • •

BEST OF THE REST

(Five who don't fit into any category)

MATT KUCHAR

AGE: 35.

COUNTRY: United States.

WORLD RANKING: 6.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 6.

2013 WINS: Match Play Championship, Memorial.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T8, US Open-T28, British Open-T15.

PGA MOMENT: Didn't play his first weekend at the PGA Championship until 2010.

BACKSPIN: Despite some big wins in recent years, it's easy to forget that Kuchar is in the field until his name shows up — and doesn't go away — on the leaderboard Sunday. He has a flat swing that he trusts, and has become one of the most consistent performers in golf. He could be like Mark Brooks (1996) or Bob Tway (1986), who quietly had good years and won PGA Tour events, and no one noticed how good of a year it was until he had a major to go with it.

• • •

DUSTIN JOHNSON

AGE: 28.

COUNTRY: United States.

WORLD RANKING: 21.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 7.

2013 WINS: Tournament of Champions.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-T13, US Open-55, British Open-T32.

PGA MOMENT: Grounding his club in the sand without realizing it was a bunker on the final hole at Whistling Straits in 2010; it cost him a spot in a playoff with Bubba Watson and champion Martin Kaymer.

BACKSPIN: With his first two rounds at the British Open, and his last two rounds at the Canadian Open, you have to wonder if the most talented young American is close to putting everything together. He's a massive talent who has attracted way too much attention for his life outside the course, particularly his relationship with Paulina Gretzky. He is a simple thinker when it comes to golf. He's too good not to win a major.

• • •

MATTEO MANASSERO

AGE: 20.

COUNTRY: Italy.

WORLD RANKING: 27.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 4.

2013 WINS: BMW PGA Championship.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-Cut, US Open-Cut, British Open-Cut.

PGA MOMENT: Making his PGA debut in 2011 with a 68 in the opening round. He hasn't broken par since then.

BACKSPIN: He has all the trappings of the next star out of Europe, winning four times at age 20, including the tour's flagship event at Wentworth. He also is having a rough year in the majors, on the short list of players — Hiroyuki Fujita and Louis Oosthuizen — who have not made the cut in all three majors this year. His lack of length might hurt on a few holes at Oak Hill, but there is a determination that keeps this kid in the conversation, and this might be the place for him to make his first run at a major.

• • •

HIDEKI MATSUYAMA

AGE: 21.

COUNTRY: Japan.

WORLD RANKING: 33.

WORLDWIDE WINS: 3.

2013 WINS: Tsuruya Open, Diamond Cup Golf.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-DNP, US Open-T10, British Open-T6.

PGA MOMENT: Watching on TV. This is his first appearance.

BACKSPIN: He showed his potential by twice making the cut as an amateur at the Masters (two-time winner of the Asia Pacific Amateur) and he has this going for him: Tiger Woods hasn't beaten him in a major this year. Matsuyama tied for 10th at the U.S. Open, and was on the verge of serious contention at the British Open. His one-shot penalty for slow play didn't help. He played with Rory McIlroy at Muirfield, and he played with Tiger Woods at Firestone the week before the PGA Championship. He might not contend this year, but no one should be shocked if he does.

• • •

CHRIS STROUD

AGE: 31.

COUNTRY: United States.

WORLD RANKING: 109.

WORLDWIDE WINS: None.

2013 WINS: None.

MAJORS: None.

2013 MAJORS: Masters-DNP, US Open-DNP, British Open-DNP.

PGA MOMENT: See above (none).

BACKSPIN: The last time the PGA Championship was at Oak Hill, it delivered a surprise winner in Shaun Micheel. He was in his sixth year on the PGA Tour, had not won in 163 starts and only played in two majors. His best finish ever on tour was a tie for third. If such a scenario repeats itself 10 years later, the best candidate would be Chris Stroud. In his seventh year on tour, he has not won in 187 starts. His best finish was a playoff loss at Hartford this year. He has played in five majors. If Stroud were to win, he would have the worst ranking of a PGA champion since ... Shaun Micheel.

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