Here we go with my final major championship picks of the year. This week is the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, an Irish style links course located right on Lake Michigan in Kohler, Wisconsin. This is the second time that it has been played there.
While the PGA has always been the red-headed stepchild of the four majors, with nothing that distiguishes it or makes it special, it has improved in course quality and, in some years, provides the highest drama of the four majors, particularly last year when an, Y.E. Yang, an unknown Korean player came from behind to knock off Tiger Woods.
This is a course that is not that well known to players so the safe bet is a dark horse actually winning this year's edition. Once I say that, it will be a top ranked well known player. Anyway, here we go with the picks.
1. Rory McIlroy-He is familar with this type of course coming from Northern Ireland and he is considered the "next big thing." It will be sooner rather than later that he breaks through and wins his first major.
2. Phil Mickelson-You would not think this course would suit his game, but he can be hot and cold so he might as well take over the World Rankings in stellar fashion.
3. Hunter Mahan-Two wins this year including last week at Akron, it would be good to see a rising American star complete the set of unlikely major winners.
4. Ernie Els-I expect he will solidify his FedEx cup lead in Wisconsin and this will be one of his last great opportunities to get the fourth major.
5. Justin Leonard-He had a putt to win in here 2004 and played strong in Akron. He should be in the mix on Sunday.
Five dark horses
1. Sergio Garcia-This is still the summer of Spain and I want him on this list when he wins.
2. Bo Van Pelt-Always on and off the leaderboards and I need to pick a legit dark horse at least once.
3. Jim Furyk-He has been consistent all year but has never been able to cash in when given an opportunity to win a second major but this will happen at some point.
4. Sean O'Hair-Also a consistent journeyman player that could break through anytime
5. Tiger Woods-His game is in shambles but still needs to be on the list. If he were to win it would not be a surprise either.
It all starts Thursday on the shores of Lake Michigan.