2012 US PGA Championship Preview

The 94th PGA Championship gets underway on Thursday (local time) at the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. This is the fourth and last major of the season. The majors have been unpredictable in recent years, with sixteen different winners in the last sixteen majors, and this year’s PGA Championship could continue that trend. Two of the top four golfers in the world: Luke Donald (1) and Lee Westwood (4) have yet to win a major but should be in contention this weekend.

Tiger Woods hasn’t won a major since 2008, but he has been in contention going into the weekend in the previous two majors. Woods is a four-time winner of the PGA Championship, but failed to make the cut in 2011. He will be buoyed by his recent performance in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he finished 8th after going four under par on the final day. “I feel very good about where I’m at. I’m excited about it,” Woods said. “I putted well the last two days, which was good. My tee-to-green game was, I thought, pretty dialed in.”

Recent Major history

Below are the most recent major winners.

  Masters US Open British Open PGA Championship
2012 Bubba Watson Webb Simpson Ernie Els  
2011 Charl Schwartzel Rory McIlroy Darren Clarke Keegan Bradley
2010 Phil Mickelson Graeme McDowell Louis Oosthuizen Martin Kaymer
2009 Ángel Cabrera Lucas Glover Stewart Cink Yang Yong-eun
2008 Trevor Immelman Tiger Woods Pádraig Harrington Pádraig Harrington
2007 Zach Johnson Ángel Cabrera Pádraig Harrington Tiger Woods
2006 Phil Mickelson Geoff Ogilvy Tiger Woods Tiger Woods
2005 Tiger Woods Michael Campbell Tiger Woods Phil Mickelson


Recent PGA Championship history

Below are the most recent winners of the PGA Championship.

2011 – Keegan Bradley (USA) at the Atlanta Athletic Club (Georgia)
2010 – Martin Kaymer (Germany) at the Whistling Straits (Wisconsin)
2009 – Yang Yong-eun (South Korea) at the Hazeltine National Golf Club (Minnesota)
2008 – Pádraig Harrington (Ireland) at the Oakland Hills Country Club (Michigan)
2007 – Tiger Woods (USA) at the Southern Hills Country Club (Oklahoma)
2006 – Tiger Woods (USA) at the Medinah Country Club (Illinois)

Kiawah Island Golf Resort – Ocean Course

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort opened in 1976, with the Ocean Course added in 1991. It has never hosted a major, but the course has previously hosted the Ryder Cup in 1991, the World Cup in 1997 and again in 2003. The course is highly rated by the golfing community. It was rated 25th in Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America in 2010. Film buffs may recall that the Ocean Course was featured in the 2000 movie The Legend of Bagger Vance.

The Ocean Course is a par 72 course with a slope rating of 153 and a course rating of 79.7, which is the highest in the US. Due to its large slopes, numerous bunkers, and challenging Bermuda grass, it was named the toughest course in America in 2010 by Golf Digest (source). At 7,676 yards, the Ocean Course will be the longest ever layout to stage a major championship.

When asked to describe it, Adam Scott said “The front nine is a really nice, playable golf course, and then the back nine is not… If the wind blows, it’s just going to be very difficult, even if they move tees forward and stuff like that. The green complexes are very severe on some holes, and there is extreme penalty for a miss.”

Interestingly, all natural sandy areas on the Ocean Course will play “through the green.” That means they will not be considered bunkers, allowing players to remove loose impediments, take practice swings, ground their clubs, etc.

PGA Championship betting

Below are the latest odds, subject to change. Due to the unpredictability of the majors you may want to opt for alternative wagers, such as whether a particular player will make the cut (Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Graeme McDowell and Zach Johnson are some of my tips to do so, while Matt Kuchar is my tip to miss out). Many bookmakers offer head-to-head wagers between two players. This provides a good way to pick on a player you believe is out of form. Lee Westwood has been consistent in recent majors, having finished 3rd or tied for 3rd in three of his last eight majors – including the last two. He is 3.25 odds (Luxbet) to make the top 10, which is my best bet at this stage.


TV Coverage

Live coverage will on Fox Sports at the following times (AEST).

Friday (Aug 10th): 4:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Saturday (Aug 11th): 4:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Sunday (Aug 12th): 4:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Monday (Aug 13th): 4:30 AM – 9:00 AM

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