Ten Australians have earned the right to play the final major championship of the year, the PGA Championship, and will tee it up at Kiawah Island on Thursday.
iseekgolf’s Bruce Young looks at who those players are and assesses their chances.
Scott is showing an increasing capacity to contend in major championships having finished inside the top ten at four of his last seven, two of those being runner-up finishes. When compared to his earlier record it has been quite a turn around. The issue for Scott is to overcome his late demise at Royal Lytham and St Annes. His average week at the WGC Bridgestone when defending his title was perhaps disappointing and there will be much interest in just how he performs this week. His overall play in 2012 has been solid enough.
Day has been somewhat distracted by off course matters for much of the season but in his first tournament back after the arrival of his first born child, Day played well enough at last week’s WGC Bridgestone event producing an encouraging final round of 66 to finish midfield. Day has already displayed a capacity to play the big events well and now he is back on track he could do well.
Senden is having a great season on the PGA Tour in 2012 and has played the bigger events also. His 10th place finish at the US Open was his best in that event and his second best in a major championship. His game is built around hitting fairways and greens which, in what will likely be demanding conditions at Kiawah Island, will play to his advantage. If he can produce a reasonable week on the greens then he has an outside chance of even beating his previous best of 4th at the PGA.
Ogilvy played well at the Open Championship, recording his second best finish in the event and had a good solid tournament last week in Ohio. His form is therefore solid enough for him to expect a good week. He has only played two events since his lengthy mid season layoff and earlier in the year his results were not quite as bad as what they appeared on paper so he may be playing his way into some good form.
Baddeley gave an indication that his game is back on track after several very ordinary tournaments when he finished in a share of 8th at last week’s Bridgestone event after a final round 0f 66. While Kiawah could not necessarily be compared to a British links course there are some similarities and Baddeley’s questionable record at the Open Championship leaves a some doubt of his capacity to play this course well.
Leishman broke through for his first win on the PGA Tour two months ago and gives the impression that he will one day contend in and possibly win a major championship. His form since his win at the Travelers has been only average and was 45th last week at the WGC Bridgestone.
Chalmers has been solid if unspectacular this year. He finished well back at the Bridgestone but his final round of 70 was encouraging enough. Chalmers has the sort of game that might suit this layout but other then perhaps contending for the position as leading Australian i can’t get excited about his chances.
Jones just snuck into this field after winning the most recent Japan Tour event. He did not play an event last week and played very little when home in Canberra. Jones made the cut at the Open Championship and could do so again but his preparation might leave him a little underdone.
Fraser’s form has been a mixture this season with top tens in Asia and a runner-up finish at the BMW International before missing the cut in France and at the Open Championship. Perhaps surprisingly this will be Fraser’s first PGA Championship and just his fourth major championship so it is perhaps a bit much to expect him to contend.
Allenby is a long way from where he needs to be with his game to have any chance of a good week. He has missed his last five cuts on the PGA Tour and that speaks for itself. He is a much better player than those results would suggest but it would take a massive turnaround for him to have any chance of even being the leading Australian.