AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

Johnson for major success…..

Oak Hill CC hosts the final golf major of 2013, the US PGA Championship. Tiger Woods comes into the event as the red hot favourite after recording his fifth victory of the year with a romp in last week’s Bridgestone Invitational. This week’s course will play to Tigers tactical strengths as driver, the one club in his bag that still causes him problems will rarely be needed this week. Tiger played the Open without using the big stick but the strategy never quite paid off as his putting was not up to the normal standard. The thing that prevents me from tipping Tiger though it his recent record in major championships. In pursuit of Jack Nicklaus record 18 major titles Tiger raced to fourteen and looked assured of passing the Golden Bear but he has not raised aloft a major trophy since the US Open in 2008.

I think he will come up short again this week and the player who could be taking home the Wannamaker trophy is Dustin Johnson. Johnson must still have nightmares of his unfortunate episode in this championship a few years ago when he unintentionally grounded his club in a hazard and incurred a two stroke penalty which undoubtedly cost him the title. He threw away a US Open in the early stages of the final round a couple of years ago and as recently as two weeks ago he posted a 7 on the 17th hole when trying to win the Canadian Open. All bad scenarios you will probably think. But Johnson comes across as a strong character and can surely only learn from those experiences. He is a proven winner on tour and can draw from the fact he has put himself in contention to win majors and sooner or later he will get over the line.
After winning first time out this season Johnson has not enjoyed great success but shown signs of a recent return to form with his second at Glen Abbey recently. A midfield finish at Bridgestone last week will have sharpened his game and he possesses all the tools need to win a major championship and this week he can achieve that target.

My second pick has the perfect profile coming into this event. A three time winner on tour, including the PGA Championship two years ago and a WGC event Keegan Bradley, as stated in an interview this week, clearly enjoys this time of year and his recent performances back that statement up. A 61st place finish in the John Deere Classic, an ordinary performance on the back of a bad run, he then finished 15th in the Open, a much improved effort. He then improved further to be the one that chased home Tiger last week when finishing second in the Bridgestone Invitational. Bradley often uses good course management in his quest for victory and that will be vital at Oak Hill this week. Not short from the tee he comes here in his best form of the season and I fully expect to see him go close this week.

Other players for the shortlist this week are Bradleys PGA play-off victim from two years ago, Jason Dufner is another in good form and has played well in the last two majors. Zach Johnson has posted three top 6 finishes in his last three outings and was very unlucky not to win the John Deere Classic. For a bigger priced selection I am looking at Australian Matt Jones who after a couple of barren seasons on tour has started to find his form again and could contest this week.

Dustin Johnson current odds 45/1

Keegan Bradley current odds 35/1

Jason Dufner current odds 40/1

Zach Johnson current odds 50/1

Matt Jones current odds 250/1