Golf

Tiger Woods hits form ahead of PGA Championship

Woods is getting back to his best. (©GettyImages)
Woods is getting back to his best. (©GettyImages).

The final major of the 2013 season is upon us as the world's top golfers gather at Oak Hill for the US PGA Championship. 

Fresh off a commanding seven-shot win at last week's WGC Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger Woods is looking the firm favourite to claim his 15th major. 

Can anyone else mount a strong challenge for the Wanamaker Trophy this week?

Certainly on a roll heading into this week, Tiger will be hard to stop but there are plenty of other golfers looking at their last chance of Major glory in 2013.

The defending champion is Rory McIlroy - the young Northern Irishman claiming another commanding win and his second Major at Whistling Straits last year - but the world No.3 has had a difficult 2013 following a change to Nike golf clubs and has not hit anything like the heights he reached in 2012.

Best of the rest last week at Firestone was Henrik Stenson. The Swede has been in good form since the Open Championship and is certainly one to watch this week. 

Hunter Mahan returns for the first time since pulling out of the Canadian Open while leading to witness the birth of his first child. He is another man in good form and providing he has been able to keep sharp over the last few weeks he too should feature.

How about the three Major champions so far this year? 

Well Adam Scott has been competitive at the big events this year and will be a threat if his putting behaves. 

US Open champion Justin Rose leads the British battle though he has not showed quite the same form that allowed to win at Merion back in June. 

For Open champion Phil Mickelson it is all about the long game for the lefty, he won the PGA Championship back in 2005 and would be expected to battle again at Oak Hill.

Another former champion showing signs of a return to form is Martin Kaymer. The German won this event three years ago and finished in the top 10 last week at the Bridgestone. If Kaymer can peak at just the right time and should he get his putter working he could feature.

Graeme McDowell is in the group of golfers that should compete at Majors but doesn't always bring the game. He is a former US Open champion and was in contention at the Open. I'm not convinced he will feature this week at Oak Hill. 

Ian Poulter too is another man who should be right up there but again I'm not convinced Poults will be in the mix.

Angel Cabrera has a funny ability to appear at majors, he did so at last month's Open and has won a <ajor while Miguel Angel Jimenez is another man who does well in the big events. 

The charismatic Spaniard is in good form after a strong showing at the Open and a top 5 finish last week at the Bridgestone.

All that being said the real question is can anyone stop Tiger? That will depend on Woods' putting. 

Last week Tiger was deadly on the greens and if he can rekindle that magic he will be unstoppable.

That being said Woods is under pressure in Majors having not won one since 2008 so, while it is hard to look beyond Tiger, if you are looking for a prediction that isn't the greatest golfer of the last 15 years then I would have to say Martin Kaymer. 

I think he could just rekindle that form that helped him win back in 2010 and the putting display that saw him overcome Woods to win last year's Ryder Cup.


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Topics:
Golf
Tiger Woods
PGA Championships

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