Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Predictions: The 2011 PGA Championship

After a great golfing year so far in 2011, the final major is upon us, the 93rd PGA Championship, taking place at the Atlanta Athletic Club.  Given that 98 of the top 100 players in the world are in the field, or so I heard on CNN the other night, it should be a fantastic tournament.  I was pleased to visit the Atlanta Athletic Club when I drove from Atlanta to Augusta for the US Masters (details here) earlier this year, though I was unable to gain access to the grounds.

I have really struggled to put together my Fantasy Team this week.  With there being so many quality players in the field, having to choose just 15 European golfers proved quite the challenge.  I finally settled on Donald, Fisher, Garcia, Hansen, Hanson, Karlsson, Kaymer, Manassero, McDowell, McIlroy, Molinari, Noren, Rose, Schwartzel, and Westwood.  Unfortunately I had to leave out Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuisen and Retief Goosen, three great South African golfers.  With there being so many other great players in the field this week, choices had to be made.  I am always reluctant to leave South African golfers out of my Fantasy Team, thereby creating a conflict between wanting all South Africans to do well, yet to the detriment of my Fantasy Team.

However, with that having been said, I would dearly like to see Ernie add a PGA Championship to his victories, leaving him just the US Masters to complete a career Grand Slam.  Or how about Louis adding to his 2010 Open Championship, or Retief adding to his 2001 and 2004 US Open Championships, or Trevor Immelman adding to his 2008 US Masters victory?  Even Thomas Aiken has had a good year so far and cannot be ruled out for a good performance this week.  My Fantasy Team for the week is here if you are interested (that this link updates each week as changes are made during the course of the season).

So who do I predict will win this week?  I have a good feeling for Robert Karlsson – he is the winner of the 2010 Race to Dubai and has been playing quite well recently.  Otherwise I am quite happy for another player on the European Tour to claim victory, and so much the better if they are part of my Fantasy Team.  Certainly Luke Donald and Lee Westwood deserve a major, and it would be no surprise if they finally achieved that during the final major of the year.  Ideally the winner will be a player from the ISM stable, allowing Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler to win all four majors in 2011.  I would like to see a member of European Tour claim a 7th consecutive major victory, allowing for a clean sweep of majors in 2011, and highlighting the powerful position in which European golf finds itself right now.

Here’s hoping for a most enjoyable 93rd PGA Championship.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, but now that the Tiger has been de-fanged, where is the (to use a banking term) market-maker in golf? Who is the big fish that creates the excitement, that has everyone talking?

    The playing field may be more level, but does that make for a better game? Or is it more exciting when there is a heavyweight player out there, a Goliath that all the little Davids hope to defeat?