We've reached the PGA Championship, the final major of the season. It's the field's last chance for majors glory in 2011. So who's going to take the prize at Atlanta? We'll run down the top players' chances, starting with ... who else? No. 1:
Current world ranking: 1
So far this year: While he hasn't lived up to the idea that the World No. 1 should be an unbeatable powerhouse, Donald has nonetheless rolled off some solid wins, including a victory over Martin Kaymer to take the Accenture Match Play Championship in February and a playoff win over Lee Westwood in the BMW PGA Championship. Add in a victory in the Barclays Scottish Open and you've got one hell of a good year so far. In the 13 PGA Tour events he's played, he's made 10 cuts and notched 9 top-10s, most recently a T2 at Bridgestone. Then again, he missed the cut at the British Open, which isn't so good.
Record at the PGA Championship: A tie for third in 2006, but little else.
Why he could win: He's coming off that strong performance at the Bridgestone, and he's played well in large (though not necessarily major) events this year. He's got the kind of tee-to-green game that will serve him well at Atlanta Athletic Club, and the steadiness that will keep him calm while much of the rest of the field wilts in the Georgia heat.
Why he could fall short: Donald doesn't yet have that grab-the-moment-by-the-throat aspect to his character. Can he seize the day? We don't yet know. And more practically, he had putting problems at the Bridgestone that kept him a few strokes behind eventual winner Adam Scott all weekend long. If those crop up at AAC, it'll be a long week ... or perhaps a too-short one.
Our take: It's right there for the taking. Donald's going to play strong all weekend long, and if he can steady the flatstick, he'll be tough to beat. We install him as one of the best chances to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy this weekend.
Your turn, folks. Is the World No. 1 going to take the final major of the year?
- Luke Donald
- PGA Championship