How will Tiger play ...
Bacon: Great? Horrible? Mediocre? Just enough to get people off his back? Lord, this year has been so strange with Tiger Woods that you almost feel he has that imposture guy out there playing for him. Two fairways hit in a round? A round of 77 in good conditions? WHO IS THIS MAN AND WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH TIGER?!!? I honestly have no clue how Tiger will play this week, and I say that as confident as I've said anything all year long. He might win, he might miss the cut, I don't know and frankly, I don't want to guess. If he wins this thing it will be arguably the strangest two weeks in sports history, and I couldn't be more excited for it. In the sense of hype, is this PGA Championship one of the most exciting in recent memory? I think so.
Busbee: Anything that could pump some life into the PGA, I'm all for it. This major always comes off as a bit of an afterthought, which is unfortunate, because it has the potential to be the most competitive. But that's a topic for another day. For now: Tiger. Yeah. Uh, I defended the guy's game a couple weeks back, but after Bridgestone -- yeesh. I don't think Tiger has a chance of winning this weekend, but if any of that Tiger pride that he and his supporters love to lean on still exists, he'll make a good showing. Between last week's debacle and last year's loss to Y.E. Yang, Tiger is in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar position of weakness, of having to prove himself. What he does this weekend will say a lot about the next chapter of his career.
How will Phil play ...
Bacon: I see a bounce-back week for Lefty, just because I think that the final round was a combination of things that he couldn't really control. His day started going south and as most of us know, it's hard to right the ship. Will he win? Nope, you have to drive the ball really well and I think Lefty is hitting it too wayward to have a chance at Whistling Straits, but I think he will finish in the top 15.
Busbee: Agree completely. Mickelson still hasn't cured that one-bad-round problem, but his game isn't a total wreck, unlike others we could name. He should be able to stay within sight of the leaders, and who knows? He gets that bad day out of the way early, maybe he could scare somebody.
So, your pick to win ...
Bacon: Hum. Phil Mickelson won the Masters when he wasn't playing worth a darn coming into Augusta National. A guy from Nothern Ireland that wasn't Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open with a final-round 74, and then a man whose last name most humans on this planet can't pronounce dominated the British Open. So, yes, it is dartboard time, but I like Jim Furyk. Why? Because he hits the ball well, played very solidly at the Bridgestone, and has won this season.
Busbee: Hunter Mahan. Dude seems primed to break through, and he's coming off a win at the Bridgestone. He faced down the best in the game there and came through just fine, so I expect him to do much of the same this week.
And a sleeper ....
Bacon: Matt Kuchar. He continues to put himself in a position to win the big event, so like craps, if you keep betting the pass line you're eventually going to hit your number. I like Kuchar, and I would love to see him be the fourth major champion of this weird 2010.
Busbee: There's this fella, Tiger Woods, who hasn't won all year -- nah. I'm going to go with Zach Johnson. He's been quietly playing some outstanding golf for the last few years, and with most of the field in disarray, the way is clear for the 2007 Masters champ to snag another major.
All right, you're up. Make your picks in our categories. Show us you're a genius. Go!
- Tiger Woods