Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Shane Bacon and national columnist Jay Busbee take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by hitting us on Twitter at@shanebacon and @jaybusbee. Today we talk about the final major of 2013 and the potential it has to be one of the best ever.
Bacon: On Thursday the best in the world will take on Oak Hill, a true test of golf that sounds like the U.S. Open than PGA Championship. While the PGA is universally known as the least interesting major championship of them all, this year might be different. Considering all the possible storylines that could come out of this week, does this one have the most potential of any ever?
Busbee: I'm sure there's one from the mists of history that was more anticipated, but at the moment I can't imagine it. Tiger coming off a win, Phil playing as well as he ever has, the entire field with something to prove against these two aging giants ... what more could you want? How do you think it's going to shake out?
Bacon: The Tiger and Phil angle is great, with Phil having a shot to have one of his best seasons ever with a win and Tiger coming in playing absolutely flawless golf at the Bridgestone, but look at Rory McIlroy with a shot to shut up the critics, Adam Scott and Justin Rose coming in with legit chances to win two majors in the same season, and names like Luke, Henrik, Bubba and Dufner all with their best chance of a major in 2013.
The pre-tournament stories are out there, but I see a very, very stacked leaderboard come Sunday, much like the British, with a bunch of big names with a chance to win. Now that is what I think might happen, but my hope is what we've all wanted on a Sunday at a major - a Tiger-Phil pairing in the final group. What are the odds that happens?!
Busbee: The odds are pretty darn good. And you know the Masters, the US Open and the British would be pulling their silvery hair out, metaphorically speaking, at the PGA Championship getting this kind of gem.
We've discussed this before...this is really shaping up to be a special season in golf. Two well-deserving first-time major winners, an amazing final round in the British, and now ... well, it just stands to reason that golf's No. 1 ought to have a big week at last, doesn't it? Is he your pick?
Bacon: I can't reveal my pick just yet, but I would venture to say that anyone that isn't picking Tiger to win this week just isn't paying much attention.
Sure, critics can lean on the fact that it has been more than five years since he won his last major, but I feel the way he's playing heading into this tournament, especially without a week off between the Bridgestone and PGA, is more important than has he has played in past majors.
The problem is, if Woods doesn't win this week we will again be scratching out heads wondering when, if ever, is he going to snag another major. I think unless he injuries himself he will be in the conversation come Sunday, it's just all about remembering that no matter if it's a money game with your best buddy or a major championship, it's still golf and Tiger is playing as good as anyone in the world.
Your thoughts on Mr. Five Wins?
Busbee: It's the standard he's set for himself. Win majors or nothing. It's absurd that we could consider a five-win season a failure, but that's the standard he set for himself way back in the early 2000s, and it's still true now.
It's all lining up just right for him. Can he bring it home? Well, that's always the question now, isn't it? But there's no better time than right now for Woods.
Bacon: Or Phil! Or Rory! Or Justin!
Should be a fun week, and I can't wait until Sunday evening when Shaun Micheel raises his second PGA Championship trophy!