PGA Championship: Expert picks, Tiger Woods predictions

The 100th PGA Championship is about to tee off! Who will win? How will Tiger Woods do? We know, and here, we’re gonna tell you. We’re cool like that.

Who will win the PGA Championship?

It’s Dustin Johnson’s tournament to lose — but it’s also kind of hard to pick the favorite based on how the last few high-profile tournaments have gone. Instead, I’m going with Rory McIlroy. Since missing the cut at the U.S. Open he’s been steadily finding his rhythm with top-12 finishes in three out of his last four tournaments. With its massive greens, Bellerive offers Rory the chance to put his putting problems behind him and come out with his third PGA Championship. -Blake Schuster

Rory McIlroy. Aside from a disastrous U.S. Open, McIlroy has been a constant presence on the first page of leaderboards for the better part of four months. If he doesn’t blow up Thursday, he’ll be in the hunt Sunday for his first major win in … four years. –Jay Hart

This year’s PGA champion will be Jason Day. The 30-year-old Aussie hung around the top of the leaderboard at WGC until a tough Sunday, and he’s perfectly suited to be in the hunt at Bellerive. Day is second on the tour in sand save percentage, which is huge on a course littered with deep bunkers. He’s also the best putter on tour in terms of strokes gained. Day’s been solid this year with two wins and five top-10s in 15 starts, but he hasn’t played his best in majors. Expect that to change this weekend as he captures his second major and second PGA (2015). –Zach Pereles

Gone with my heart in the last two majors (Rickie Fowler at the U.S. Open, Sergio Garcia at The Open) and it’s let me down both times. For the PGA, I’ll go with my head – and while Justin Thomas is the hot name (as last week’s winner and the defending champion), Dustin Johnson is my pick. –Evan Doherty

Rory McIlroy. He’s got the benefit of playing (relatively) pressure-free in the first two rounds with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas in the star-studded group. He’ll put himself in contention early and have a round similar to his British Open final round to take the win. –Nick Bromberg

Tony Finau. He’s longer than Boyhood and an underrated scrambler. Not afraid of the moment and a deep field. Showed his toughness and resolve in the Masters. –Scott Pianowski

How will Tiger Woods do this week?

Tiger: Best case scenario, we get a repeat of Quicken Loans with Tiger playing well early on before fading down the stretch. Likely scenario: Woods falls apart on Saturday again giving Sunday viewers a reason to get up early and watch before the real show starts that afternoon. The PGA just has to cross its fingers and hope he at least makes the cut. –Schuster

Tiger is going to be a contender. His comeback is now firmly in the “consistent” stage, bordering on the “win” stage. There’s zero doubt here if he puts it all together this week he’s capable of winning. His game is back to being that good. –Hart

Tiger Woods isn’t going to contend this week. Part of my brain tells me that he’s played some really good golf, even led for a bit at the British Open and therefore will make another charge. The other part — the logical one — realizes that Woods is 42, he doesn’t recover like he used to (he even admitted that at the WGC), and his driver has been wildly inconsistent. I’ll go with that part. –Pereles

Woods teased us at The Open and flirted with his 9th career win at Firestone – but reports early in the week that he needs “ice baths and stretching” (sounds like me after every round) don’t fare well for this weekend. I think he makes the cut and backdoors his way to a top-20 finish. –Doherty

Tiger will have one good round and three OK rounds. While I’m sold on Tiger winning sometime soon, if he can’t put together four good rounds at Firestone, can he do it at a course where he’s never played a competitive round? I’ll go with 8 back of the eventual winner. –Bromberg

Tiger’s power is gone and he’s petrified of the driver. He’ll grind past the cut like he always does, but T37 feels right. –Pianowski

Is Jordan Spieth going to get that career Grand Slam this year?

Not this year. But it’s definitely coming. The PGA Championship shifts to Bethpage Black next year, where Spieth shot five-under in 2016 to finish four off the lead and tied for tenth overall. Get your bets in early on that one. –Schuster

Nope. Aside from his run at The Open, Spieth has been what they call in the NASCAR world a “field filler” for much of the season. He might fire a 65, but he’ll follow it up with a 75. The consistency just isn’t there right now. –Hart

Jordan Spieth is in a bit of a rut. He’s missed three cuts in his last nine starts, including at the U.S. Open. He won’t get the career Grand Slam done this weekend, but it’s certainly out there soon for the talented youngster. Watch out for next year, when the PGA Championship heads to Bethpage Black. Spieth finished 10th there at The Barclays in 2016. –Pereles

It’s only his second chance at completing the Slam, and I think the young lad will have to wait a little bit longer. Apparently, Southern Hills is a “TBD” to host the PGA – so I’m going to steal that as my evasive answer to this question. –Doherty

I think Spieth will be one of the guys battling with McIlroy for the win. Even if Tiger isn’t in it, a group of Spieth, McIlroy, Thomas and a surprise contender will make for a thrilling Sunday. If he doesn’t win Sunday he’ll get his PGA title within a couple years. I’ll be stunned if we’re in 2022 and wondering if Spieth will ever win the PGA. –Bromberg

Spieth’s putter can’t be trusted right now, especially on an American major layout. He’s a strong fade for me; a player who needs a mental break, a reset. I’d be surprised if he got into deep contention. –Pianowski

How hot will it get at the PGA Championship? (Getty)
How hot will it get at the PGA Championship? (Getty)

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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