Kiawah Island hosts the US PGA Championship for the second time this week as the world’s best descend upon South Carolina in search of the Wanamaker Trophy. Here we take a look at who’s enjoying a purple patch and those that are running cold ahead of the second men’s Major Championship of the year at Pete and Alice Dye’s stunning Ocean Course design.
The Canadian star jumped up to a career-high 37th in the Official World Golf Ranking last month off the back of a purple patch which began with a third place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and was followed by top tens at The Players Championship, The Masters and RBC Heritage. The 29 year old’s stats also look impressive for 2021, ranking 11th for scoring average, seventh for greens in regulation and 11th for driving accuracy, which all come in handy on the links-style Ocean Course.
The 2009 Champion Golfer of the Year was ranked 300th in the world when the US PGA Championship was held at TPC Harding Park last August but now finds himself back inside the top 50 with two wins to his name this season on the PGA Tour. A tie for 12th at last month’s Masters Tournament was his best result in a Major since finishing tied fourth at the 2018 PGA Championship – the last time he played this event.
The World No.3 has been one of the most consistent players in the game since the last edition with 11 top tens, including victory at the BMW Championship in Illinois, in his 17 events following his tied 13th at TPC Harding Park, which briefly moved him to the summit of the World Ranking. The Spanish sensation comes alive for the bigger events with four Rolex Series wins to his name and six top tens in Majors in 17 appearances as a professional.
The 27 year old has enjoyed an impressive renaissance in 2021 with a string of fine results, pushing him back into the world’s top 30, including an end to his three year title drought after claiming the Valero Texas Open. Add that together with four additional top fives, including a third-place finish at The Masters, and you have one of the hottest players in the game right now, who can join the game’s elite by completing the Grand Slam with a win at Kiawah Island.
The Swede recently dropped out of the top 100 in the World Ranking following a miserable run of results that saw him miss six cuts in his first eight events in 2021. The 45 year old has only qualified for the tournament thanks to his five-year exemption, which comes to an end this year, for his record-breaking Open Championship victory in 2016. The two-time DP World Tour Championship winner failed to make the cut in the three Majors last year before making the weekend at this year’s Masters Tournament, finishing tied 38th.
The 2015 champion has slipped down the World Ranking and now finds himself 65th after missing the cut in his last three events, including The Masters Tournament where he finished on nine over par after the first two rounds. The Australian star recently admitted that ‘he has no confidence in his game’ and having failed to make the cut in 2012 when the event was last played at Kiawah Island, his slump doesn’t look likely to end this week.
The fan-favourite has failed to record a top ten since January 2020 and was in danger of missing out on this year’s event after dropping outside of the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking last month. But the PGA of America announced that Fowler had been granted an invite along with fellow American John Catlin “based on their performances, playing records and OWGR position.” The 32 year old, who once looked destined to win a Major, failed to make the cut at Kiawah Island in 2012 and once again faces a tough task to make the weekend this year following a disappointing run of form.