THE FINAL regular Major of the golfing year is already upon us with the 2012 PGA Championship fought out this week in South Carolina.
Ten Aussies will tee it up at what is expected to be a brutal Ocean Course at the Kiawiah Island Golf Resort for the 94th running of this event.
The course’s 7676 yard links layout will officially be the longest in major history and boasts more seaside holes than any other in the northern hemisphere.
It also boast some serious winds and, keeping below natural disaster levels, it is said players can experience up to an 8-club difference from round to round on certain holes.
Tackling these conditions will be a 156 man field containing 103 of the world’s top golfers.
A resurgent Tiger Woods is the strong favourite with the bookies, followed in order by world No.1 Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, defending champion Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Watson and Jim Furyk.
That’s up to $34 and we haven’t got to this year’s Major winners Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els.
Scott will lead the Australian challenge and let’s hope the recent trend of mostly new Major winners continues. There is certainly a parallel with McIlroy last year when the Northern Irishman crashed in the final round of the Masters only to bounce back at the next Major to win the US Open by a street.
The 32 year old Australian certainly has the form on the board in his recent Major appearances. Forgetting any of the circumstances, Scott finished seventh at his event last year, then tied for eighth at the US Masters, T15 at the US Open and, of course, a close second at the recent British Open.
“I have to draw on how good I have played in major tournaments recently,” Scott said on the eve of the championship this week.
“That has to be the way I get my mind focused and back set on how it’s been for the other three majors this year. I need to use all the confidence and step out there on day one and play hard from the start like I did at the Open.”
Scott was contacted by McIlroy after his Royal Lytham final four hole bogey run to offer support and point to his experiences last year.
“There is nothing to stop me from bouncing right back,” Scott say. “The Ocean course is a place that sets up nice for me. I’m playing nicely and, if I can get the timing right, there is a bit of room off the tee and, if you hit it long, you’ll get a few breaks with clubs into greens.
“If I can switch it on, I’m looking forward to being right in the mix. I’m ready to go – I just want to get amongst it. This is it, our last major for the year, so I’m excited to get started.”
Jason Day a known Major talent
After back to back second placings at the US Masters and US Open last year, Jason Day is another golfer who relishes the extra pressure Majors provide.
Things haven’t gone so smoothly this year and much of his recent focus has been on the birth his first son, but the 24 year old could also feature prominently here without surprising.
The other Aussies in the field obviously have the talent as well. They include our last Major winner Geoff Ogilvy, form golfer this year John Senden, top-10 finisher last week Aaron Baddeley, 2012 PGA Tour winner Marc Leishman, European Tour top performer Marcus Fraser, recent Japan Tour winner Brendan Jones and the very experienced Robert Allenby.
2012 PGA Championship TV Coverage
The event will be broadcast live in Australia on Fox Sports with the usual replays.
2012 PGA Championship Live Coverage:
1st Round: Friday 4am – 9am. 2nd Round: Saturday 4am – 9am. 3rd Round: Sunday 4.30 – 9am. Final Round: Monday 4.30 – 9am.