With just 18 holes left to play at the 93rd PGA Championship, GolfChannel.com senior writers Jason Sobel and Rex Hoggard offer their picks as to who will win the Wanamaker Trophy.
By JASON SOBEL
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Keegan Bradley is going to win the PGA Championship.
I can usually answer these point-counterpoint questions with 100 percent certainty that my opinion is correct – OK, maybe 80 percent on a wishy-washy day. This one may be closer to 12 percent certainty, but I’m more sure about Bradley’s chances going into the final round at Atlanta Athletic Club than those of anybody else on the leaderboard.
Here’s the technical part: He’s only one back, so he won’t have the glare of being in the final pairing. He’s also a very good driver of the ball and a solid mid-range putter.
There’s more to it than that, though.
Nothing against Jason Dufner or Brendan Steele or any of the other contenders, but Bradley seems to have a bit more of a star quality to him than the co-leaders. We’ve been waiting for Dustin Johnson or Rickie Fowler or Anthony Kim to break through as the next young American to win a major, but this 25-year-old may get there before any of them.
By REX HOGGARD
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Picking a winner at this week’s PGA Championship is the competitive equivalent to new math, you know there’s a right answer but “none of the above” just feels so right. But as this year’s majors have taught us, nothing goes to script, and if anyone has that round-peg-in-a-square-hole look about them it is Brendan Steele.
Sure, this is the rookie’s first Grand Slam go. Sure, he’s as untested as a Florida public school student, but if he’s proven anything in his short tenure among the play-for-pay set it is that Steele is much more than a surname.
This is, after all, the same “kid” that needed a top-5 finish at last year’s Nationwide Tour Championship just to get to the Show. He won. The same beanpole who rattled in a 5-footer to win this year’s Texas Open in just his 12th PGA Tour start.
And the same flat-liner who lag putted from Buckhead to Duluth on Nos. 16 and 17 on Saturday to keep the pack at bay.
There are 10 players within five shots of the lead. And a five-spot at Atlanta Athletic Club is little more than a bad five minutes, but Steele has the grit to surprise us all.