Power Rankings: PGA Championship


The season's final major is finally upon us. Oak Hill Country Club plays host to the PGA Championship, as 156 of the game's best players and club professionals vie for the Wanamaker Trophy. The East Course will likely prove a brutal, lengthy test, where accuracy off the tee will be paramount as players look to avoid the ultra-penal rough lining most holes.

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Rory McIlroy returns to defend the title that he won in a romp last year at Kiawah, defeating runner-up David Lynn by eight shots. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Rochester:

1. Tiger Woods: Coming off his seven-shot win at Firestone, Woods leads the PGA Tour this year in wins, earnings, FedEx Cup points, scoring average and the all-around ranking. He's an overwhelming favorite this week at Oak Hill for a reason as he seeks his 15th career major title and first PGA crown since 2007.

2. Keegan Bradley: Tied for third last year at Kiawah in defense of his PGA title and tied for second last week in Akron behind Woods. Though he hasn't won this year, Bradley has had a remarkably consistent season that includes seven top-10s and 11 top-25s in 20 starts to date. Ranks third on Tour in both total driving and the all-around ranking.

3. Henrik Stenson: The Swede continued his torrid pace last week at Firestone, notching his third straight top-three finish that includes a runner-up showing at the British Open. Stenson is second on Tour in GIR percentage and fourth in total driving, ball-striking consistency that will pay dividends this week at Oak Hill. 

4. Adam Scott: The Masters champion struggled Thursday at Firestone, but bounced back with three straight solid rounds to close out his week in Akron. The Aussie has five top-15 finishes at the PGA since 2004, including a tie for 11th last year on the heels of his seventh-place showing in Atlanta the year prior.

5. Bill Haas: Haas notched his ninth top-10 finish last week, a total that is tops amongst the PGA Tour this season. A winner earlier this summer at Congressional, Haas is currently 12th on Tour in GIR percentage and 18th in scoring average. He's made the cut in two of three career PGA starts, notably tying for 12th in 2011.

6. Jason Dufner: While his tie for fourth in Akron was just his second top-10 this year, Dufner's ability to thrive at Firestone likely bodes well for this week at Oak Hill. Dufner has had significant success in this event, sandwiching a tie for 27th (2012) and a tie for fifth (2010) around his playoff loss to Keegan Bradley at Atlanta Athletic Club.

7. Justin Rose: Bounced back from a disappointing week at Muirfield to tie for 17th at Firestone. The reigning U.S. Open champion tied for third in this event a year ago, albeit on a drastically different golf course, and ranks second on Tour in both total driving and scoring average. As his effort at Merion showed, the Englishman can thrive on a course that requires fairways off the tee.

8. Phil Mickelson: Mickelson is in search of his second straight major, but struggled for much of the week at Firestone. He has seven top-25s in his last 10 PGA Championship starts, though, including a 2005 win and a tie for 23rd at Oak Hill in 2003.

9. Zach Johnson: You might not find three more divergent venues than TPC Deere Run, Muirfield and Firestone, but Johnson recorded top-10 finishes at all three across the last month. After a slow start to the season, the former Masters champion is heating up in his race to make the Presidents Cup squad and ranks 12th on Tour in driving accuracy. 

10. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar hasn't been outside the top 30 since May, with a win and two runner-up finishes along that stretch. He has a pair of top-20 finishes in the last three years at the PGA and remains one of the more consistent forces on the PGA Tour, ranking fifth in scoring average and eighth in scrambling. Reached the quarterfinals of the 1998 U.S. Amateur at Oak Hill before bowing out to Sergio Garcia.