Power Rankings: 2014 PGA Championship


This week marks the 40th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour heads to Kentucky for the PGA Championship. An elite field of 156 players will tee it up this week at Valhalla Golf Club for the season's final major.

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Jason Dufner returns to defend the title he won here a year ago by two shots over Jim Furyk. Here are 10 names to watch this week in Louisville:

1. Adam Scott: Scott is no longer equipped with the No. 1 ranking, but that's through no fault of his own as the Aussie hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since May. He had another close call last week in Akron, but he has clearly circled this week's event as one where he will be satisfied with nothing short of a win.

2. Rory McIlroy: The newest world No. 1 enters off two straight wins and is playing with unlimited confidence as he looks for three in a row. His PGA Championship record is a strong one, as McIlroy has three top-10s since 2009 in addition to his eight-shot romp at Kiawah in 2012.

3. Sergio Garcia: Garcia lamented last week that his game doesn't suit Valhalla, but then he went out and played some of his best golf of the year at Firestone. After back-to-back runner-up finishes to McIlroy, the Spaniard could be on the cusp of his first major title.

4. Justin Rose: After back-to-back wins earlier this summer, Rose quietly notched a T-4 finish at Firestone and remains in control of his game. Rose has a pair of top-10 finishes in the PGA since 2008, including a T-3 result in 2012, and has had success at Muirfield Village, a course that many feel mirrors Valhalla.

5. Rickie Fowler: Fowler is in the midst of a career year, and has a chance to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2005 to notch top-five finishes in each of the four majors. He enters off another top-10 finish at Firestone and has clearly found a way to peak for the biggest events in 2014.

6. Keegan Bradley: A PGA champion in 2011, Bradley heads to the season's final major off a high finish in Akron for the fourth year in a row. He has not shied away from making the Ryder Cup a priority, and Bradley will need a big week at Valhalla to earn an automatic spot. The "big ballpark" presented this week should certainly suit his game.

7. Henrik Stenson: Stenson has tapered off a bit since a hot stretch earlier this summer, but he remains one of the strongest tee-to-green players in the field. The Swede was third in this event last year at Oak Hill and ranks second on Tour in total driving this season while netting six top-25 finishes in 11 starts.

8. Jim Furyk: Furyk came up just short at this event a year ago, but that result has only sparked him to a strong 2014 campaign that has included three runner-up finishes and seven top 10s. He enters off a streak of nine straight rounds in the 60s, one that dates back to the final round at Royal Liverpool, and he leads the Tour in scrambling.

9. Phil Mickelson: Mickelson doesn't have a top-10 this year on the PGA Tour, but he is the only player who cracked the top 10 at Valhalla in both prior PGA Championships, finishing T-8 in 1996 and T-9 in 2000. Mickelson finally created a bit of momentum with a final-round 62 at Firestone, a round that included 10 birdies.

10: Ryan Moore: Moore is another player on the Ryder Cup bubble, and enters the week 13th in the U.S. standings. He's playing some good golf at the right time, though, with four straight top-12 finishes since June. Moore has a penchant for low scores, and 12 of his last 16 rounds have gone for 68 or better.