Who will win the 92nd PGA Championship at Whistling Straits? Senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell offer up their opinions.
By REX HOGGARD
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Winds gusting to 25 mph and a swing that, at least on Saturday, seemed as sound as the Midwestern sensibilities that define this area will be the ultimate arbiter on Sunday at Whistling Straits, but then golf’s capricious ways have a history of upending the storybook.
By RANDALL MELLSHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Rory McIlroy is 21 and going on 30.
That’s the maturity level we’re seeing on and off the golf course from the man from Northern Ireland.
It’s what wins him the PGA Championship and his first major today.
McIlroy is already showing there’s no fear in him in the biggest events and against the best fields. Coming to Whistling Straits this week, he had played in seven major championships as a pro. He had top-10 finishes in three of them, including T-3s at last year’s PGA Championship and this year’s British Open.
Two strong signs that he’s ready to break through under major championship pressure have come this season. McIlroy’s 62 in the final-round of the Quail Hollow Championship was eye opening. You could argue it’s more the fifth major than The Players Championship. The strength of that field, the quality of that golf course, it radiated major vibes.
Last month, McIlroy showed his special gifts with that 63 in the first round of the British Open, but he showed us something just as important after faltering with an 80 in terrible weather in the second round. He bounced back with a 69 and 68 to tie for third.
It’s the ability to withstand disappointment and persevere that helps him win today.