The PGA Tour heads south this week for the PGA Championship. A field of 156 players will tackle Quail Hollow Club, which is hosting the season's final major for the first time.
Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.
Jimmy Walker won this event last year by one shot over Jason Day. Here are 10 names to watch in Charlotte:
1. Rory McIlroy: Given the choice between two clear favorites, I'll side with the Quail Hollow specialist. McIlroy has won twice here and lost in a playoff among six starts, and he has had this week circled since it was first announced years ago. Top-5 finishes at both Royal Birkdale and Firestone show that his game may be peaking just in time to save his season.
2. Jordan Spieth: Spieth hasn't played Quail since 2013, and the course has undergone significant changes since. But you can't deny the heater he's currently on, as Spieth continues to ride the momentum from his dramatic Open victory. The Grand Slam pressure will ratchet up if he's still in contention come the weekend, but it's a spotlight he's handled before.
3. Hideki Matsuyama: The Japanese sensation put on a clinic during the final round in Akron, tying the course record and routing the field with a seemingly effortless 61. Matsuyama played Quail Hollow three straight years from 2014-16, improving his finish each time including a T-11 result last year.
4. Rickie Fowler: Fowler and Matsuyama are the top candidates for best player without a major, a title Fowler nearly shed at the PGA three years ago. He's had a rock-solid season in 2017, highlighted by his win at the Honda Classic and including five top-10 finishes in his last seven worldwide starts.
5. Dustin Johnson: The world No. 1 hasn't been quite the same player since his back injury at the Masters, but he certainly has the tools to take advantage of a soggy layout this week in Charlotte. Johnson notched a top-10 finish two weeks ago in Canada, and while he hasn't played Quail Hollow since a missed cut in 2011 he still leads the Tour in total strokes gained.
6. Brooks Koepka: The U.S. Open champ has quietly compiled a stellar run of finishes in majors, finishing T-21 or better in each of his last nine major starts. That includes a T-6 finish at Royal Birkdale in his first start since Erin Hills, and Koepka will now make his Quail Hollow debut after cracking the top 5 in the PGA each of the last two years.
7. Jason Day: The former world No. 1 has been a shell of his former self this year, but he tends to bring his best to the season's final major. Day broke through to win two years ago at Whistling Straits and nearly pulled off the double last year, when he was a runner-up at Baltusrol. He tied for ninth in 2012 in his most recent visit to Quail Hollow.
8. Phil Mickelson: Mickelson hasn't won anywhere since lifting the claret jug more than four years ago, but he has a history of feasting on Quail Hollow. The southpaw has finished T-5 or better six times here since 2007, and while that stretch does not include a win it shows that even at age 47 he's a likely contender this week.
9. Charley Hoffman: Hoffman contended into the final round of the Masters, and in recent weeks he has been playing some of the best golf of anyone not named Spieth. Hoffman's playoff loss in Canada highlights a run of four top-10 finishes in his last six starts, a stretch that has vaulted him into the mix for the Presidents Cup and should continue this week.
10. Jon Rahm: The Spaniard has cooled somewhat since his decisive victory at the Irish Open, but the potential remains for him to break through once again on a big stage. He's one of several big names making their debut this week at Quail Hollow, but Rahm leads the Tour in strokes gained off the tee and sits third in total strokes gained this season.