Tuesday, 07 August 2012
Here are just six of the guys we expect to challenge this week at Kiawah Island  (EuropeanTour)
Here are just six of the guys we expect to challenge this week at Kiawah Island (EuropeanTour)
‘Glory’s Last Shot’ arrives this week as the best in the game head to Kiawah Island for the US PGA Championship and with it comes another great opportunity for you to win a fantastic spot prize with our European Tour Fantasy Race.

There is a goody bag chocked full of US PGA Championship merchandise up for grabs for the top PGA performer, so great incentive to perform well, and pick the right players.

We have five picks that should fare well for your teams in the year’s final Major, the first of which is Luke Donald. While not quite reaching the heights of his superlative 2011 so far this season, the World Number One has done well to retain his place atop the global rankings, the cornerstone of which was another fantastic performance at Wentworth en route to defending his BMW PGA Championship. Donald has also fared well at this event in the past, having led after 54-holes in 2006 at Medinah CC, before falling away to the then, still dominant, Tiger Woods. But the Englishman is a different animal now than six years ago, and with his supreme short game he is always going to threaten on the biggest stages.

Another ranking topping Englishman who will be expected to go well is Lee Westwood, who is a favourite at every Major Championship he tees it up in these days, having established himself as one of the game’s biggest names. He finished eighth at this event last year, and third two years before, and having been in contention in two of the three Majors already this year we expect him to challenge again.

No Italian has ever won a Major title, but Francesco Molinari is as strong a contender for the game’s top titles as his country has ever had, and having won already this year he will hope for more of the same in South Carolina. The Reale Seguros Open de España champion also lost a play-off to Jeev-Milkha Singh at the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open and is clearly playing some of the best golf of his career. Molinari’s long game is peerless, and when he gets it going on the greens he is always a threat.

One of the season’s best Major performers in 2012 has undoubtedly been Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who having become comfortable with his new status in the game after his US Open triumph two years ago, is now finding himself challenging once more at the top of the game. So far this year he has a worst Major result of 12th at the Masters, while he has teed off on the final day of the US Open and Open Championships as a member of the final pairing, unfortunately coming up just short in both. McDowell finished one shot shy at the Olympic Club as Webb Simpson triumphed, while a blustery day at Royal Lytham blew the Northern Irishman of course en route to a fifth place finish. Strong form, and in the game’s greatest tests.

Finally, only three men have won multiple times on The European Tour in 2012, the South African pair of Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace, and one man fresh off a home triumph, Bernd Wiesberger. The Austrian won two weeks ago in his own back yard in the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity, backing up the maiden Tour title he won just a few months earlier in Korea at the Ballantine’s Championship. Wiesberger is one of the biggest hitters in Europe and looks to be getting better all the time, so while it would be a surprise to many if he were to follow in Keegan Bradley’s footsteps and win a Major title on his debut, there is no doubt he has the game to do it.

These are our top five, but here are a few others who are worth keeping an eye on this week.

Ernie Els will be full of confidence after his latest Major triumph, Race to Dubai leader Justin Rose enjoyed the ideal buildup with his joint fifth place in the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational. Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy will be looking to get back on the Championship horse, and Anders Hansen fared well in this event last year. But if we were to pick one other man to definitely watch this week it would be 2010 Open Championship victor, this year’s Masters runner-up and two-time winner in 2012, Oosthuizen.

So there they are; our ones to watch. Make sure you sign in to your My European Tour account before the deadline on Wednesday night to update your team, and you could be in with a shot of winning our fantastic spot prize.

Good luck.

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