Strong European Tour contingent looking to continue Major dominance

8/2/2011 4:49:25 PM
US PGA Preview - Noren, Dyson & Horsey  (Getty Images)
US PGA Preview - Noren, Dyson & Horsey (Getty Images)
Those atop the Official World Golf Rankings may be holding the majority of the Major spotlight, but such is the strength of The European Tour representation at Atlanta Athletic Club next week, contenders for the US PGA Championship could come from anywhere.

This is typified by last week’s winner of the Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland - Simon Dyson – who picked up his fifth career win in Killarney, but may not be considered by many as a threat to those tipped by the bookmakers.

However, other than the statisticians out there, very few would realise that this Englishman has some US PGA pedigree.

This year will be his fourth appearance, and he has already racked up two top 15s in three starts – finishing sixth in 2007 and 12th in 2010. Put that alongside his ninth place finish at last month’s Open Championship, and his victory at the weekend, and  Dyson has the potential to clean up again next week.

But he’s not the only Englishmen looking to cause an upset in Atlanta. David Horsey is coming off his second win on Tour, at the Trophée Hassan II, having beaten off defending champ Rhys Davies in a play-off earlier this year. He also has two other top tens and currently resides at 33 on the Race to Dubai – 32 being his career best in 2010.

But Horsey and his compatriot Dyson are not the only form horses crossing the Atlantic this week.
If it hadn’t been for McIlroy showing everyone up at the US Open, then Alex Noren’s 11-shot lead after round three at the Nordea Masters, and eventual seven shot victory, may have garnered a little more media attention.

Couple that with his impressive win over the 2010 course at The Celtic Manor Resort this year, and three other top tens, and you have a player at the top of his game and another potential challenger next week.

And finally, you can’t mention Wales without a word for Jamie Donaldson, the only Welsh competitor in the Championship this year.

He will be making his first US PGA Championship appearance, and only his second start in a Major (after the 2006 Open Championship), and coming off five top tens and what is shaping up as the best season of his career, he could be another one to watch.

These four form players will join Martin Kaymer, the defending Champion, and the other Major winners from this phenomenal run – Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlory and Darren Clarke - among 49 European Tour Members lining up at Atlanta looking to make it an unprecedented seven Major victories in a row.