2017 US PGA Championship Preview: Rory McIlroy And Jordan Spieth’s Major Showdown At Quail Hollow


US PGA | August 11-14 (AEST), Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina 

Two of the game’s youngest and biggest stars will come out swinging when the final major of the calendar year tees-off at Quail Hollow, Charlotte.

Tournament favourite and world no.4 Rory McIlroy, 28, and Open Championship winner Jordan Spieth, 24, lead the charge at this year’s US PGA with McIlroy hunting his third PGA major and Spieth gunning for rare career grand slam.

The US PGA, which will revert to May from 2019, is being held at the home of the annual PGA Tour tournament, Wells Fargo Championship.

Here’s our guide to this year’s major contenders:

Rory McIlory (8.00)

In the eyes of many, Rory McIlroy is the only man standing in the way of Jordan Spieth claiming back-to-back majors and capturing a career grand slam. 

As a two-times Wells Fargo champion, the Northern Irishman knows his way around the Quail Hollow layout and on the back of a T6th at Royal Birkdale, he carries a lot of momentum into the PGA.

After splitting with long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald, McIlroy will team up with good friend Harry Diamond for just the second time. 

Jordan Spieth (9.50) 

History beckons for Open Championship winner Jordan Spieth with the 24-year-old seeking to become the youngest golfer to complete the career grand slam.

Spieth will relish putting on the Quail Hollow Bermuda greens, a surface perfectly suited to pure putters like the Texan.

After lifting the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale, Spieth will be supremely confident of adding another major and etching his name in the history books.

Hideki Matsuyama (11.00)

Following a sizzling 61 at the World Gold Championships (WGC), Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama heads to Quail Hollow in hot form.  

The 25-year-old is still chasing his breakthrough major and aiming to become Japan’s first male major winner.

He’ll be thereabouts but it will all come down to how he holds his nerve when the tournament is on the line.

Rickie Fowler (15.00) 

The man in orange is another golfer chasing his maiden major triumph but there’s no doubt he’s getting close. 

Fowler has fond memories of Quail Hollow, the scene of his maiden PGA Tour triumph when he took out the Wells Fargo in 2012. 

He also finished 4th in 2016 and his slick putting is ideally suited to the Bermuda grass greens.

Takes a fair bit of momentum with him into the tournament following a pair of 67's at the WGC.

Dustin Johnson (13.00)

After his US Open triumph last year, there were a lot of lofty expectations for Dustin Johnson this year, but the world no.1 hasn’t been able to live up to those expectations at this year's majors.

He can erase that disappointment in one full swoop should he capture his second major and maiden PGA Championship.

The Quail Hollow layout suits him and a T2nd at the Wells Fargo last year along with a final round 66 at the WGC, will give him plenty of confidence heading into the final major of the year.

The Australians

A contingent of seven Australians will tee-up at Quail Hollow, with Jason Day, Adam Scott (pictured above) and Marc Leishman the leading contenders.

Scott, who is still chasing his second major, wasn’t happy with certain aspects of his game at the WGC and the popular Aussie will be hoping to improve his driving accuracy at Quail Hollow. 

Scott Hend, who finished T10th at the WQC, joins Cameron Smith, Stuart Deane and Rod Pampling as the other Australians in the field. 

The Verdict 

It’s not hard to see why Rory McIlroy is the favourite to take out his third PGA Championship and his first major since 2014.

He’s won twice before at Quail Hollow, most recently in 2015 where he set the course alight with a blistering course-record 61.

Spieth, Matsuyama, Johnson and Fowler loom as the major challengers while in-form Aussie Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Jason Day spearhead the Aussie charge.

McIlroy wasn’t far off the pace at Royal Birkdale and he looks primed to take that extra leap at a course he’s familiar with.

Winner

Unibet Odds: Rory McIlroy 8.00, Jordan Spieth 9.50, Hideki Matsuyama 11.00, Dustin Johnson 13.00, Rickie Fowler 15.00, Brooks Koepka 23.00, Jason Day 26.00, Jon Rahm 26.00, Sergio Garcia 34.00, Paul Casey 41.00, Justin Rose 41.00, Adam Scott 41.00, Henrik Stenson 41.00, Justin Thomas 41.00, Phil Mickleson 61.00, Marc Leishman 67.00, Zach Johnson 67.00

Tip: McIlroy

Top 10

Tips: Dustin Johnson 2.20, Rickie Fowler 2.62

Top 20

Tips: Justin Rose 2.32, Phil Mickleson 3.50, Webb Simpson 5.00

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