2018 PGA Championship Picks + Predictions, Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #IsitThursdayyet

Ah yes, it’s PGA Championship week, and Glory’s Last Shot.  Oh wait, not only did the PGA ditch that nickname a few years back, but next year it’s moving to May, meaning that one year from right now we’ll be over 2 weeks past the end of the season’s final major (#TheOpen) and already diving into the FedEx Cup Playoffs.  Crazy, but for the most part, I like the move.

My picks last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational were solid, as Lockzilla Rory McIlroy finished t-6th (despite a Sunday bogey run), Semi-Flier Thorbjorn Olesen finished t-3rd (second straight top 3 in my Semi-Flier spot after Byeung Hun An finished t-2nd in that spot the week prior) and I spot on nailed Tiger Woods to not crack the top 25, as he spiraled well down the leaderboard on Sunday en route to a t-29th finish. #whatashame

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Rory t-6th)

Jason Day
Jason Day
– I don’t mean for this to be a slap towards JDay in any way, but he sort of feels like a 2-time PGA Championship winner to me.  Obviously any major win is a big deal, but let’s just say that if you could pick two majors to win it wouldn’t be 2 PGAs.  Nevertheless, despite the late back 9 collapse on Sunday at Firestone, I loved what I saw from him last week.  He’s been rounding into solid form all summer, and with a crazy good PGA record which goes 1st, 2nd, t-9th the past 3 years (oh yeah, and t-15th and t-8th before that), I’m all in on the 30-year-old Aussie this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Olesen t-3rd)

Tony Finau
Tony Finau
– This one feels a bit too chalky for my taste, but I can’t argue with 20/23 cuts made with 8 top 10s, including a t-10th at Firestone last week.  So far this year at the majors he’s gone t-10th, 5th and t-9th.  Another top 10 feels almost inevitable.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Tiger t-29th)

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
– It was a nice run while it lasted, but nah, no chance Tiger contends this week.  No doubt about it, he looked stiff over the weekend at Firestone, walking gingerly around the course seemingly in pain.  His game still looked ok, except for the wild tee shots, poor distance control with the irons and inconsistent putting.  Ok yeah yeah, I’ve never been a Tiger fan, but I’m going to pat myself on the back for correctly predicting he’d finish outside the top 25 last week when I had him pegged as my Hosel-Rocket BUST and this week I’ll predict straight up that he won’t even make the weekend at the year’s final major.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Scott t-57th)

Joaquin Niemann
Joaquin Niemann
– This 19-year-old Chilean has been on a solid summer run, with 5 top 25s in his past 8 events, including 3 top 10s.  Obviously the stakes are higher this week and it’s only his third major, but he definitely seems to have that “it factor,” and while I don’t think he’ll necessarily be contending on Sunday afternoon, I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever to see him crack the top 20 this week.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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