2019 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 this year it’s major numero dos and in May, instead of stuck in the dog days of summer (pit sweats) early August. Hooray for a chaffing-free major! I kid, I kid. It definitely still feels weird writing this, but hey, the Wannamaker will be awarded on Sunday and I guarantee you that it’ll feel major-esque by then.

So, without further ado, let’s pray that the weather holds and hop right into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA 

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Justin Rose– With his shocking MC at the Masters now behind him (#overpreparationmuch), the 38-year-old Englishman is primed and ready to capture his 2nd career major title. His 2013 U.S. Open victory at Merion feels like ages ago and I simply cannot see him ending his career with just one major victory. Way too much talent there. Finished 3rd at Quail Hollow just two weeks ago and just jumps off the page as a good fit for Bethpage from all standpoints. Lock it in. Justin Rose is your 2019 PGA Champion.

SEMI-FLIER 

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Tony Finau– This might sound surprising, but after a cool t-5th at this year’s Masters, it was Tony’s 4th major top 10 in his past 5 major appearances (t-9th U.S. Open, 5th U.S. Open, t-10th Masters). His overall game really is rounding into form and while yes, only 1 career PGA Tour victory begs the question as to if he can win a major if he has yet to find that non-major consistency, but I just have a feeling that he’s ready to break through in a big way, and wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if it happens this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST 

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Tiger Woods– I know, I know. We should just give Tiger the trophy and all take the week off. I mean, he just won the Masters, finished runner-up at the PGA last year and he won the U.S. Open here in 2002, so he’s an absolute lock to win his 16th major title this week, right? Nah, sorry, I ain’t buying it. Competitive rust is a real thing, whether you’re Joe 6-pack or an other-worldly human like Sir Eldrick Woods, and at age 43 I’m just not buying that he can remain razor sharp with his game 5 weeks in between starts (major-to-major). Especially on a course with thick, juicy rough that will heavily penalize stray shots off the tee (unlike Augusta) and in cool temps and damp weather (hello back flare-ups). Not necessarily saying that he’ll completely implode and miss the cut, but as I’ve said before, “BUSTS” are relative and if he finishes outside the top 20 this week, given the hype and expectations coming in, I’d say that’d be a pretty big disappointment. And yep, that’s exactly what I’m predicting. Stay away from El Tigre this week and thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK 

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Adam Hadwin– An extra dash of BOLD with this pick, as the Canadian is a career 0 for 2 in the PGA Championship and only has one top 25 career major finish (2018 Masters). Makes a lot of cuts, a steady-eddy who doesn’t necessarily do anything extra special (except for shoot 59s :), and although this may feel like a bit of a stretch, I simply feel that based on his overall consistency that his 0fer major drought in terms of top 20 finishes will inevitably break sooner than later.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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