The 2016 PGA Championship has been thrown on its head by the Rio Olympics. For the first time in recent memory, the start of the fourth major of the season gets under way only 11 days after the third concluded. The Olympics are turning into a joke and the golf tournament is in the PGA’s traditional August slot. Who will be able to deal with the change in routine and the shortened rest and recovery window? The majority of the worlds top players are either skipping the Olympics or have not qualified, and if they manage to recharge quickly enough, could use the disruption to their advantage. Imagine them charging into the PGA full bore, skipping the Olympics, and using the extra time off to rest up for the Ryder Cup and FedEx playoffs, which also required significant energy.
Make no mistake, the PGA is the most important event left on the calendar and the American and European stars know it and will be highly focused. Let’s look at the particulars to get you a winner.
Phil Mickelson, fresh off one of his greatest performances in a major, always plays the week before a major but skipped the RBC Canadian Open because of the timing. Lefty has some local knowledge at Baltustrol, but he played so well at Troon and has got to be deflated from the energy spent on another 2nd place finish. I suspect he’ll have a go on Thursday and Friday but will run out of gas. Henrik Stenson can’t possibly duplicate his effort after his performance in The Open.
This major will play out in an epic slug-fest between the world’s top four. Jason, Jordan, Rory, and DJ are all skipping Rio and have their priorities in order. They have been bobbing and weaving in the 2016 majors with Dustin Johnson holding an edge in performance and consistency. Sergio Garcia has been performing well and is always buzzing around the top 5, and the last two majors have been won by players previously on the BPTNWAM list. Sergio is the trendy pick but he is going to Rio and will be too distracted. Who will win it? I am feeling a Rory, DJ and Scott Piercy Sunday horse race This will be a power ball striking tournament and DJ is striping it better than anyone now. He is your 2016 PGA champion. Yes, two majors in one year for a guy I thought would never win one. Like that pick? Who’s your pick at Baltustrol?