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5 Players to Watch at the PGA Championship

By: | Mon 17 May 2021 | Comments

From Walter Hagen and Ben Hogan to Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, the Wanamaker Trophy lists many storied names in golf, with all of this week's assembled field at Kiawah Island hoping to etch their own place in history.

But who is going to follow in the footsteps of those legendary champions? Golfshake's Derek Clements picks out five notable contenders who he believes will contend for the grand prize.

Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele

There is a perception that the 27-year-old is having a poor season. Oh yeah? He finished fifth at the US Open, second at the CJ Cup, fifth at the Tournament of Champions, second in successive weeks at the Farmers Insurance Open and Waste Management Open and third at The Masters. And he is overdue a first major victory.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth

He’s back, and we should all rejoice. For almost four years, Spieth could not hit a barn door but he worked his socks off during the winter and has played like a man possessed in 2021, finally returning to the winner’s circle at the Texas Open. He also finished fourth at the Waste Management Open and Arnold Palmer Invitational, and was third at the Masters and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas

His year started in dreadful fashion. First there was a homophobic slur that was caught on camera. Thomas lost one of his sponsors and was genuinely devastated by his own actions. And then he lost his beloved grandfather. It came as no surprise that his form suffered. But then everything turned around for him when he won The Players Championship at Sawgrass.

Viktor Hovland

Hovland is a sensation who is certain to make a huge impression for Europe at the Ryder Cup later this year. Blessed with a fabulous temperament, the Norwegian seems to contend every time he plays. Pundits criticise his short game but he won the Mayakoba Classic (his second PGA Tour success) and finished second at the WGC-Workday Championship and Farmers Insurance Open.

Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood

Come on Tommy. This is your time. The Englishman has a great record in the majors but is still looking for a first victory on American soil, and Kiawah Island should suit his game, which is built around accuracy from the tee and pinpoint accuracy with his irons. Much will depend on his putting. And he needs to get off to a decent start.

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