The final major of 2012 is upon us, and a field of 150 of the world's best players will compete for their chance to win the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, S.C. Here is a quick rundown of contenders to watch this week.
Tiger Woods -- Let's just get this guy out of the way right from the start. Woods is always a threat for any major championship and is once again the Vegas-odds favorite to win this week. Woods is coming off one of his better major finishes in the last three years (T-3 at the British Open) and has had a vastly successful 2012 season on tour that includes three tournament victories. Tiger's quest to win his career major no. 15 will not come easy this week, especially if Mother Nature decides to make Kiawah Island play as brutal as it can.
Graeme McDowell -- If you were told a certain golfer from Northern Ireland would be in the final Sunday pairing in both the 2012 U.S. Open and British Open, you would have assumed Rory McIlory would be that player. Not so, of course, as fellow countryman Graeme McDowell holds that classification and has (rather sneakily) contended in both of the aforementioned majors up until their final holes. McDowell's aggressive style will likely serve him well on a tough Kiawah golf course this week, so don't be surprised if he once again finds himself among the leaders come Sunday.
Keegan Bradley -- Last week's winner at the WGC-Bridgestone and defending PGA Champion, Bradley has proven to be one of the biggest clutch performers on tour in decades. Still early in his professional career, the Boston native simply does not know how to quit during a tournament. His game can be slightly erratic at times, however, so it will be interesting to see how Bradley manages the elements this week on South Carolina's coast.
Jim Furyk -- No, really; Jim Furyk might have a chance this week despite being one of the shortest drivers on tour and suffering a heartbreaking loss last week to Bradley. Kiawah Island will be the longest golf course in major championship history (measuring in at more than 7,600 yards), but Furyk's ability to navigate Olympic Club earlier this season at the U.S. Open proved his game can hold up against monster courses. The question won't be if Furyk can climb up the leaderboard this week; rather, it will be if he can stay at the top when it matters most.