PGA Championship experts' picks

August, 7, 2012
08/07/12
1:22
PM ET
Each week of the season, our experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week's tournament: The PGA Championship at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

Horse for the Course


Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Louis Oosthuizen
It's hard to figure out who the Ocean Course favors, but it's hard to knock a guy who is playing well and hits the ball so nicely. He sniffed contention last week and perhaps his game is rounding into shape.

Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: Dustin Johnson
The South Carolina native will be playing in the first major that his home state has ever hosted. Wouldn't it be sweet revenge if the big-hitting Johnson could avenge the debacle that cost him a spot in a playoff at the 2010 PGA Championship?

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist: Adam Scott
Can play in wind. Is patient enough to deal with the nuttiness of a Pete Dye course. And golf might owe him one, right?


Birdie Buster


Bob Harig: Keegan Bradley
The defending PGA champ comes to Kiawah on a high after his Bridgestone Invitational victory on Sunday that all but wrapped up a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Bradley is playing well at a good time.

Kevin Maguire: Keegan Bradley
The St. John's product broke out of his mid-season funk with a bang after his surprising victory at the WGC-Bridgestone just in time to defend his PGA Championship title. Before his win in Akron, Bradley hadn't earned a top-20 on the PGA Tour since before the Masters.

Gene Wojciechowski: Keegan Bradley
Bradley is fearless. He's coming off a come-from-behind win. Back-to-back PGA titles wouldn't stun me.


Super Sleeper


Bob Harig: Kyle Stanley
He's not done much since his victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but the PGA seems to produce first-time major winners or those to whom we're not paying much attention.

Kevin Maguire: Padraig Harrington
Loads of respect for a three-time major winner who didn't qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and instead teed it up at the Reno-Tahoe Open and finished T-19. Never hurts that he's clutched the Wannamaker Trophy on a Sunday evening before, too.

Gene Wojciechowski: Jim Furyk
He collapsed at the U.S. Open and at Firestone. But Furyk is a grinder. He'll be ready this week.


Winner


Bob Harig: Jim Furyk
Can he get over the pain of such a tough loss at the Bridgestone? Furyk is obviously playing well, he just had one bad hole at the worst time. It sure would be a great story if he bounced back this week.

Kevin Maguire: Rory McIlroy
Last week, the Northern Irishman started the WGC-Bridgestone 3 over after four holes, but rebounded nicely for a T-5 finish. Expect the world No. 3 to enjoy the links-like layout of Kiawah Island, especially if he's raising his second major championship trophy in as many years.

Gene Wojciechowski: Matt Kuchar
Steady. Unflappable. Time for another first time major winner.

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