ESPN.com picks the PGA winner
Who will win the 95th PGA Championship at Oak Hill on Sunday? ESPN.com's crack staff of columnists, analysts and reporters have their picks for the top three finishers.
Follow along during Sunday's final round to see how the selections play out.
Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst
Is there anyone inside the top 10 who wouldn't make for a great story? Not by my optimistic eyes.
I see it playing out this way Sunday afternoon. Rory McIlroy builds on Saturday's birdie-birdie finish and shoots another 67, coming up just short. Henrik Stenson and Jonas Blixt both try but miss out on a playoff by a shot after finishing at 7-under.
Adam Scott drops a 67 of his own and gets into a three-man playoff. Jason Dufner birdies the 17th to get to 7-under and then makes a 10-foot par save at the 18th to also become part of the playoff. Jim Furyk bogeys the 18th this time around, so it's three men and four holes for the giant trophy.
Furyk, distraught by his bogey at the last in regulation, can't make a birdie in the playoff, and since he didn't have an extra bottle of 5-hour Energy in his bag, falls short again.
Scott plays well but on the last hole of the playoff misses a 15-foot birdie putt that would have gotten him into sudden death extension of the playoff.
That leaves the scenario I saw in my mind's eye at the beginning of the week. Karma is something not to be trifled with. Dufner had a shaky two-putt on Friday, then thought he missed the par save on Saturday afternoon, but, in both cases, the ball found its way home on No. 18.
Why? Because when it's your time to win, things like that happen. In the playoff, Duff shoots 1-under and again makes a 10-foot par save to win his first major and shows the emotion he's been holding in his whole life. Remember Scott's release at Augusta? Yeah, this won't be like that! Ha, ha, ha.
Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer
My confidence is in a good putter with major championship experience: a man with some scars and some hurt, a man like Furyk, our leader after the third round of the PGA Championship.
On Saturday, the 43-year-old, 16-time tour winner with a U.S. Open victory on his résumé, made a tricky 18-foot par save on the 18th to keep the solo lead after 54 holes. His 68 on a tough Oak Hill layout was courageous and smart.
Last year, he let the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club slip from his grasp down the stretch. He gift-wrapped the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone for Keegan Bradley with a disastrous double-bogey at the 72nd hole.
He looked horrible in the Ryder Cup at Medinah.
"They are gone," he said of those travails. "I've made peace with that. Hopefully what I do is draw from that experience.
"I'm a better person and better player for it."
I believe him. That's why I think he will beat Dufner and Stenson on Sunday.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer
Furyk would be a great story, the rare player who goes 10 years between his first and second major titles. The only players to ever do that were Julius Boros (who would add a third at age 48, making him the oldest major champion) and Ben Crenshaw.
Does Furyk have the resolve to overcome his difficulties from a year ago -- as well as a trying 2013? Stenson is the choice to get it done here, simply because he keeps knocking at the door, and one of these times it is bound to open.
He would be the first Swedish male to win a major championship if he were to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday. Stenson was third at the Scottish Open, second at the Open Championship and second again last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
That leaves Furyk, who was one of only four players among the last 30 to tee off on Saturday to shoot in the 60s, to finish runner-up for the third time in a major.
For someone to come out of the pack, the pick here is Scott, who survived a tough day to still be within striking distance, just 4 strokes back. Scott is playing some of the best golf of his career. Post a number and see what happens.
Ian O'Connor, ESPNNewYork.com columnist
The best story for Sunday would be a McIlroy charge from 6 shots back to save his season at the PGA just like he did last year. Unfortunately, I don't think that story is happening.
No Tiger Woods, no Phil Mickelson, and no sure bets at the top of the Oak Hill leaderboard. I'm having trouble buying into the notion that either Stenson or Blixt will steal this one, though Stenson has been hot. Looks like Steve Stricker is saving his best putting tips for himself, not Tiger, but at this stage of his career I'll believe Strick winning a major when I see it.
I'm guessing Furyk falters on some muscle memory (see 2012, Olympic, Firestone and Medinah), and this comes down to Dufner and Scott, who need to make up some ground. I think Dufner has been the better player this week, and I think he'll make good on his PGA Championship collapse of two years ago.
Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist
Ten players are within 7 shots of Jim Furyk's 54-hole lead. Oak Hill is getting in a bad mood, and it's Sunday at a major. What more could you ask for?
It would have been nice if Tiger and Phil were in the late pairings, but they aren't. They'll be on their private jets, or headed to them, by the time the leaders tee off. But that doesn't mean we can't have some fun on Sunday.
Nobody figured on Mickelson coming out of nowhere to win the Open Championship last month, so don't be surprised if something nutty happens here at Oak Hill.
I'd love to see McIlory or Lee Westwood come from 6 back to win, but that seems a little ambitious. I said earlier in the week that I thought Furyk would hang in there, and he has. So I'm not going to abandon the pick now.
My Sunday top three: Furyk, Scott, Westwood.
Here's a voter-by-voter breakdown of the results:
The Big Three
ESPN.com writers Michael Collins, Farrell Evans, Bob Harig, Ian O'Connor and Gene Wojciechowski give their predictions for the top three finishers in the 95th PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
|Finish||Michael Collins||Farrell Evans||Bob Harig||Ian O'Connor||Gene Wojciechowski|
|1.||Jason Dufner||Jim Furyk||Henrik Stenson||Jason Dufner||Jim Furyk|
|2.||Jim Furyk (T-2)||Jason Dufner||Jim Furyk||Adam Scott||Adam Scott|
|3.||Adam Scott (T-2)||Henrik Stenson||Adam Scott||Jim Furyk||Lee Westwood|
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