Only one playing week remains on the PGA Tour calendar before the final major of the 2013 golf season can tee off, and with the field finally confirmed bar two reserved places for the winners of the Bridgestone Invitational and Reno Tahoe Open, it’s Henrik Stenson who’s ticking all the early shortlist boxes.
The PGA Championship heads to Oak Hill Country Club for it’s 2013 festivities and, with a reputation for punishing rough and greens that run faster than Usain Bolt, it seems a slog of a golfing week is in store for the 156-strong field.
In the five major tournaments that have passed through the New York course previously just a staggering seven players have finished the four rounds under par. That startling figure indicates that whoever triumphs at Oak Hill will have to base their game around steady driving and dead-eye iron play, two facets that 40/1 shot Stenson has flourished in during 2013.
Having competed in 12 tournaments this year, Stenson ranks first on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy having plonked 70 per cent of his tee shots firmly onto the fairway. What’s more, the Swede sits second in greens in regulation with a 71 per cent success rate in finding the dance floor. That kind of solid play will stand him in good stead at the PGA Championship, where all of the last five winners have been first time Major victors – another trend that weighs heavily in Stenson’s favour.
The two-time Ryder Cup member has form on his side heading to Oak Hill too, with a second place at The Open adding to his two other runners-up spots and two top 10 finishes this year.
To pile even more evidence on to the positive side of the scales, the 37 year-old has twice finished at the top end of the PGA Championship leaderboard and will be bidding to become the fifth non-American winner of the tournament in the last six years.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date.