Sports Mole ponders this evening's final round at the US PGA Championship and picks its winner.
By Pascal Lemesre, Football League Editor Filed: Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 18:31 UK
Last Updated: Monday, August 12, 2013 at 18:52 UK
Later tonight we will find out who has won the final Major title of 2013 following the completion of the final round of the US PGA Championship.
As it stands, there is just a small number of names likely to lift the Wanamaker Trophy at Oak Hill Country Club, New York and here, Sports Mole assesses the chances of the final four pairings out today.
The front-running Americans - Furyk and Dufner (off at 7.55pm): It's a decade since Jim Furyk and golf's strangest swing won the US Open - his first and only Major to date. Today, Furyk heads into the final round with on nine-under-par, one clear of Jason Dufner, thanks to a sublime finish yesterday. The 43-year-old, one of the shorter hitters in the field, somehow made birdie on the 500-yard par four 17th before miraculously saving par after a poor drive on 18. His nearest challenger is Dufner, who set a course record 63 on Friday to lead after the second round. Yesterday, the 'Dufmeister' didn't putt quite so well and could only manage a one-over round of 71.
The chasing Swedes - Stenson and Blixt (off at 7.45pm): Before this tournament, you could have made a case that Henrik Stenson is the in-form golfer at the moment. He was the top European at the Scottish Open, British Open and last week's event at Firestone, not coming outside of the top three in those tournaments. Today he starts two off the pace and must feel that this is his best-ever chance at a Major. Compatriot Jonas Blixt (-6) is a surprise name towards the top of the leaderboard but his 66 yesterday shot him into the spotlight. He was the only man not to make a bogey on day three. If either of these two win, it will be a first male Major triumph for Sweden.
The five-under boys - Scott and Striker (off at 7.35pm): Before the first tee shot was struck on Thursday, we predicted in our tournament preview that Masters champion Adam Scott was going to be victorious in Rochester. He hasn't let us down and still remains in the hunt at five-under, four off the lead. The Aussie described a potential victory rather nicely as a way to "bookend" his season. Alongside the elegance of Scott is the wise old head of Steve Stricker. The 46-year-old hasn't had a particularly low round, just gone about his business by not going over par on any of the three days. If either he or Furyk wins, we will have back-to-back Major champions for the first time since Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd in 1986.
Britain's best - McIlroy and Westwood (off at 7.25pm): The defending champion makes it on to our contenders list thanks to yesterday's 67. Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy won his second Major last year at Kiawah Island by a record eight strokes and could retain the Wanamaker Trophy with a low score today. He and playing partner Lee Westwood - always in the mix at Majors - begin their rounds a hefty six shots adrift of Furyk but if they go low and those above falter, the door could open. Westwood's consistency is likely to see him make the better challenge as he searches for his maiden Major, but if McIlroy heats up there could be no stopping him. If Westwood ends within three of the winner, he will rue the double-bogey, bogey finish he had on Friday.
Sports Mole says - Stenson: We're siding with the powerful Swede this evening. He starts just two off the pace and his length should favour his quest ahead of Furyk and Dufner. If any of the top three score a sub-70 round then it will be almost impossible for the likes of McIlroy and Westwood to trouble them. The man most likely to go low is Stenson and he's our PGA Champion.