It’s tough to back a European at the US PGA

Sam Torrance
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THE US PGA Championship may not be the most popular of the four Majors from the fans’ perspective, but there’s no doubt that the players involved will regardless want to win this as much as any other event.

The Ocean course at Kiawah Island – where this will begin today ­– is fantastic, a great test. I’ve played there in the Ryder Cup and in the US PGA Senior tournament, and it’s very demanding – you have to be on top of your game.

In terms of the elements, it’s based on the coast, so anything can happen. If there’s bad weather, it has the potential to make conditions extremely difficult.

That said, it is quite a wide course, so it’ll certainly suit some of the longer hitters and the winner will definitely be among those.

Our boys, however, are struggling. Lee Westwood and Luke Donald don’t look at their best, so it’s looking good for the Americans. The best European hope is Graeme McDowell. He’s a proven player, has impressed in the last two Majors and is obviously on his game.

The defending champion, Keegan Bradley, should also be in contention. When you’ve won a tournament and come back to it the next year, you know you’re capable of winning and it gives you a hope that you can do so again.

Tiger Woods is struggling. He’s been in contention for a couple of Majors this year and not won them, and in years gone by he probably would have won at least one. It shouldn’t be forgotten that he’s also changed his swing, but we’ll have to wait and see with him.

Phil Mickelson’s another of those who’s struggling – he’s just not doing it at the moment – but he is Phil Mickelson; he can turn it around.

Rory McIlroy bounced back after the Masters last year and went on to win the US Open; if he did it, why can’t Adam Scott? That wouldn’t surprise me at all, and I’d love to see that happen.

Scott was obviously beaten to victory at The Open by Ernie Els, and Els is someone I also give a huge chance to. I’m actually still delighted for him for that win – and he should be in contention.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. He has won 21 European Tour titles in a career spanning 40 years and famously sank the putt that clinched victory for Europe in the 1985 Ryder Cup. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam