By petedirenzo
Monday, August 10, 2009

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I'm going to take a flier on Paddy. I have a hunch. In the scrum of
writers at Turnberry on Sunday afternoon, he had a twinkle in his eye,
as if he knew something that we didn't. It would save his year, be a cool story and lift him back to No. 2. Maybe I'm simply rooting for him because I'm writing the PGA story. Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I'll take Tiger as my real pick and Furyk as my dark horse. Hazeltine
is a course that demands great iron play. Furyk is one of the few guys
out of that John Mahaffey-Larry Nelson mold who's not content with his
major resume and wants more. Damon Hack, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I'll take Steve Stricker. I like his vibe, the way he's walking and
hitting the ball. He has two wins, and he's been close in other majors.
Plus the PGA is in the Midwest, so he'll have a lot of friends and
family there. To put it simply, he's playing as well as anybody. Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated:  For
the sake of historical balance, I like Justin Leonard. He had a
three-shot lead going into the final round in '02 and shot a 77. He
couldn't do anything the last day, totally un-Justin-like. History
usually isn't that neat, though. I have a feeling about Luke Donald. A
second-shot course is good for him, and he's been quietly piling up top
15 finishes. Anonymous Pro: I'm going to pick Phil. He contended at Bethpage and damn near won it.
He had a lot of heat on him that week and almost did it. He got the
lead, then made a couple of bogeys coming in. Phil is going to have a
lot to play for, he'll be mentally fresh, and he'll have amazing
support. John Garrity, contributing writer, Sports Illustrated: You'll be shocked to learn that I'm sticking with Robert Karlsson,
whether he shows up or not. He missed the U.S. Open with an eye
infection. I'm not sure what happened to him at Turnberry, and I don't
know his status. You might think he's rusty. I like to think he's
well-rested. Connell Barrett, editor-at-large, Golf Magazine: I predict that Tiger will win the PGA
Championship (by 5 shots). Other bold predictions: The sun will rise in the
east, the pope will remain Catholic, and Sergio will not write a book on putting
called "Grip It and Yip It." Michael Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: Tiger Woods: He’s the only serious pick you can make
here. That said, Hunter Mahan is playing lights-out; and Padraig Harrington
showed his mettle on Sunday until the disaster on 16. The battle between Paddy
and Tiger on Sunday at the Bridgestone was the most-gripping live golf I’ve seen
since Torrey Pines. A Major Sunday showdown between the World No. 1 and the Real
No. 2 would go a long way toward salvaging a dud season on Tour.David Dusek, Deputy Editor, Golf.com: Based on the last two weeks, it’s almost impossible not to pick Tiger Woods at
Hazeltine. His iron play, short game and putting are scary good once again. If
he hits 60% of the fairways for the week, there’s no way he doesn’t hoist the
Wanamaker trophy on Sunday evening. That said, I would not be shocked if
Stewart Cink (who’s oozing confidence right now) or Miguel Angel Jimenez (who’s
under-appreciated game has been solid all summer) give Tiger a run for his money.Dick Friedman: My heart, as always, says Sergio, and one of these days I'll be right!
But my head says Angel Cabrera, who can manhandle Hazeltine with his
length and touch. He'll again leave English-speaking scribes grasping
for quotes. And next year at St. Andrews, we'll be speculating if he
can achieve the career Slam.

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