PGA Championship preview: Wayne Riley looks at the contenders
Last Updated: 15/05/19 6:08pm
Wayne "Radar" Riley assesses Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's PGA Championship hopes and explains why golf is in such good shape.
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The talent in golf right now is everywhere. We've got Dustin Johnson, we've got Rory McIlroy and that's without the likes of Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka and of course, Tiger Woods. There are so many stars out on the periphery too and waiting to make their big move.
Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were the real pioneers of golf in the modern era and they did a great job, but now all this current crop have taken up the baton, run with it and are doing it very well. You could argue that golf, in its position right now, is the best it has ever been.
A lot of the top players said they wanted to play Tiger at his best, but they shouldn't be wishing too hard about going head-to-head with Woods. They saw at the Masters what he can still do.
Let's not forget either that Tiger isn't as good as he used to be, as you have to remember this is a guy who once won the US Open by FIFTEEN shots and won his first Masters by 12 shots. This guy has done things that are just unbelievable and now we have him back.
Last year he nearly won this competition and was leading in the back nine at Carnoustie at the Open Championship, so we could be heading into this event with Woods already on 17 rather than 15 majors.
To win the Green Jacket last month was hugely impressive and the whole world was in such awe after all the things he has been through, both on and off the golf course. If he was to also win here, then all of a sudden there would be talk about the Grand Slam again!
Having said that, I think Tiger is going to find it tough to match the likes of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy off the tee, as this course is just so long and going to play even longer after a lot of rain over the first couple of practice days.
If one of the long hitters drive it straight, then they are in prime position to attack this brutal test. It's a monster and you need not apply if you can't hit a fair distance, so there's going to be a lot of players this week who can't even reach some of the fairways.
This course sets up well for McIlroy, who I think is ready to win again after his disappointment at the Masters. He won the Players around a narrow, tricky golf course in Sawgrass and has already won two PGA Championship titles.
I think the pressure for him at Augusta, to go and win the career Grand Slam, was just a little too much. He's the best driver of the ball, which is going to play a huge part in his challenge this week.
Watch the PGA Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with the On the Range show on Wednesday from 8pm on Sky Sports Golf.