Year's final major wide open for the taking
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina (Reuters) - Unpredictability has been the predominant theme going into all the majors in recent years and this week's PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is no exception.
Sixteen different players have claimed the last 16 major titles and that trend could continue as players such as British world number one Luke Donald and fourth-ranked Lee Westwood aim for their first grand slam crowns.
The dominant era of 14-times major winner Tiger Woods ended four years ago, his aura of invincibility swiftly disappearing as he battled injuries and tried to rebuild his golf swing and private life following the breakup of his marriage.
Though Woods has produced good form in fits and starts this year, winning a season-high three times on the PGA Tour, he has always judged the true success of his golfing campaigns by the number of majors won.
"Winning golf tournaments makes it successful, but winning a major makes it a great year," four-times PGA champion Woods said while preparing for the final major of 2012.
"You can go from having a 'so-so' year to all of a sudden winning one major and ... it's a great year because you're part of history when you do something like that.
"Ernie has been consistent this year ... but then all of a sudden it just jumps you into a different category," he said of South African Ernie Els who ended a 10-year victory drought at the majors by winning last month's British Open at Royal Lytham.
Woods was in contention going into the weekend at the last two majors before fading, finishing joint 21st at the U.S. Open and tying for third at the British Open. Continued...