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Five players who could all challenge for the US PGA Championship this week

GiveMeSport | Updated: 2018-08-14 17:56:10

Justin Thomas will defend his US PGA Championship title at Bellerive Country Club this week as the year’s final major takes place.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five possible contenders for one of golf’s biggest prizes.

Dustin Johnson

The world number one missed the cut in the Open at Carnoustie, but that is the only early exit he has made from 15 events in 2018 and he bounced straight back to claim a third win of the season in the Canadian Open.

He also finished tied for third at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational over the weekend. In 13 completed strokeplay events this year the former US Open champion’s worst finish is a tie for 17th.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy has won the US PGA twice, although his dramatic victory in the dark at Valhalla in 2014 remains his last major title to date.

However, the former world number one finished second in the Open and his game should be suited by the conditions in St Louis. He needs to find the putting touch which fired him to victory at Bay Hill earlier this season.

Francesco Molinari

Molinari’s tie for second in last year’s US PGA went largely unnoticed despite a brilliant second round of 64, the Italian eventually finishing alongside Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen, two shots behind Thomas.

However, since missing the cut in May’s Players Championship, Molinari’s form figures read an amazing 1-2-25-1-2-1-39, the latter win in the Open making him the first Italian major champion.

Brooks Koepka

The double US Open champion has also compiled a consistent record in the other majors, his tie for 39th in the Open marking the first major since the 2016 Masters that he had not finished 13th or better.

The big-hitting American has also been 15th or better in the last four US PGA Championships, including top fives at Whistling Straits (2015) and Baltusrol (2016).

Tony Finau

Ask people to name the player with top 10 finishes in all three majors this season and not many would come up with Tony Finau, but the 28-year-old was 10th in the Masters despite injuring his ankle in the par-three contest, fifth in the US Open and ninth in the Open.

A good performance could also secure a Ryder Cup debut.

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