PGA Championship
This week's edition marks the 106th edition of the tournament Image Credit: PGA of America

Gulf News asked experts from the UAE’s golf industry who they think will conquer Valhalla Golf Club and win this week’s PGA Championship.

Jonathan Craddock - PGA Professional at the Peter Cowen Academy Dubai

Scottie Scheffler won the Masters Tournament for the second time last week
Scottie Scheffler won the Masters Tournament last month Image Credit: Masters Tournament

I’m going with World No.1 Scottie Scheffler as he is so dominant right now. The course has had a few changes since it last hosted a Major in 2014, so it’s going to be playing a little quicker this time around, whereas the ball used to stick on the edge of the greens.

It’s going to be a little bit more run off, so it’s going to play not exactly like a links. Guys will be playing 5-6 irons in from around 160-18 yards, and I don’t see the score running away which will suit Scottie. He plays best when the winning score is between 10-12 under par, so he is my top pick unfortunately, which is a bit boring! As an outsider I’ll go with Ludvig Åberg. I’d like to also add Rory or Brooks, I always say them two as Rory is my favourite golfer and Brooks is just a stunning player.

Thomas Love - Director of Agronomy at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club

Thomas Love (L) met Cameron Smith at LIV Golf Singapore
Thomas Love (L) met Cameron Smith at LIV Golf Singapore Image Credit: Supplied

I’m going to go with defending champion Brooks Koepka as he’s on a bit of a roll at the minute. I’ve just got back from the LIV Golf event in Singapore where he won and was hitting the ball really well, so I would say he’s my favourite. I do like the look of Cameron Smith as well; he’s playing pretty well and one of my favourite golfers. For an outsider, I’m going to go with Sami Välimäki as he’s Finnish and my wife is a Fin, so I’ve got to support them!

Stuart Taylor – General Manager at Prosports International

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy has won his last two starts Image Credit: AP

Rory McIlroy is my hot favourite for this one after back-to-back wins on the PGA Tour. I also think Ludvig Åberg is in with a great shout as he would have learned a lot from his first Major Championship at The Masters last month, where he finished runner-up behind Scottie Scheffler.

James Ashman - Partnership & Experience Manager at The Els Club

Collin Morikawa became the first American to win the DP World Tour Championship and Race to Dubai in 2021 Image Credit: Supplied

My pick this week is going to be Collin Morikawa as he has quite good form around Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses. He was pretty good in the Masters Tournament last month and looks like he is swinging it quite well. I would like to go for an outsider, but my heart is telling me that Morikawa is going to do something pretty special and win a Major this year, especially after coming into form at The Masters. I’m hoping he is going to win this week.

Will Kent - Journalist at Worldwide Golf Magazine

Nicolai Hojgaard won the Ras al Khaimah Championship
Nicolai Højgaard has won twice in the UAE - the Ras Al Khaimah Championship and DP World Tour Championship Image Credit: Supplied

I’m going with Rory McIlroy this week. I think the stars may have aligned considering he won last week, and he won at this course in 2014 when winning the week before. Scheffler is the obvious favourite, but I think the fact him and his wife have just had their first child will mean he hasn’t practiced as much as he’d have liked. We also don’t know where his mindset is at, so that’s why I’m backing Rory.

For an outsider, I’m going with DP World Tour Championship winner Nicolai Højgaard. The course is pretty long, I think it’s one of the longest on the PGA Tour this season, so you’ll need to drive the ball well. Nicolai drives the ball really far and showed that at the DP World Tour Championship last year. He’ll need to drive it far, keep it in the fairway and avoid the rough; just as he did at Jumeirah Golf Estates. If he drives it well, I think he’s got an outside chance that not many people are looking at.

Michael Bolt - PGA Teaching Professional at Claude Harmon III Performance Golf Academy

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka became the first LIV player to win four times on the circuit with victory in Singapore Image Credit: LIV Golf

I think Brooks Koepka is coming into form at the right time – he had an excellent performance last week on LIV Golf in Singapore. He is always incredibly competitive here at the PGA Championship and is my pick to deliver another Major win.

Rory obviously comes into this in good form too. He loves this golf course and it will certainly suit his game so I expect him to be right there. This golf course rewards brave golf and good hitting so we could be in for a Sunday with a leaderboard stacked full of quality.

James Houghton, PGA Professional at Topgolf Dubai

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is hoping to end a ten-year Major drought this week Image Credit: Masters

My pick this week is Rory McIlroy because he’s won his last two starts and this week’s PGA Championship is at Valhalla Golf Club, where he picked up his last Major trophy in 2014. I think he’ll be full of confidence going into this week, so I’m backing him to end his ten-year Major drought.