The 2017 Australian PGA Championship takes place this week, starting tomorrow in fact, from the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, an event which is being co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia.
With that, there are a number of big names taking part in the tournament this week, including The Masters champion of 2017 in Sergio Garcia, The Masters champion of 2013 and the 2013 Australian PGA Champion in Adam Scott, the winner of the 2017 BMW Championship in Marc Leishman, and defending champion Harold Varner III.
Sergio Garcia comes into the Australian PGA Championship in patchy form, having only finished inside the Top 10 four times in the 16 events he has competed in since winning The Masters back in April, which has meant that he has fallen outside of the Top 10 on the Official World Golf Rankings. However, Garcia has finished inside the Top 10 in three of his last six events, including two of his last three events, so he appears to be a strong chance of contending this week.
Meanwhile, Adam Scott comes into the 2017 Australian PGA Championship in rather poor form having not finished inside the Top 10 in his last eight events, with his ranking plummeting from seventh at the start of the year to being 31st in the world, and has not won a tournament since winning the WGC – Cadillac Championship back in March 2016.
Scott also faces the prospect of not winning a tournament in 2017 for the second time in three years after winning at least one event for 14-straight years from 2001 to 2014. In fact, Scott has only won twice in the last 75 events that he has competed in, and while that is completely normal for most mortals, it shouldn’t be normal thing for someone of Adam Scott’s calibre, and the form/mental adjustment must happen this week if he is to be any hope of recapturing past glories in the future.
Marc Leishman has had a career-best year in 2017 with seven Top 10 finishes from 25 events so far, including two wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, and at the BMW Championship, which has seen his ranking rise from 56th in the world at the end of 2016 to his current position of 13th on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Leishman also comes into the Australian PGA Championship in strong form having finished inside the Top Three in three of his last five events, and should be set to contend here.
However, Harold Varner III doesn’t look set to contend here after only one Top 10 finish since claiming the only win to date in his professional career at this tournament last year.
So, who is my tip to win the 2017 Australian PGA Championship?
While I would like to see Adam Scott win his first tournament since winning the WGC – Cadillac Championship back in March 2016, I am not going to be holding my breath for it to happen this week given that he is not the player that he once was, especially after the change of the putter regulations.
However, despite Sergio Garcia’s major breakthrough in 2017, I am going to tip Marc Leishman to win the 2017 Australian PGA Championship at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast as he is in great form, and claiming his third victory would be the perfect way to end his career-best year, which would be just the sixth victory of his career in his 299th event.