• US PGA Championship

Nicklaus: US PGA is wide open

ESPN staff
August 6, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods is still the favourite to win at Oak Hill

Jack Nicklaus believes the perfect conditions at Oak Hill gives anyone a shot at landing the US PGA Championship.

The year's three majors to date have all been won by players ranked inside the top 10 - Adam Scott (No. 7) at the Masters, Justin Rose (No. 5) at the US Open and Phil Mickelson (No. 5) at the Open - but Nicklaus believes the course for the year's final major will suit far more players in the field and could throw up a surprise winner.

Despite that, the 18-time major winner, who claimed the last of his five US PGA title at Oak Hill in 1980, admitted Tiger Woods had to be among the favourites.

"The player has to suit his game to the golf course and the guys that can adapt to it are the guys that always have been the good players," Nicklaus said. "I mean, Mickelson will adapt well to it. Tiger will adapt well to it. I think there's a lot of guys that will adapt well to it.

"You have so many good players today that I think will like Oak Hill, will enjoy playing the golf course and could have an opportunity to win. To try to pick one of them out of there is pretty difficult right now.

"The British Open, you can eliminate a lot of guys because of conditions. The US Open you have the same thing and the Masters the same thing. But I think more people, because of the summer conditions and the nature of what happened with the PGA Championship, it opens it up to more people having an opportunity to win. So I think the PGA is a pretty open ball game right now."

Woods heads to Oak Hill on the back of a dominant display at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, shooting a second-round 61 en route to victory.

The 37-year-old has now won five times on the PGA Tour in 2013, but is still to end a five-year major drought dating back to the 2008 US Open and remains four title adrift of Nicklaus' record tally.

"Obviously Tiger has had a very, very good year," Nicklaus added. "He's not finished off a couple majors he's had an opportunity to be involved in.

"You would be pretty hard pressed not to make him, if not the favourite, one of the favourites going into Oak Hill."

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