Who will reign at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, this weekend?
The last major of the year arrives fresh off the back of the British Open, with the event, typically held in mid-August, being brought forward because of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
An obvious choice given his stunning victory in the Open, but Stenson would have been worthy of inclusion on the basis of his previous record in the event. Four of the 40-year-old Swede’s top seven finishes in majors (before Troon) had come in the US PGA, including third places in 2013 and 2014. The only question is whether the world No5 can carry the momentum from the Open with him across the Atlantic, or whether his heroics will catch up with him during a busy spell.
Another easy option considering his 17-under-par total at Troon, including a major equalling 63 in the first round and a flawless 65 on Sunday, would have won 140 of the 145 Open Championships ever staged. However, Mickelson also earns his place because of past performances, most notably his victory the last time Baltusrol staged the event in 2005. The 46-year-old left-hander has returned to the golf course several times to use his status as an honorary member.
Not only is the two-time PGA champion (2012 and 2014) super-motivated to finish the season on a high, he is also in decent form as his tied fifth finish at The Open showed despite facing the worst of conditions the first three days. More importantly, the Northern Irishman seems to love the conditions at the PGA Championships, having finished outside the top-20 only once in his seven career starts. His driving gives him a huge advantage on most courses and Baltusrol is no exception. Really, all he needs is for his putter to behave for four rounds.
US Open champion Johnson hit 71 per cent of fairways and 72 per cent of greens in regulation at Troon, but was undone by two costly double bogeys in round two and a triple bogey in the third. The world No2 dropped five shots on the 11th hole alone and still finished inside the top 10 to continue his superbly consistent form in 2016. His power will also be a major advantage on the closing stretch which features a 230-yard par three and back-to-back par fives measuring 650 and 553 yards.
Finding players who did well at Baltusrol in 2005 and are still competing at the highest level is not easy, but two-time major winner Johnson (who finished 17th) fits the profile. Although he has not tasted victory since lifting the Claret Jug at St Andrews last year, Johnson has quietly been compiling a series of good finishes this season, including eighth in the US Open, 10th in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and 12th in the Open, where a poor third round denied him a top-five finish.