Kiawah Island’s 15th hole – photo PGA of America

Eight Australians will tee it up at this week’s PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina, three having played the event when it was last played at Kiawah Island in 2012 and two playing the event for the very first occasions.

Kiawah Island promises a difficult assignment, the only time previously used for a major when Rory McIlroy recorded an stunning 13 under par in 2012, although he was eight shots clear of the runner-up.

Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Jason Day, Matt Jones, Lucas Herbert, Cameron Davis and Jason Scrivener get the chance to tee it up amongst one of golf’s strongest fields, Jason Day the only of those to have won the event when he was successful in 2015 at Whistling Straits.

Day’s form of late, however, has been well below his best, missing his last three cuts and slipping to his lowest world ranking in nearly eleven years.

Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman appear the Australians most likely to do well this week, Smith now Australia’s highest world ranked player with consecutive top tens finishes at his last two starts in addition to a win in a teams’ event with Marc Leishman in New Orleans.

Leishman had a solid midfield finish last week in Dallas following an impressive 5th place at the Masters and a win with Smith in New Orleans. His game appears to have improved sharply after several ordinary performances earlier in the year and he should be suited over this layout.

Leishman did finish 27th at Kiawah Island in 2012 and although changes have been made to the golf course since he does have experience over the demanding layout.

Adam Scott has not missed a cut in his last 14 PGA Tour events but amongst those there has been only one top ten, so his current form does not suggest a big effort this week.

Scott did finish 11th when the event was last played here and it is the major in which he has enjoyed a relatively good record having recorded six top tens two of those 3rd place finishes.

Matt Jones has made four of his six cuts at the PGA Championship with a best of 21st behind Jason Day in 2015. His recent win at the Honda Classic suggests he is not too far from where he needs to be to better his previous best in the event.

Lucas Herbert will play his third PGA Championship having made the cut once in 2019 and sat out the weekend last year. Herbert has struggled for form of late and faces a big task if he is to better his previous efforts in the event.

Cameron Davis and Jason Scrivener get their chance to play a major championship for the second time, Davis an Open Championship previously and Scrivener a US Open. This, therefore, will be their first PGA Championship appearance.

Davis is a player good enough to be contending in major championships in the years ahead, but this year is likely far too early. He has, though, played well on occasions in 2021 PGA Tour events.

Scrivener has played only five events in 2021, one of those a runner-up finish to Tyrell Hatton in Abu Dhabi. His form has not been so good since however although that he has made the field for this week’s event is a reflection on his slowly maturing game.

Given current form then Cameron Smith appears likely to continue his impressive major championship record having finished inside the top five on three occasions in a limited number of starts.