The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is designed to bring together the four major champions of the current season, but due to injury and other commitments, only Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson of that quartet are appearing this week at the Royal Park Golf Course in Bermuda.
Ernie Els won the British Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s in July to earn his place in this elite field. Unfortunately, he has been forced to withdraw due to injury and Padraig Harrington has taken his place.
An ankle injury has caused the Big Easy’s withdrawal from the event. This is a disappointment for the four times major championship as he sees the event as a great reward for winning a major. The injury is not too serious and Els should recover quickly, but not in time to play this week.
Harrington won the PGA Championship in 2008. He also won the Open Championship that year. He successfully defended the title he had won twelve months earlier when he beat Sergio Garcia in a play-off. Harrington accepted an invitation to play after the second and third alternates, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell, were unavailable.
Rory McIlroy has decided to play in the BMW Masters on the European Tour and his replacement is Keegan Bradley (pictured). He won last year’s PGA Championship in his first appearance in a major. He scored three points for the United States in the Ryder Cup but lost his singles match to McIlroy. Bradley is the current Grand Slam of Golf champion, beating McIlroy, Charl Scwhartzel and Darren Clarke last year.
Watson won the US Masters in April. He beat Louis Oosthuizen in a play-off, playing one of the best shots of the year when he shaped his approach shot from the rough around trees to find the green. Watson’s form took a slight dip after the Masters but he is the type of player to relish the Grand Slam format. Players compete in a fourball over the two days of competition.
Simpson has earned his place by winning the US Open in June. Jim Furyk had a great opportunity to win the title for the second time in his career but faltered over the final three holes to allow Simpson to win his first major. He finished second in the Money List to Luke Donald in 2011.