Can Mickelson's summer end on a high at the USPGA Championship? (credit: nsaplayer)
Can Mickelson hit form or can Stewart Cink "do a Harrington" and follow up his Open win with victory at Hazeltine? Here's five Americans to follow at the USPGA Championship...
Five year PGA Championship form: 7/32/16/1/6
Odds: 23.0 with Betfair
The 2006 PGA champion and world no.2 enters the season's final major with questions to answer. After promising so much earlier in the year, Mickelson's golfing summer has been decimated by personal problems and he hadn't played competitively since the US Open until last week.
There was nothing in that Firestone effort to suggest peak form can be found in time for the PGA, though in fairness, he also played poorly in the events preceding both the Masters and US Open before going on to challenge strongly. Mickelson has six top-10s to his name in this major, but that made no difference when he finished 34th on this course in 2002.
Five-year PGA Championship form: mc/18/mc/dnp/dnp
If recent form were the only criteria, Mahan would arguably warrant the second favourite's tag for Hazeltine. Leaving aside a missed cut in unsuitably bad weather at the British Open, Mahan's last four US results read 6th, 4th, 2nd and 4th. Ideally for this week's challenge, Mahan seems particularly well suited to tough, long championship courses where hitting a high percentage of greens in regulation is imperative.
Five year PGA Championship form: 39/23/7/dnp/dnp
Stricker continues to defy the ageing process, apparently improving with each passing year since hitting 40. This has been his best ever season, with two titles so far and he was on the fringes of contention yet again at Firestone over the weekend.
The closest Stricker has ever come to landing a major was in the 1998 PGA at Sahalee, when narrowly edged out by Vijay Singh. With excellent recent form to his name, this year's renewal looks his best chance since.
Five-year PGA Championship form: mc/32/24/28/17
After finally breaking into the big-time with victory in the Open, Cink is bidding to become the fourth player this century to win both of the final two majors in the same season. Considering he was a 320.00 longshot for Turnberry that may seem rather optimistic, but after another solid effort in sixth place at Firestone he cannot be ruled out. Interestingly, Cink is the PGA selection of respected top coach and Sky pundit Butch Harmon.
Five-year PGA Championship form: 29/mc/29/34/mc
After two winless years, place-specialist Furyk has become very frustrating for win market punters. It's hard to recall particular instances of Furyk losing his nerve under pressure, but given his relentless consistency over 16 years on the PGA Tour, a return of 13 titles must be considered pretty ordinary.
His record in the PGA has been surprisingly moderate in recent years, but Furyk did finish ninth at Hazeltine back in 2002. Driving accuracy will again be an essential component this week, so a second major title cannot be completely ruled out.