2024 PGA Championship: Top 10 power rankings at Valhalla

A look at the top 10 golfers heading into the 2024 PGA Championship contested at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.
2024 PGA Championship - Valhalla
2024 PGA Championship - Valhalla / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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2024PGA/PowerRank/5. 5. OWGR: 4th. Best PGA finish: T-75th (2021). Wyndham Clark

A little more than a year ago, Wyndham Clark was your run-of-the-mill tour pro grinding in alternate field events. Now, he’s near the top of the betting board. He’s a win this week away from winning half of the career Grand Slam.

He has to be licking his chops at the opportunity in front of him.

Clark can vaporize the ball in ways few can. The 7,600-yard Valhalla will offer him plenty of chances to let it rip and let his strengths shine. Doubly so if it’s playing soft with expected rain in the forecast. He just has to limit the big miss that can occasionally plague him.

That wayward tee shot that somehow stayed in play on the 72nd hole at Los Angeles Country Club last year at the U.S. Open will be in much worse shape if history repeats itself at Valhalla while he’s trying to close out a golf tournament.

The way Clark is rolling, though, I expect most shots to go where he’s aiming.

A T-47th finish in his title defense last week at the Wells Fargo Championship is a rare blight compared to his other recent showings.

Clark won in February at a weather-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He followed at more Signature Events with solo second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T-2nd at the Players Championship, and T-3rd at the RBC Heritage.

Pebble and the Heritage stick out in that Clark performed well at courses that aren’t exactly bomber’s paradises.

Quail Hollow fit the bill last week, which is why him not contending casts just a little bit of doubt on his prospects here in Kentucky. With that said, it’s not worth overreacting to one week. That’s especially the case the week before a major where players have varying approaches to what they want to get out of the week.

Clark is fourth on the PGA Tour this season in Strokes Gained: Total (1.43). He’s gaining strokes in every category, particularly in SG: Tee-to-Green (.919) where he’s 15th and SG: Off-the-Tee (.479) where he’s 19th.

The former Oregon and Oklahoma State collegian is also fourth in driving distance (313.8). His strength and ball speed are crucial to setting up birdie looks off the tee, as well as for hacking out of the rough when he finds trouble.

This is a big week for Clark to back up his newfound status as a top-five player in the world. A missed cut at the Masters was a bit of a setback, but I envision him redeeming himself and playing well at the PGA Championship.