The fourth and final golf major championship of the year takes place this week at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin. Ahead of Thursday’s tee-off, I’ll be looking at which players will be in with a shout coming up the 18th on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy

The Northern Irishman missed the The Open at St. Andrews last month, after injuring his ankle, but will return to defend his USPGA Championship title. He had been in consistent form since missing the cut at the Honda Classic in February finishing no worse than tied 11th in eight events, winning twice at the WGC Match Play and at the Wells Fargo Championship where he carded a record 21 under par and 7-stroke victory. McIlroy will also be aware that a slip-up here could open the door for current double major-holder Jordan Spieth to take his top spot in the golf rankings.

Jordan Spieth

The 22-year-old American has already won The Masters and the US Open this year and finished tied 4th at The Open so the youngster knows whar he's doing in majors. He's produced almost unbeatable form winning four of his last 19 events and recording four consecutive top 10 finishes ahead of the final major. Spieth leads the PGA Tour this season in Wins, Top 10s, Scoring Avg., Earnings and the FedEx Cup standings as well as boasting an incredible record in majors this season. The Texan is 37 under par through his 12 rounds in the majors so far this season. He may seem like an obvious choice for one to watch but you can hardly look past him given the form he’s in. 

Henrik Stenson

Stenson is currently top of the PGA Tour rankings for the percentage of greens in regulations hit - the most important statistic, according to bookies favorite Jordan Spieth who spoke about the course last week, having hit 529 greens in regulation on the 720 holes he’s played so far (73.47%).

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If the Swede can find the greens at Whistling Straits then he can fire himself well into contention if he can hole a putt or two.

Since December 2014 he recorded four consecutive top four finishes followed by six straight failures to reach the top 10. However, he looked to have regained some of the early-season form last week, finishing tied 6th at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and could be playing his way into form at just the right time.

Martin Kaymer

The former world No. 1 was the last person to win the USPGA at Whistling Straits when he beat Bubba Watson in a three-hole playoff. If he’s able to reproduce it this time around then he should be in with a chance. However, the German has failed to make the cut at the USPGA Championship on three of the last four occasions since his win in 2010 citing pressure from the German media as the reason for his slump.

Kaymer has always been a consistent performer on the PGA Tour and finished tied 12th at the last major, The Open, where he finished -9 through his 72 holes.

He’s had a turbulent time since winning the US Open in 2014 but on his day he’s certainly a contender and if he can reproduce his form at this course then he’ll put himself in the frame.

Bubba Watson

Two-time Masters champion, he was the unfortunate loser in the playoff against Kaymer at Whistling Straits in 2010. Watson has failed to make the cut at the previous two majors but has finished 2nd in his last two tournaments at the WGC Invitational and the Canadian Open. The American is 2nd in the FedEx Cup standings behind Spieth and has two wins in his last 15 events as well as three second-place finishes and a third place, too. He’s certainly in form having only just been edged out in his last two events. If he can go one better this week then we may see him lifting the third major of his career.

The action kicks off this Thursday, 13/08/15, at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, USA.