ESPN predictions: Who will win the PGA Championship?

ST. LOUIS -- The PGA Championship is hard to predict. Big names have won, no-names have won. Our experts made their choices, and they were all over the map.

Bob Harig
PGA Champion: Tony Finau
Why he'll win: The PGA Championship often produces a winner that is not necessarily on everyone's radar. So why not Finau? He has been top-10 in each of the first three majors, was the 54-hole co-leader at the U.S. Open and is coming off a tie for 10th in his debut at the WGC-Bridgestone. And he's at no disadvantage at Bellerive, a course few have seen.

Michael Collins
PGA Champion: Tony Finau
Why he'll win: Seven of the past nine winners of the PGA Championship have been first-time major winners (Rory McIlroy ruined it twice in '12 and '14). Finau has finished top-10 in the first three majors this year. He's ready to take that next step.

Ian O'Connor
PGA Champion: Justin Thomas
Why he'll win: Not exactly going out on a limb here, but Thomas has rediscovered his big-game touch just in time to defend his title. Expect Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy to push him and make him earn it.

Kevin Van Valkenburg
PGA Champion: Patrick Cantlay
Why he'll win: I'm going outside the box (a little) this time, taking someone who has a lot of game but isn't quite a household name. The PGA Championship has a long history of crowning unlikely champions: John Daly, Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem, Y.E. Yang, Keegan Bradley. Cantlay is ranked eighth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green this year. If he has even an average putting week, he'll join those names.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz
PGA Champion: Jordan Spieth
Why he'll win: He threatened at The Open, but then an out-of-nowhere blowup on Sunday cost him a shot at the Claret Jug. His game hasn't exactly been sharp, but it feels as if something big is coming. This will be the week he completes the career grand slam.

Matt Barrie
PGA Champion:
Justin Thomas
Why he'll win: The meeting he had with the entire Justin Thomas team seemed to be the wake-up call he needed to pick up a win last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He's the defending PGA champ, and he comes in with his game in peak condition. The field should be worried.

Michael Eaves
PGA Champion:
Rory McIlroy
Why he'll win: The combination of course layout, setup and conditions screams for a player who not only hits it far but also moves the ball right to left. Rory does both those things really well.

Marty Smith
PGA Champion: Tony Finau
Why he'll win: He's been lights-out in every major this season. It's his time.