The US PGA Championship Betting Tips
The final major of the golfing calendar is now upon us, the USPGA Championship. This year the tournament visits Louisville, Kentucky where Valhalla Golf Club will host the 2014 PGA Championship. The prize fund has reached a record breaking $10million and the top 50 ranked players in the world are all here to compete for the final major of the year apart from Dustin Johnson who is taking some time away from the sport to focus on personal issues.
Over the last six years just two Americans have won this event, Keegan Bradley in 2010 and Jason Dufner last year. Keegan Bradley is the only recent winner that has been ranked outside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Rankings when he won this event.
Valhalla Golf Club is a Jack Nicklaus designed course and it has hosted the USPGA Championship twice before, it was first used in 1996 when Mark Brooks claimed the title and his only major championship. It was then used again four years later when Tiger Woods claimed the PGA Championship for the second consecutive year. Since then Valhalla has also held the Senior PGA Championship twice and the Ryder Cup in 2008 which the USA team won. More recently the course has been renovated in preparation for this event with all 18 greens being replaced and the course being lengthened by just over 50 yards which makes Valhalla a 7458 yard par 71, when Valhalla previously hosted this tournament it was a par 72. The length of the course will certainly challenge most of the field with the shorter hitters likely to struggle, the last nine winners of this event have all averaged 290+ yards off the tee in the year they won the event. However the rough is expected to be tough which does suggest that accuracy with the driver will also be important therefore the bombers may not have it there own way. One final factor to consider is how each player has performed in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, the last eight winners of the USPGA Championship have finished inside the top 22 in the Bridgestone Invitational the week before.
As you would expect the inform Rory McIlroy is the 5/1 favourite to win the final major of the year after winning The Open Championship a few weeks ago and following that up with the WGC Bridgestone Invitational title. Sergio Garcia is another player in top form, he finished 2nd to McIlroy in The Open and last week the Spaniard was runner up again to Rory, you can back Garcia this week at 18/1. The world number one Adam Scott is another who is likely to be in contention, he has now finished in the top ten of his last five events which shows how well he is playing, Scott is the second favourite at 14/1, if he can get his putter going he will have every chance this week. Rickie Fowler is one to consider, the American has finished inside the top five in each of the three majors this year and he comes into this event in top form however his price seems short at 25/1 considering he has only won one event on the PGA Tour in his short career so far. If Tiger Woods is to have any chance of gaining automatic qualification into the USA Ryder Cup team he will surely need to perform well this week, since returning from injury he has not impressed and his price is not tempting in the slightest at 33/1 after withdrawing during the final round on Sunday due to a knee injury. Finally Geoff Ogilvy won the Barracuda Championship last week and is priced at 150/1, last week was Ogilvy’s first top ten of the year and I don’t fancy his chances in a much stronger field.
My Recommended Bets
Keegan Bradley – This is the young Americans favourite time of the year he has a great record in the US PGA Championship. Keegan won this event in 2011 whilst being a relatively new member to the PGA Tour, in 2012 he finished in 3rd position and last year Bradley finished 19th. This shows how well Bradley tends to play in this tournament. He comes into this week in good form, he finished in 4th position last month in the Greenbrier Classic and just last week he finished in 4th position. Keegan is going to need to continue his good form if he wants to qualify for the USA Ryder Cup team automatically which I am sure is a goal of his. Bradley has the length off the tee to go well around Valhalla, this year he is ranked 15th on the PGA Tour in terms of driving distance. I am expecting a pretty low score to win this year which means birdies are required, Keegan has averaged 3.96 birdies per round this season which ranks him in 12th position on the PGA tour in terms of the birdie average statistic.
Hideki Matsuyama – Matsuyama is having a great season so far recording eight top 25 finishes already. In June he won The Memorial Tournament in a very strong field, he birdied the last to force a play off against Kevin Na, this suggests Matsuyama can handle the pressure when competing at the top of a leaderboard. Hideki comes into this week in good form after finishing in 12th position last week in the Bridgestone Invitational which suggests he is playing well, a better week with the putter and we should see Matsuyama contending on Sunday. Driving distance is always important in a USPGA Championship and Matsuyama is not short off the tee, he has averaged 295 yards this year with his driver. Finally I am expecting a low score to win this week which means birdies are vital, Matsuyama has averaged 4.12 birdies a round this year which is very impressive, it ranks him in 4th position in the birdie average statistic on the PGA Tour this season.
Patrick Reed – This is my best value selection for this weeks major in my opinion. Reed has proved to be a top class player this year winning two events already and a good performance this week would surely secure his place in the USA Ryder Cup team. Reed won the WGC Cadillac Championships earlier this year this shows that he is capable of contending with the best players in the world. He is going to be coming into this week full of confidence after he finished in 4th position in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, a final round of 65 shows how well Reed is playing. Patrick’s game should suit Valhalla, length off the tee is required and he has averaged 292 yards with his driver this year.