The golfing calendar is in full swing with the arrival of the seasons second major, the US PGA Championship. Taking place in Kiawah Island, a star studded line up will attempt to take there chance to win one of golf’s biggest prizes. We take a look at some of the best bets ahead of what looks to be a fantastic weekend of top quality golf. (All prices correct at the time of writing on BetOnline)
Returning to the scene of his triumph back in 2012, Kiawah Island is clearly a course that Rory McIlroy feels at home on. In 2012 he produced a dominant performance winning the tournament by 8 shots, just 23 at the time, it seemed that McIlroy had the golfing world at his feet, however things haven’t gone quite to plan, and it has been a further 7 years since McIlroy tasted Major success.
His 2021 form has been indifferent, openly admitting that he was struggling with his swing and dropping out of the world’s top ten, McIlroy’s status as one of the game’s leading lights was starting to be called into his question. Enlisting the help of swing guru Pete Cowen, the new relationship looks to have reinvigorated the Northern Irishman’s game. Fresh off the back of a win in the Wells Fargo, confidence in his game seems to be restored and he heads into this weeks championship as one of the leading contenders. For those who fancy McIlroy to repeat his 2012 successes he is currently priced at +1300.
Another leading European fancy will be Spaniard John Rahm. Rahm, a former world number 1 and current world number 3 has had a solid year with 5 top ten finishes in the 9 tournaments he has played, including a 5th place finish at The Masters. Kiawah Island is a golf course that sits right next to the Atlantic Ocean so it requires a golfer who is exceptionally consistent from tee to green. Rahm sits in 4th place on the PGA Tour rankings in finding Greens in Regulation and in statistics judging the most accurate from tee to green. Rahm is a golfer looking for that elusive major success and it would be no surprise to see him win that first major this week. Rahm is currently the second favourite and priced at +1400.
The big hitting American is currently priced at +1800. A golfer with tonnes of self confidence, DeChambeau will fancy his chances no matter the challenge. It has been a season of highs and lows for DeChambeau, with him winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational but faring poorly in The Masters only managing a 46th place finish.
DeChambeau’s game should be suited to the test that Kiawah Island poses, with the course being renowned for its length, especially if the wind picks up. DeChambeau unsurprisingly leads the PGA Tour in overall driving distance and leads the Tour in shots gained and in tee to green rankings. Winning his maiden Major back in 2020, DeChambeau knows how to get the job done and at +1800 he could provide some value in a competitive field.
There has been no bigger golfing story than the resurgence of 3 time Major winner Jordan Spieth. Spieth who looked the heir apparent to Tiger Woods after his quick rise to the top of the game had been in the golfing wilderness, only for him to rediscover his form in some style. Bringing in 2021 with a missed cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, Spieth has subsequently gone onto record 6 top ten finishes, including a win at the Texas Open and an encouraging third place finish at The Masters.
Remaining one of golf’s most popular players a victory for Spieth might be one of the most celebrated. Having already tasted success on links style courses +1600 looks a fairly attractive price.
In such a quality field, there are contenders everywhere you look. World number 1 Dustin Johnson enters this week slightly under the radar due to form and injury. Pulling out of his last start due to a persistent knee injury, there will be question marks as to how Johnson will play when he might not be 100% fit. Still it would be foolish to write off a golfer who on his day has the ability to blow any competition away. Normally a favourite for the majors +1800 could represent some value.
Another who enters the week under the radar is 2021 Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama. Matsuyama has always had the game to win the biggest prizes, but many had questioned whether he had the consistency and temperament to get over the line. He answered these questions emphatically with his success in Augusta. Matsuyama has only played once since his Masters victory, finishing 39th in last weeks Byron Nelson. Although some might be concerned he will be entering this week cold, others will see Matsuyama arriving fresh, full of confidence after his major breakthrough and at +4500 he could be dramatically overpriced.
Defending champion Collin Morikawa is priced at +3300 to repeat his success from a year ago. Considered a major talent as he embarked on his rookie PGA year, Morikawa proved his star credentials by holding his nerve to win the first of which is sure to be many majors. Morikawa has resumed this season where he left off, by producing a string of top ten finishes and claiming his first WGC Championship. Defending titles is no easy feat, but Morikawa will be doing all he can to claim a second straight US PGA Championship.