The US PGA Championship tees off on Thursday and these five players look worth backing to contend for 'glory's last shot'.
The final golfing Major of the year gets underway at Whistling Straits on Thursday and we have a convincing favourite in Jordan Spieth, who is a top-priced 7/1 with Ladbrokes.
The young American – he’s only just turned 22 – has been the hottest golfer on the planet this season with two Majors in the bag already – he was just a shot away from playing off for a third at St Andrews – and teed up nicely for this week with a quiet tenth at Bridgestone on Sunday. He simply doesn’t know the meaning of a bad round and, with his main market rival Rory McIlroy somewhat surprisingly making an early return from ankle ligament injury, he could easily run out the winner this week.
However, I’m going in search of bigger odds (considerably bigger in fact) and will be putting my trust in the following five golfers to serve it up to the ‘Golden Boy’ and hopefully win us all a few quid – or at least provide us with some fun trying.
Bubba Watson @ 16/1 Betfair*
How can you not like Bubba this week? He arrives here at the top of his game with second place finishes on his last two starts, including at Firestone which tests every aspect of a player’s game, and knows how to get the job done in a Major, as his 2014 Masters triumph proved. He so nearly won at this week’s track in 2010 (the last time the PGA was played here), losing out to Martin Kaymer in a playoff, and he’s won twice already this season – 12 of the last 14 PGA champions had already won an event that season, including unlikely heroes Y. E. Yang, Rich Been and David Toms. All of which makes 16/1 (six places) an each-way steal.
*free bet up to £25 if your player finishes second or third to Jordan Spieth
Jason Day @ 14/1 Ladbrokes**
Day is quite possibly the best player in the world without a Major win, the other being Dustin Johnson, whose poor luck and judgement cost him the 2010 title. Of the pair, I’d much rather be on the Aussie this week as he’s gone close to winning a Major so many times now – runner-up three times to go with a third and tied-fourth at last month’s Open Championship – and this could be the week things finally fall right for him. He was playing only his second Major when pitching up here in 2010 and was lying fourth after a third-round 66, only to fade into a tie for tenth. He’s a far more accomplished player now, won the recent Canadian Open and played solid all four rounds last week on his way to a tied-12th finish.
**free bet up to £25 if your player misses the cut
Brooks Koepke @ 45/1 Paddy Power
Koepke has been on my radar for a good while in terms of a potential Major winner and, while he’s proving expensive to follow in them, I’m not going to desert him now. He has bettered his finishing position in each of the Majors played so far this season, starting with tied-33rd at the Masters. He’s followed that up with top-20s at the US Open and St Andrews, proving he can handle links-style conditions, and he pitches up on the back of a fine tied-6th at Firestone. His All-Around ranking of fifth tells you he has no weaknesses in his game and, just to be sure, he won on the Tour earlier this season. It’s hard to imagine him not contending.
The final two picks go to players who have been a regular sight on leaderboards this season and may have what it takes to make the leap to become a Major winner, with big odds available to compensate for their lack of Major form.
Robert Streb has been a model of consistency all season with eight top-10s, including a playoff win at the McGladrey Classic, and he showed there was no sign of his hot streak ending soon when finishing fifth last week. He played well in our Open – you may remember? – finishing tied-18th, and he sits 13th in the All-Around stats. David Lingmerth was another to feature on the leaderboard at St Andrews, shooting the lights out over his opening nine holes, only to fall away, and he too warmed up nicely with sixth place at Firestone. His victory at Memorial in June (in a playoff over Justin Rose) ticks another box and both players are overpriced at 80/1 and 90/1 respectively with Sky Bet, who are offering seven places.