The USPGA Championship is usually quite a hard one to predict in the betting but I have a feeling this year’s final Major won’t be throwing up too much of a surprise winner. That said, some big prices do sold some appeal for a couple of players showing some good form.
It has been ten years since the PGA Championship was last played at Atlanta Athletic Club when David Toms won. That’s going back a little too far to talk about course form. In any case, players seem to be able to just turn up these days and perform wherever they’re playing in the world.
It’s the last Major of the season, we’re fresh of a very strong field at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and it’s time to stick by the form players one last time. I’d not be surprised to see Rory McIlroy contend this week given that target golf is more his style and he seems happier at the idea now of settling in the States and getting his PGA Tour Card. He looked in good form after a scrappy start at Firestone so it’s 12/1 if you fancy McIlroy to make it back-to-back Majors in the States.
Next in the betting and you’re looking at the world’s numbers one and two in Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. You could make a case for either, especially Donald who has really justified his place at the summit of the world rankings. However, I’m inclined to back the Americans this week as I just can’t see their baron Major run continuing.
That leads me to my first pick, Dustin Johnson, who is a remarkable 11 points better in the odds that Donald and Westwood yet, in my opinion, has just as good a chance this week. Those odds might have something to do with his three-over at Firestone last week but after an opening-73 he was miles back and with no cut he looked as though he was just going through the paces, perhaps with one eye on this week. He certainly has the length to take on some of the doglegs around this course and give himself an advantage over the field.
Normally Steve Stricker would hold some appeal but he’s solid if not spectacular and odds of 25/1 aren’t that great on a man without a Major win. Rickie Fowler at 33/1 is short on someone without a win of any kind although he was in fine form last week and there’s no doubt that first victory is not far away.
The interesting thing about last week’s leaderboard was the presence of the name David Toms. He’s 50/1 with Ladbrokes this week and won here ten years ago. That’s not as relevant as the fact he’s rediscovered his best game and is clearly high on confidence. Three 68s and a 67 at Firestone suggest his game is in good shape and the odds of 50/1 are too tempting to miss out on.
Tiger Woods should be avoided. It’s no longer relevant that he’s won 14 Majors. His game is still not there to challenge, that much is clear. Our final pick is reserved for a man at 100/1, a European. American-based Martin Laird has won on the PGA Tour this year and seems to be more and more comfortable competing on a Sunday afternoon. He finished tied 11th last week at Firestone and considering the form of some of the other market leaders, odds of 100/1 for the Scot look quite generous.
Bets for the 2011 USPGA Championship golf:
Click the banner below for free bets: