USPGA Championship: golf betting guide

This week, the world’s best golfers are in New York for the USPGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club, the fourth and final major of the season.

The USPGA promises to be an extremely interesting affair, with a number of the world’s best and most exciting golfers heading to Oak Hill in excellent form.

That statement certainly applies to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, numbers one and two in the Official World Golf Ranking. Woods obliterated the field to claim his fifth victory of the season at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and Mickelson – who finished inside the top 20 last week – claimed the Scottish Open and Open Championship titles in successive weeks at the end of July.

The likes of Masters champion Adam Scott, US Open victor Justin Rose, an array of global stars and a strong home contingent will also be hopeful of success over Oak Hill’s East course.

It’s a layout that demands accuracy off the tee and good ball striking. The rough is penal, the fairways are narrow and thousands of oak trees peppered around the property will present problems for those straying off line.

Unsurprisingly, Woods is the 3/1 favourite this week with Ladbrokes, but at such short odds, I’d be tempted to look elsewhere.

Adam Scott
, at 16/1 with Ladbrokes, looks very good this week. The Australian is one of the game’s best ball strikers and his performance stats suggest he should contend. He ranks 14th on the PGA Tour in Total Driving, third in Scoring Average and 19th in the All-Around category – perfect attributes for Oak Hill. He finished inside the top 15 at the WGC-Bridgestone and contended at the Open, so we know his game is in good shape.

Keegan Bradley
, at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, hasn’t enjoyed the best of seasons, but he’s shown signs recently that he’s coming back into form. He finished 15th in the Open Championship at Muirfield and second last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Bradley has broken par in 10 of his last 12 rounds and his stats make for encouraging reading. He ranks third in Total Driving and third in the All-Around Ranking, so he stands a good chance of winning the USPGA for the second time in his career.

Hunter Mahan, at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, is a bit of a risk this week, but I believe the positives outweigh the negatives. His wife gave birth two weeks ago so he won’t have had much time to practice or sleep, but his form was excellent before that. He went into the final round of the Open just two off the lead, and led the Canadian Open by three shots at the half-way stage before withdrawing. The American also ranks ninth in the Total Driving standings.

Sergio Garcia, at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, seems generously priced this week. I remain convinced the Spaniard will win a major at some stage during his career, and this week is as good a chance as any. I watched him during round three at the Open, and hit hit the ball superbly. Granted, he didn’t perform to the best of his ability last week, but I think he’ll be well suited to Oak Hill. When he’s on song he’s a terrific driver of the golf ball, and it might surprise some people to learn he’s currently leading the PGA Tour’s Strokes Gained: Putting statistics.

Miguel Angel Jimenez
, at 125/1 with Ladbrokes, is a good each way bet this week. The gregarious Spaniard is in fine form at the moment, leading the Open at the half-way stage and finishing in a tie for fourth last week at Firestone – a course with many parallels to Oak Hill’s East. Yes, he’s 49 years of age, and victory is unlikely, but no one expected Shaun Micheel to win the last time Oak Hill staged the USPGA Championship.

USPGA Championship advised bets:

3pts each way on Adam Scott at 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Keegan Bradley at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Hunter Mahan at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Sergio Garcia at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Miguel Angel Jimenez at 125/1 with Ladbrokes