This week sees the first major of the year, and this coronavirus-impacted year that means the U.S. PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in California.
There are two favourites for this week’s event, the two players that fought out the finish last weekend – Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka. They have also won the last three iterations of this championship.
Both are quoted around 10/1, but we think that price is stingy given both were in the heat of battle last weekend, JT has never won in California and Brooks has had a knee injury. They could win, but we’ll pass.
Instead we’re going to side with Xander Schauffele. He comes from San Diego so knows the conditions well, and has placed in the top 20 in his last four outings. He has five top-six finishes in 11 starts in the Majors, and we think his time is now.
Our second selection is a little out of left field, but he has won two Masters and finished second in this event in 2010.
It has been a while since Bubba Watson reached those heights, but we think this major could provide an opportunity at a nice price.
Watson is a completely self taught golfer, and has had problems of late. However, he was seen talking to renowned coach Claude Harmon last week, and closed the tournament with a 66. He’s now playing a long course that we think would suit a draw, or a slight fade in the case of lefties. At 100/1, we’re going to take a chance.
As it’s a major we’re going to have a third selection, Shane Lowry. The Irishman plays well on tough course that have wind, as witnessed by his victory in the Open last summer. It’s a punt, but we’ll go with it.
Finally, we’re going to have a go at the first round leader bet. The weather forecast suggests moderate breezes every afternoon, suggesting early starters may have an edge. With this in mind, we’re going to side with Schauffele and Daniel Berger, who play together in an early grouping.
Schauffele to win, 1 pt, at 18/1, William Hill
Watson 0.5 pts each way at 100/1, 1/5 the odds for the first nine places, William Hill
Lowry 0.5 pts each way at 70/1, 1/5 the odds for the first eight places, bet365
Schauffele to be first round leader, 1 pt, at 33/1, bet365
Berger to be first round leader, 1 pt, at 45/1, SkyBet