The last Major of the season is often considered the least competitive of the four, but the US PGA is usually a wide open, keenly-contested affair and this year’s renewal looks like no exception. Here’s the low-down on the tournament and the main contenders.
This will be the Major debut for Quail Hollow, which has previously hosted the Wells Fargo Championship, and the course has undergone some big changes in the last year or so to get it ready for the occasion. The bulk of the alterations have taken place on holes one, two and five, and, most significantly, Bermuda rough has been added to the surrounds of all the greens, which will make scrambling a lot tougher. Golf punters can expect the course to play a lot tougher than it does during the Wells Fargo.
The tournament has an open look to it this year, but there are no surprises at the top of the Tournament Winners market, which is dominated by Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
McIlroy is the current favourite and can be backed at 8/1 with BetFred. His record at Quail Hollow speaks for itself. His debut PGA Tour win came at the course, thanks to one of his best ever rounds of golf, and he repeated the feat in 2015. Clearly, he loves the course, and although he is not in vintage form this season, he has been improving in recent weeks. If he is going to return to his best, this is surely the venue most likely to help him.
His main market rival is, in many respects, the man to beat. Jordan Spieth’s extraordinary performance at the Open landed him his third Major and he could well beat McIlroy to the career grand slam. Rory has the better form at this course, which explains why he tops the betting, but Spieth is likely to push him close and is available at 10/1 with Betfred.
If you’re looking outside the top two for a contender, then Dustin Johnson could fit the bill. He was in good form at Royal Birkdale and the Canadian Open and when he’s in the mood, there are few better players in world golf. He’s available at 14/1 with Marathon Bet. You can get even bigger odds on Rickie Fowler, who, like McIlroy, has fond memories of this course. It was the venue for his debut PGA Tour win, and few golfers to into this event in better form. Fowler has recorded five top tens in his last seven tournaments, including an impressive comeback at Firestone last week. He’s priced at a tempting 18/1 with 188 Bet.
The Young Guns
The PGA Tour has thrown up a crop of young talent in the last two seasons, including Hideki Matsuyama, who was in sparkling form when winning the WGC Bridgestone Invitational last week. It would be no surprise to see him land his first Major at odds of 12/1 with Sporting Bet. Justin Thomas also has a chance, if he can recapture his form from the start of the PGA Tour and is available at 45/1 with Paddy Power, while Jon Rahm at 28/1 with William Hill and Brooks Koepka at 25/1 with BetVictor are sure to have their supporters.
There are any number of lively contenders for success at Quail Hollow and Sergio Garcia is definitely one of them. His victory at Augusta has reinvigorated his career and he appears to be relishing his golf at the moment. He can be backed at 40/1 with Bet365 to pick up his second Major, and at 80/1 with Ladbrokes, don’t write off Zach Johnson. The two-time Major champion is often overlooked, but arrives at Quail Hollow in peak form, having recorded the best WGC performance of his career last week.