The first major of the year finally takes place this week as TPC Harding Park in California hosts the US PGA Championship three months later than planned.
In terms of finding the overall winner with our US PGA Championship betting tips, distance off the tee looks to be an important factor at both this tournament and this course.
Big hitters have dominated the event in recent years, with Brooks Koepka bidding for a hat-trick of titles after giving us an 11/1 winner last year, while Tiger Woods beat Jon Daly in a play-off when this venue hosted the WGC American Express Championship in 2005.
Our analysis of which players hit the longest drives on the PGA Tour is a good starting point for picking a winner from the US PGA Championship odds, and Justin Thomas deserves to be the joint-favourite at 10/1 along with Koepka.
The pair battled down the closing stretch at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational on Sunday but it was Thomas who triumphed with a five-under-par 65 for his third win of the season as he returned to the top of the world rankings.
We’re going with Thomas in terms of the most likely winner but punters struggling to choose between the two joint-favourites may prefer the bwin price boost of 6/1 for either Koepka or Thomas to win, with at least one likely to be in contention heading into the final round.
While Thomas is a former major winner, one player yet to break his duck is Xander Schauffele but he is regularly in contention at the majors and it is surely only a matter of time before he comes good.
The Californian has been a runner-up at The Open (2018) and The Masters (2019) and has had four other top-six finishes at majors since making his debut on the big stage at the US Open in 2017.
Such consistency bodes well for his chances this week, as does his length off the tee, while he tied for sixth in Memphis on Sunday after a closing-round 66 so we’ll add him to our selections at 20/1.
Champ has value appeal
In terms of an outsider who could give us a big-priced winner, Cameron Champ catches the eye at 150/1.
Our analysis of the driving stats picked him out as the biggest hitter of the emerging talents on the PGA Tour and, like Schauffele, he hails from California so should feel at home this week.
He has already managed one PGA Tour victory this season at the Safeway Open in California in September and finishing tied 25th last week did nothing to put us off.
As well as outright winner, bwin have a wide range of other markets and we’re focusing on the top Englishman for the last of our US PGA Championship betting tips.
Three players lead this market on 4/1 and we rate the chances of Matt Fitzpatrick, who should be heading to Harding Park full of confidence.
The 25-year-old from Sheffield finished tied for sixth at Southwind on Sunday and was third two weeks earlier at The Memorial, having had two other top-10 finishes this season, which has seen him climb to a career-high 18th in the world rankings.
Fitzpatrick used Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay as a stand-in caddie at two recent tournaments and the veteran was impressed by what he saw.
“He’s got a ton of shots and to me the most underrated skill a professional golf can have – which he has in spades – is the ability to read greens,” said Mackay, who spent 25 years working with Phil Mickelson. “He’s an amazing green reader and I think that’s going to take him a long way in this game.
“He’s longer than I thought he was going to be. He’s good. He’s really good. And the thing I told him out there today is his game matches up really well for the majors.”
Fitzpatrick can be backed at 40/1 in the outright betting for punters looking for a bigger payout.
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