Thu, Aug 9, 10:19am by Staff Writer
The final golf major of the season begins on Thursday with the USPGA Championship from the Bellerive Country Club in St Louis, Missouri.
After winning last weekend’s WGC Invitational in Akron, defending champion Justin Thomas is in fine form heading into this week’s event.
Thomas is priced at $13 to win the USPGA Championship, behind world number one Dustin Johnson who is priced at $10.50.
Johnson opted against competing in Akron and is the tournament favourite.
The South Carolina native has 20 professional wins to his name, with his biggest being the 2016 US Open at Augusta.
His performances at the PGA Championship have mixed, with his best finish placing fifth in 2010 and he failed to make the cut in 2011.
What counts in Johnson’s favour is his consistency, ranking among the world’s best golfers for the past four seasons.
Rory McIlroy is a two-time Championship winner and while those results came when he was a more dominant force in the sport, he shouldn’t be underestimated this weekend.
McIlroy is priced at $14 to win the event and has been in contention at both the Masters and the Open this year as he struggles on the US PGA Tour.
He finished in a tie for 22nd at Quail Hollow in last year’s Championship and has performed below expectations on the final day of events this season, which is his only question mark at present. That makes his price of $17 as a third round leader a one to consider.
14-time major winner Tiger Woods has enjoyed a career resurgence this season as he battles back from injury and personal struggles.
Woods has won 14 majors, including the PGA Championship four times, with his most recent victory in 2007 and is $22 to take out this week’s event.
It is his first appearance at Bellerive since 2001 and he has been paired with McIlroy and Justin Thomas for the opening round, which should be compelling viewing.
Only of the ‘Big Guns’ of McIlroy, Woods, Tomas, Johnson and major winners Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka as well as perennial contender Rickie Fowler are priced at $2.82 to win the Championship, with the rest of the field paying $1.39.
In the rest of the field grouping, Englishman Justin Rose is the market leader at $21.
Rose’s best effort in the PGA Championship is a tie for third in 2012 and he will be looking to atone for a poor performance at the event last year, where he failed to make the cut.
Australia’s best hope appears to be in the form of Jason Day. The 30-year-old has pedigree in the event after winning it in 2015 and is priced at $22 at Sportsbet to snare his second major.
The Open Championship’s shock winner Francesco Molinari has sharpened in price and surged in popularity since his unexpected triumph. He is $29 to win back-to-back majors, which would be unlikely given his stature in the sport.
Marc Leishman will be hoping for his first top ten finish at the PGA Championship, with his best performance being 12th place in 2013.
He is $10 to be the highest placing rest of the world player that is a player born outside Europe and the United States.
Day leads that market at $5, with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama an $8.50 shot.
Best bet- Rory McIlroy to win at $14
USPGA Championship Odds – Sportsbet
Dustin Johnson $10.50
Justin Thomas $13
Rory McIlroy $14
Rickie Fowler $19
Justin Rose $21
Brooks Koepka $22
Jason Day $22
Tiger Woods $23
Jordan Spieth $24
Jon Rahm $26
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