Jordan Spieth won The Open with a magnificent final round last week and now the focus shifts to the final major of the year, where he has the chance to become the youngest player to ever complete a career grand slam. To do so he will have to win the US PGA at Quail Hollow next month, but competition will be fierce. Betting is set to be equally intense and bookmakers have updated the lines, so we have run through the leading contenders, offering tips along the way:
All the talk is focused on Spieth, but you write off McIlroy at your peril, particularly on this course. Throughout the season Dustin Johnson has been favourite for all the majors apart from this one, which has seem McIlroy head the betting throughout. That is down to his supreme dominance at Quail Hollow. He has the best record in history on this course and it is where he announced himself as a major force in the game with his first title back in 2010. He broke the course record that day, and broke it again in 2015, becoming the only player ever to win two Well Fargo titles. The course has changed a bit, but McIlroy seems happy with it and confesses he has earmarked this as his best chance of winning a major this year. He is 15/2 favourite with Bet365 and deservedly so, given his fantastic record here. The 6/4 on offer at Unibet and 888 Sport on him finishing in the top five looks great after he tied for fourth at The Open and looks to be returning to his best.
Spieth has overtaken Johnson to become second favourite here on the back of that magnificent performance at Royal Birkdale last week. It made him only the 16th player in history to win three separate majors, and all that before his 24th birthday. Inevitable comparisons with Tiger Woods have ensued, and he has shown he has the talent to eclipse McIlroy and Johnson to become the dominant golfer of this era. He has displayed great mental strength as well as technical talent, and this will stand him in good stead. However, odds of 8/1 (with William Hill, Paddy Power and Sky Bet) look a little low right now on a course that does not immediately look suited to his talents.
Johnson remains world number one but he has not consolidated his dominance in 2017, as many predicted. He has not won any of the majors, and while he started the year in fine form that has tailed off a little in recent month. This course, with its tree lined fairways and switch to a 7,600-year par 71, should suit his big-hitting game though and he could end up slugging it out with the likes of McIlroy and Jason Day. He has drifted out to 11/1 with Paddy Power and Bet Stars, making him a more interesting prospect, and you should never write him off.
World number three Hideki Matsuyama leads the brigade of golfers that have never won a major and he is the 20/1 fourth favourite with Betfred and Coral. First-time winners took seven consecutive majors until Spieth broke the run by winning The Open, and Matsuyama’s desire and consistency will make him dangerous, but
arguably Rickie Fowler – another top golfer without a major to his name – is more of a threat here. He won at Quail Hollow in 2012 and has a great record here, so he looks a great long shot at 25/1. Odds of 25/1 on Jason Day, another big hitter, also look attractive as driving distance will be crucial here and Day is up there with the best. Justin Rose, 33/1 with Sportingbet, looks a great option as he is a strong classical golfer who has done well here in the past. Further out, Phil Mickelson loves this course and at 50/1 he looks a great each-way option.