Players to Watch on US PGA Championship

Martin Green

Friday, July 27, 2018 6:08 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 27, 2018 6:08 PM UTC

Players that can generate great power off the tee should thrive at the upcoming PGA Championship at Bellerive in Missouri.

<p>The world’s finest golfers will converge upon the immaculate lawns at Bellerive to contest the US PGA Championship on August 9.The previous two majors have been played on grim, inhospitable links courses, so it will be interesting to see how the action unfolds in the steamy Midwestern climate. Bellerive, located in the suburbs of St Louis, Missouri, is a long course and it suits golfers that can generate great power off the tee. That should spell good news for heavy hitters like Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson.</p><p>McIlroy, Johnson and Jordan Spieth are the joint 12/1 favourites to win the tournament with Bet365. McIlroy has been in contention on the final day at two of this year’s three majors, but his challenge has ultimately wilted. He has not won a major since 2014, and despite his power off the tee and his decent form it looks like too short a price to bother with. The same could be true of world number one Johnson, who regularly shows his talent on the PGA Tour, but whose brilliance seems to elude him at the big tournaments. Spieth is an interesting option as he is always capable of magic rounds that drag him back into contention from seemingly impossible positions. He has performed well at majors so far this year and could well return to the summit of the sport at Bellerive.</p><p>Players seeking a first major have excelled at the US PGA Championship in recent years, as Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer have all emerged victorious. They can all hit the ball a long way, just like McIlroy, who won this title in 2012 and 2014. The hunger to secure that first ever major was also a powerful driving force, and first-time winners have claimed nine of the last 11 majors. Finding a player without a major under his belt, plenty of power off the tee and coolness under pressure could pay dividends when betting on this year’s US PGA Championship.</p><p>Spaniard Jon Rahm looks like an interesting choice at 25/1 <a href=";a=e605009c-af6d-4596-a06f-dbd28d37b12f&amp;f=2">with Bet365</a>. He is only 23, but Spieth and Thomas have shown just how dangerous young players can be in recent years. Rahm is powerful off the tee, capable of great composure and strong with the putter. That has already seen him reach second in the world rankings, and he could be in with a great chance at Bellerive. Xander Schaufelle could be another good option at 45/1. The 24-year-old secured a T2 finish at The Open Championship in July, announcing his arrival as a force to be reckoned with in major tournaments. He is powerful enough to thrive at Bellerive and the odds look good, as does the 100/1 on Daniel Berger. Tony Finau, the biggest hitter on the tour, is 50/1.</p><p>Thomas is the defending champion and he will not yield his title without a fight. He can be backed at 20/1, which seems on the low side, but it attests to his consistency and his strength in strokes gained tee to green. Molinari has been a popular bet, but that is down to his victory at The Open in July. No player has won back-to-back majors since Spieth more than three years ago, so he is unlikely to double up. Another popular choice is Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (28/1), who has excelled at majors this year. He finished T17 at The Masters, second at the US Open and T12 at The Open in July, and it could be time for him to go one better and win a first ever major.</p>
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