The opening round of the USPGA Championship sees a top class field heading onto a soft, rain soaked golf course looking to make hay on Thursday. We are set for a day of low scoring as the best in the world get to grips with a vulnerable track.
As ever with the opening day of a major we have a number of markets to have a go at and we’ll get stuck into the best bets over the course of this preview, beginning with the popular first round leader one.
First Round Leader
As ever when I provide a preview of this market we need to understand the format and the weather. The format is the field is split up into morning and afternoon waves off the first and tenth tee and the weather is set to remain as a constant throughout the day.
With that in mind I think the morning starters might make hay as we’ve seen a number of players suggest the soft greens are cutting up as the day goes on so those out early should get the best of things. With that in mind I think JB Holmes could be worth a bet. Holmes was in the top three at the St Jude Classic and the Travelers Championship which were both on par 70s and he shot under par in the first round on both occasions. He fired in a 66 in the second round of the Canadian Open so the scoring is coming back and at 125/1 I’ll pay to see what he opens up with here.
Thursday 3 Balls
The other markets for us to get stuck into are the first round three ball markets. This is a major so each group out onto the golf course has been priced up for us to get stuck into accordingly. The pick of the morning groups is the one which contains the defending champion Justin Thomas and the multi-time winners Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods which goes off at 14.23 BST. There are two eye catching groups in the afternoon session too but I’m going with three bets elsewhere.
David Muttitt/Ollie Schneiderjans/Troy Merritt
Match tees off at 14.51 BST
One of the later groups out in the morning play is the one with Ollie Schneiderjans, Troy Merritt and David Muttitt taking each other on in a match where Schneiderjans looks a penalty kick and a pretty obvious one at that.
Merritt was in hospital last week having emergency surgery to remove a blood clot and to be fair he’s being a bit daft teeing it up this week, if indeed he does tee it up. His condition is that bad that he is likely to need to take out a rib at some point in order to avoid further clotting. Muttitt is just a club professional who should be out of his depth here and with Schneiderjans finding some form at the Barracuda Championship last week he looks the obvious play here.
Matt Wallace/Matt Dobyns/Beau Hossler
Match tees off at 18.31 BST
Another group where there is a PGA professional in it is one of the earlier groups out in the afternoon where Englishman Matt Wallace and American Beau Hossler with club professional Matt Dobyns are paired together.
I’m prepared to leave Dobyns out of my equation here because he should be out of his depth so I’ve got this one between the two professionals. I’m not sure Wallace is experienced enough in America to live with this sort of tournament so Hossler looks like a decent standard setter here. Hossler showed some good form last month and if he can replicate that here it should be enough to win this two ball with a bit to spare.
Gary Woodland/Sergio Garcia/Kevin Kisner
Match tees off at 19.26 BST
One of the later groups out onto the golf course sees the former Masters champion Sergio Garcia teeing off alongside Kevin Kisner, who came close to winning The Open last month and Gary Woodland.
Garcia’s form looks something of a shambles at the minute and I couldn’t be having him under any circumstances while the soft nature of his course is unlikely to play into the hands of Kisner. It was bordering on being too long for him without the rain let alone with it. That leaves Woodland who should be suited to this length of course. The soft conditions will widen the fairways for him and allow him to play with a little more freedom. If Garcia is the only one who can keep up with the course length wise then there is no advantage with the short stick. I think Woodland is overpriced given the form of the Spaniard.
WON – Back O.Schneiderjans to beat T.Merritt & D.Muttitt for a 6/10 stake at 1.73 with Boylesports
Back him here:
Back B.Hossler to beat M.Wallace & M.Dobyns for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Unibet
Back J-B.Holmes First Round Leader (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 126.00 with Unibet (1/4 1-6)
Back them here:
WON – Back G.Woodland to beat S.Garcia & K.Kisner for a 3/10 stake at 3.10 with Betfair
Back him here: