The first round of the USPGA Championship us in the books now and that means that all of the field have 18 holes of the final major of the year under their belts. It also means that the focus in the second round on Friday is either making the cut or pushing on and heading towards the top of the leaderboard.
It was a higher scoring day than many expected on Thursday despite the course being very soft. It will be interesting to see if the course or the players win over the second set of 18 holes on Friday.
Round 1 Recap
It was Gary Woodland who bested the course better than anyone else on Thursday. He will take a one shot lead into the second round having shot six under par on the opening day. He leads by one from Rickie Fowler who is on five under while Brandon Stone and Zach Johnson are a further shot back on four under. There is a huge group of players on three under which includes Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson among others.
It was a good day for our three ball bets with Ollie Schniederjans having no problems bringing in the big bet and Gary Woodland bringing in the big priced bet. Unfortunately Beau Hossler couldn’t come through in his group but it was still a decent profit to take into the second round with us.
We have a second round leader market which we could have a look at but in truth this leaderboard is far too bunched and much like myself bookmakers are of the opinion that Gary Woodland will be overtaken. There are too many players who are too good in behind him who are ganged up ready to go past him so finding value given the likelihood of one of those big names to end up leading is not an easy task.
Friday 3 Balls
The field are out in the same groups that they went onto the golf course in on Thursday albeit with their tee times swapped so those out in the morning on Thursday will go out in the afternoon and those who have played in the afternoon will be out in the morning wave on Friday. That all means the headline group of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas will be out in the afternoon and will form the bulk of the coverage for those who have subscribed to it. I’ll go with a couple of bets.
Padraig Harrington/Vijay Singh/Jimmy Walker
Match tees off at 19.21 BST
Three former winners of the USPGA may go under the radar a little in the TV coverage but they have not escaped my attention as Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh and Jimmy Walker all partner each other on the course.
Harrington and Singh both shot one over on Thursday while Walker beat the card by one but I expect the American to beat his playing partners by more than a couple of shots on Friday. I am expecting Walker to go from strengthen to strength on Friday. His all-round game was very good whereas Harrington holed nothing on Thursday and Singh’s long game was terrible. There is every chance of the veterans struggling on Friday so I’m with Walker here.
Ross Fisher/Alexander Levy/Patton Kizzire
Match tees off at 20.21 BST
Three men looking for a good second round are one of the later groups out onto the golf course when Ross Fisher goes out alongside European Tour stalwart Alexander Levy and PGA Tour star Patton Kizzire.
Fisher won this group by four shots and eight on Thursday and with Levy +6 you have to think he is playing out time here while Kizzire might be more worried about the cut the longer the round goes on. Fisher is in a lovely position where he can be patient and let everything happen rather than force things. He was playing some nice stuff coming into this week and I see no reason why he will not outscore his playing partners for a second straight day.
Back J.Walker to beat P.Harrington & V.Singh for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with 888sport
Back R.Fisher to beat A.Levy & P.Kizzire for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Skybet