USPGA Championship Golf 2024 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

The golfing world comes together for the second this time year this week as the USPGA Championship is played out in Kentucky, the second major of the season and one which often makes for some really good golf.

Most of that was played by Brooks Koepka last year as he became the first LIV golfer to win a major. He is back to defend the title and will look to fend off a really strong field from all tours to keep hold of his crown.

Recent Winners

2023 – Brooks Koepka

2022 – Justin Thomas

2021 – Phil Mickelson

2020 – Collin Morikawa

2019 – Brooks Koepka

2018 – Brooks Koepka

2017 – Justin Thomas

2016 – Jimmy Walker

2015 – Jason Day

2014 – Rory McIlroy

The Course

We are back at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky this week. This course last hosted the tournament in 2014 when Rory McIlroy was the champion. This will be the fourth time this event has been staged here. The course itself is a bit of a brute. It is a par 71 which if the organisers want it to can stretch to 7,609 yards so if they set it up to that yardage then the longer hitters are definitely the ones to be focusing on, especially if the forecast for some rain over the week holds true.

The rough has been allowed to grow to four inches this week and if it is lush with some rain it might take some hacking out with so if you haven’t got length then you are going to need to keep the ball on the short stuff to score around here. The greens are pretty small around here and there is water in play so approach play and touch around the greens is going to be important but I can’t get away from length being the main requirement.

The Field

It is only in the majors that we get to see the whole galaxy of golfing superstars opposing each other and in many ways the majors have been elevated as a result. We have the world number one Scottie Scheffler teeing it up here after he sat out the Wells Fargo last week. The winner of that tournament, Rory McIlroy, who could be called the defending champion here having been the last winner on this course, is also in the field, as is the man hoping to successfully defend the title in Brooks Koepka.

The man Scheffler took The Masters title from in Jon Rahm is in the field this week as is Ludvig Aberg who will be looking to go one better than he went at Augusta. Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, Joaquin Niemann, Viktor Hovland and the US Open champion Wyndham Clark are all in the field, as are the legendary pair of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

Market Leaders

Scottie Scheffler is considered to be head and shoulders ahead of anything in the field at the minute and he is the 9/2 favourite to win the tournament as a result. He missed last week for the birth of his first child so there are no concerns that he’ll pull out but his caddy is leaving for the Saturday for a family event of his own so that could be something that impacts his performance. I wouldn’t want to oppose him but he is short enough that he can win without my money on if he is good enough.

Rory McIlroy comes in here full of confidence after his win at Quail Hollow last week and he knows he can win around this track too as it was the scene of his last major triumph. He is 15/2 to win here again and he would certainly tick the major box of length this week but in recent majors he has started too slowly and been left chasing which around a course like this isn’t the way forward. It might be worth watching a few holes just to make sure he is attached to the field before taking a price this short.

We have two men at 16/1 this week. One of those is the defending champion Brooks Koepka who won on the LIV Tour recently so he is coming here in decent form. I’m never one for backing title holders especially in majors though so I’ll give him a miss. Xander Schauffele is the other. He performed much better last week but he still didn’t win. He has a decent record in majors but he is yet to get his hands on one of those either. He is one of those where bookmakers have him covered.

Jon Rahm is the only player shorter than 20/1 in the field. The former US Open and Masters winner is 18/1 to win his first major title since he went to the LIV Tour. He certainly has the length to be competitive around here but it is a bit of a concern that he wasn’t really much of a factor at Augusta last month. You just wonder if the lack of competitive golf is already having an impact. If you don’t subscribe to that then 18/1 is a fair price.

Main Bets

I’m all about length this week and with that in mind Bryson DeChambeau is my first pick. He completed a top 10 finish at Augusta last month so we know he is hitting the ball nicely and if he plays like he did at Winged Foot a few years ago the rest might struggle to keep hold of his coattails. If the fairways get soft they will get wider which will bring his power right into play but even if he misses the fairways we know he’ll be hitting short irons into the greens. DeChambeau has four top 10s on the LIV Tour as well as the one at The Masters and with conditions to suit I think he’ll go very close here.

Wyndham Clark will defend his US Open title next month but he might have plenty of joy in this tournament before he gets there. If he could have a track to suit and conditions that are ideal for him then he would probably pick what he has got here. Clark doesn’t have a brilliant record in majors with his US Open win his only top 30 in them but this is probably the lesser of the majors, or the one which is most like a tour event, so I don’t see any reason why he can’t go well. He should have come to terms with his elevated status in the game and as a brilliant driver of the ball and a good all-round game he is going to be touch to stop.

Outsiders

Sam Burns was one of my picks at Quail Hollow last week but his putter went cold at the wrong time for him to deliver on the position that he got himself into. Something tells me that I shouldn’t pass him over too quickly though because he drove the ball really well last week and as someone who is a renowned strong putter his putting can’t let him down too much. It was only just over a year ago that Burns won the World Matchplay so we know he has the potential to go well in this company and at 66/1 there is enough juice in the price for me not to pass him by just yet.

My last two bets are big hitters. Taylor Pendrith won for me at the Byron Nelson earlier in the month in similarly soft conditions as we might well get here on a course where smacking it out there off the tee was the overriding thing. He is driving the ball very well and as I’ve said throughout this preview that is largely the order of the day. What was impressive in Texas was his short game and putting and if that is in the same order here then he is entitled to go well. His last three singles events have yielded finishes of T11-1-T10. This will be his fifth straight week which is a concern but if he can muster up enough energy for the week he should go well.

Ryan Fox is the other player who I like in these conditions. He is a huge driver of the ball and if the rain is around and the cool temperatures remain then his length is going to be a major advantage. There is freedom off the tee on nearly every Nicklaus design and with that in mind it is no surprise that he has a decent enough record on Nicklaus tracks. Fox is clearly a bit of a long shot but he comes in here off the back of a top five at the Myrtle Beach Classic last week and might have landed on his feet conditions wise so I’ll take a punt on him here too.

Tips

Back B.DeChambeau to win USPGA Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 26.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-8)

Back R.Fox to win USPGA Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 201.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-8)

Back them here:

Back W.Clark to win USPGA Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with Betway (1/5 1-8)

Back S.Burns to win USPGA Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Betway (1/5 1-8)

Back T.Pendrith to win USPGA Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 151.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

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