After his stunning success in The Masters last month at Augusta where he claimed his 15th Major title of an illustrious career, Tiger Woods is now the favourite out of all the golfers competing at the famous Bethpage Black course from Thursday in what is now the second Major of the year, the USPGA Championship.

Woods is a four-time winner of the event, landing the title in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007 and after his one-stroke victory at Augusta last month, the bookies now feel that the golfing legend is now firmly back amongst the best players in the world after a number of years where he was plagued by back problems.

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So will it be Woods once again leading the way at Bethpage Black this coming weekend, or will it be another famous name from the field that takes the second Major of the season, with the USPGA moving from its former time in the calendar of August to May, in between the Masters and the US Open (which takes place in June)? Or alternatively, will it be a less well-known name that is being engraved on the trophy come Sunday night?

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USPGA Championship Preview

The USPGA Championship used to be contested as the final Major of the season in August, but a reshuffle of the top events of the season saw the Players Championship move to March and the USPGA move to the slot created in May for this event and this year is the first time the tournament will be contested in May. In another first, Bethpage Black will be the host course of the tournament for the first time too, although it has twice hosted the US Open (in 2002 and 2009).

This year’s tournament is the 101st time the tournament has been run and the field will consist of 156 players playing for a prize fund of $11,000,000.

American players have won five of the last eight times the tournament has been contested with Brooks Koepka the reigning champion. Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley being the other winners of the tournament in recent years. International winners in recent times have included Rory McIlroy, who has won it twice in 2012 and 2014, Jason Day (2015) and Martin Kaymer (2010).

A total of 16 former Champions are expected to be amongst the 156 starters of the tournament on Thursday in New York, so let’s now take a closer look at the course on which the famous tournament will be contested.

Bethpage Black Course Preview

Bethpage Black is one of the more famous courses in New York state and this public course was first opened in 1938. Ih has hosted the US Open in 2002 and 2009 as well as being the venue for The Barclays tournament in 2012 and 2016 but it will be the first time it has hosted the USPGA Championship. Golf Digest rated the course as the sixth most difficult of the 50 toughest courses in the US back in 2008. Bethpage Black will also be the host venue for the 2024 Ryder Cup.

Course Layout

  • Hole 1 – 430 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 2 – 389 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 3 – 230 Yards (Par 3)
  • Hole 4 – 517 Yards (Par 5)
  • Hole 5 – 478 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 6 – 408 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 7 – 524 Yards (Par 5)
  • Hole 8 – 210 Yards (Par 3)
  • Hole 9 – 460 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 10 – 502 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 11 – 435 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 12 – 517 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 13 – 608 Yards (Par 5)
  • Hole 14 – 161 Yards (Par 3)
  • Hole 15 – 459 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 16 – 490 Yards (Par 4)
  • Hole 17 – 207 Yards (Par 3)
  • Hole 18 – 411 Yards (Par 4)

Total Yards – 7436 (Par 70)

Since the first US Open was contested on the course back in 2002, the course has been lengthened by 222 yards in total and increased by ten more yards since the 2009 US Open, but since then, the course has largely remained unaltered.

Who is competing?

In addition to Tiger Woods, the other top players in the world that will be Golf Betting Bet365competing from Thursday this week include the likes of Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and John Rahm.

Johnson, Thomas, Spieth and Fowler will likely spearhead a strong challenge from American players, who generally have an excellent record in this tournament and you can add to that list Brooks Koepka, the defending champion who has won back-to-back US Opens and could now replicate that feat if he wins this tournament this year.  Other American stars in with a shout include the likes of Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner, Gary Woodland, Chez Reavie and Bryson DeChambeau.

Equally though, there will be a strong representation from Europe with all of the 2018 Ryder Cup team handed a place in the event automatically. This means that alongside Rose, McIlroy and Rahm, players like Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren, Tyrell Hatton, Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson will be in attendance.

The international field also includes the likes of Adam Scott, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Jhonattan Vegas and Emiliano Grillo.

Add to that a smattering of talented older players like Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh and it looks sure to be a hotly contested tournament.

Our top tips to win the USPGA Championship

Picking the winner for one of golf’s biggest events is never easy but there are a number of standout names in amongst those I have mentioned, but also amongst those that I have not and one of them is my pick for a solid each way bet.

There are some long par fours at Bethpage Black and people who can hit the ball prodigious distances can benefit from that here so I think Bubba Watson, despite not being in the best form of his life, is worth a look. The American two-time Masters Champion is a 55/1 shot due to his form not being the best but I think this course will suit him and the distance he can hit the ball will benefit his game here.

After three American winners in a row at this tournament I think this year will be one where one of the European or international stars comes to the fore and if I was looking for someone to back then I think Justin Rose (a 20/1 shot with bet365) would be my pick. The Englishman is playing so consistently most weeks and he is a winner of the US Open, so he knows what is required to win one of the three Majors contested in the US.

I think it is going to be a very tough task for Woods to replicate his success at the Majors and even though he is 10/1 with bet365 to win, I don’t think I’d be backing him to land the win this time around as I am not sure he is accurate enough off the tee to get the better of this course.