Published on August 2nd, 2017 | by Ian John
Who Will Win The Final Golf Major Of The Year The USPGA Championship?
There’s plenty of great betting on this event to be had with Bet365 Sport over the next week or so with some great pre-event betting on the Outright Winner market in particular. Don’t forget though that you can enjoy outstanding Live In Play betting on each of the four days of the tournament with Bet365 as the action unfolds.
In this preview of the event, we are going to have a look at the recent history of the tournament, a look at the changes made to Quail Hollow earlier this year to prepare it for the event and then we’ll take you through the favourites and outsiders for the Championship before we give you our two tips ahead of the tournament next week.
So let’s begin with a look back at the past winners of the USPGA Championship stretching back to the year 2000.
USPGA Championship Past Winners
- 2000 – Valhalla Golf Club – Tiger Woods (US)
- 2001 – Atlanta Athletic Club – David Toms (US)
- 2002 – Hazeltine National – Rich Beem (US)
- 2003 – Oak Hill Country Club – Shaun Micheel (US)
- 2004 – Whistling Straits – Vijay Singh (Fji)
- 2005 – Baltusrol Gold Club – Phil Mickelson (US)
- 2006 – Medinah Country Club – Tiger Woods (US)
- 2007 – Southern Hills Country Club – Tiger Woods (US)
- 2008 – Oakland Hills Country Club – Padraig Harrington (Ire)
- 2009 – Hazeltine National – Yang Yong-eun (S.Kor)
- 2010 – Whistling Straits – Martin Kaymer (Ger)
- 2011 – Atlanta Athletic Club – Keegan Bradley (US)
- 2012 – Kiawah Island Golf Resort – Rory McIlroy (Ire)
- 2013 – Oak Hill Country Club – Jason Dufner (US)
- 2014 – Valhalla Golf Club – Rory McIlroy (Ire)
- 2015 – Whistling Straits – Jason Day (Aus)
- 2016 – Baltusrol Golf Club – Jimmy Walker (US)
In the early part of the 2000s, US players dominated the event, but in recent years that changed and now just three of the last nine winners have been players on home soil (Jimmy Walker last year, Jason Dufner in 2013 and Keegan Bradley in 2011). Indeed Irish players have won it equally as often during that period (Rory McIlroy twice and Padraig Harrington once).
This year’s winner will pocket a record $1,890,000 in prize money, up $90,000 from last year and over double what Tiger Woods won when he won the event back in 2000 (picking up $900,000).
The Venue: Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina
This is the first year that the USPGA Championship will take place in Quail Hollow, but the course has been the home for several events on the US Tour, including the Wells Fargo Championship. Rory McIlroy holds the course record with a 61, which he shot back in 2015. The Irishman has twice been a winner at the venue in the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship and the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship.
However the course McIlroy played on back then has been changed after four holes were modified or moved during a 90-day renovation earlier this year. One of the key changes has been the switch in the type of grass used on the fairway and greens, from Rye grass, to Bermuda grass.
Although the change may seem superficial, it should improve the appearance of the course on screen, but it will also alter how the course plays. Bermuda grass is tougher for players to control the ball on as the ball tends to bounce and run and as such, players can find that even their best shots go unrewarded.
Longer hitters will certainly be favoured on this course with no par 3 under 208 yards and only two potentially drivable par fours. The par 72 course has a total yardage of 7442 yards and it is best known for its “Green Mile” finishing three holes, which are reckoned to be one of the toughest final three holes on tour.
The Favourites to Win the USPGA 2017
Current World Number 1 Dustin Johnson is the current favourite with Bet365 at 7/1 and it is not difficult to understand why given the American’s superlative form throughout the year so far, although he will be somewhat annoyed that thus far (The Open notwithstanding), he has yet to land a Major this season.
Rory McIlroy is a 15/2 chance with Bet365 at the moment and that is chiefly because he has an excellent record on this course, winning here twice in the past, plus he is a two-time USPGA Champion. However McIlroy’s wins at Quail Hollow came before the recent changes to the course and it will be interesting to see how he adapts.
Other names that will be in with a shout include previous winner Jason Day (12/1) who is starting to show signs of the form that took him to World Number 1 in 2016. Jordan Spieth is an 11/1 shot to earn his first USPGA victory and the in form Spaniard Jon Rahm who has blitzed the golfing world over the past 12 months with his meteoric rise up the rankings is a 16/1 shot.
There are several other players that you have to count amongst the favourites including the consistent Japanese ace Hideki Matsuyama (18/1), the unflappable Swede Henrik Stensson (22/1), his Ryder Cup team mates Justin Rose (22/1) and Sergio Garcia (25/1) are also in great form, while you can never discount Rickie Fowler (22/1) and the 2017 US Open Champion Brooks Koepka is a 28/1 shot alongside the big-hitting Justin Thomas.
Outside Bets Who Could Come Good
Looking down the field, Tommy Fleetwood’s performance at the US Open and on the European Tour this season make him a decent shout at 75/1 and another English player who could come good here is the in form Paul Casey, who is a 66/1 shot.
Distance from the tee will be a big advantage at Quail Hollow so although he isn’t in the form of his life, you could never count out Bubba Watson at 80/1. Other outside bets that look solid choices are the two 50/1 shots Patrick Reed and Thomas Pieters. Englishman Tyrell Hatton (90/1) is an interesting pick having recently holed from over 200 yards on the fairway in a practice round for a career-first albatross, he then teed off at the next hole, a par three, and promptly holed that shot too!
Our Pick For the Winner with Bet365
It seems to me that the key to victory here will be distance from the tee, the ability to putt well and the ability to deal with any unfortunate lies or bounces you get from the changes made to the course. That means that I can’t look past Dustin Johnson (7/1) to win here. The American is the favourite and has had an outstanding year and it would be fitting if he were to end it as the USPGA Champion.
Our Pick For A Great Each Way Bet with Bet365
There’s lots of great picks as an each way bet but I think the huge hitting and consistency of Danish ace Thomas Pieters (50/1) makes him the best option as an outside bet. Bet365 pay out each way bets on the first five places at the USPGA Championship, including ties.