Paul Williams

Paul Williams' US PGA Championship Longshots 2022

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With additional each-way places available from most bookies, the scope for grabbing a piece of the each-way action with a 3-figure chance this week is as good as ever, and there’s plenty of value to be found if you dig deep enough into the market at Southern Hills.

Last year’s US PGA Championship was a case in point that longer-priced players can place, or even win at the Majors.

Phil Mickelson was available at a whopping 250/1 with some bookies last year before capturing his second Wanamaker Trophy and 6th Major title in total. In addition to Lefty, 600/1 shots Padraig Harrington and Harry Higgs both finished in a tie for 4th place in 2021, rewarding each-way backers with a huge return.

For full background on the course and PGA Championship trends read Steve Bamford’s in-depth preview here.

As ever, the each-way terms available from some bookmakers this week make for an interesting dilemma – do you stick rigidly to fairly standard each-way terms and grab a top price on an outsider, or do you accept a reduced price in exchange for more favourable each-way terms?

Personally I’ve opted to take a balanced approach with 3 selections using different price/combinations but, as ever, do check the odds of the key bookmakers before placing your bet to suit yourself.

Jason Kokrak 1pt EW 110/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

I backed Jason Kokrak as one of my longshots for The Masters last month and much of the same logic applies here at Southern Hills. 9th heading into Sunday at Augusta gave us a good chance of an each-way return before a closing round of 73 meant a 14th place finish and a blank for us, however I’m happy to keep the faith.

31st in the OWGR now having only played sparingly since Augusta, Kokrak can still boast 3 wins in his last 40 starts overall, holding off the likes of Xander Schauffele (CJ Cup), Jordan Spieth (Charles Schwab Challenge) and Scottie Scheffler (HP Houston Open) into the bargain. Those last 2 wins came at -14 and -10 respectively, so he’s already proven himself capable of performing in this kind of winning score region, and for me it’s only a matter of time before he improves on a set of solid, if unspectacular, career Major efforts thus far.

Getting the ball out there isn’t an issue for the 6’ 4” beefcake who averages over 306 yards from off the tee for the season to date. 9th for Sand Saves for 2022 and 46th for Scrambling are also strong metrics for a week where missing these small greens will be commonplace, and that ties in nicely with the 36 year-old who’s comfortable on golf’s more stringent tests.

17th last week on a low-scoring affair which isn’t really his bread and butter is encouraging, and a strong record at Colonial, culminating in last year’s victory after finishing 3rd there in 2020, correlates nicely given the similar demands of that track and Southern Hills. RESULT: T60

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Gary Woodland 1pt EW 125/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

In terms of ticking the boxes that I think will help us find Southern Hills contenders, Gary Woodland is right up there for me – despite being a 3-figure chance with most bookmakers.

On a stretching Par 70, those players who can combine length off the tee with enough accuracy to give themselves the best possible chance of finding the small putting surfaces are at a premium, and the 37 year-old has got that in spades.

17th on Tour for the current season in terms of Driving Distance, Gary’s regular 310 yard pumps into the fairway are just what the doctor ordered here and with wind a feature in the forecast, his low ball flight will be key to keeping his ball out of the worst of the trouble.

Positive for Strokes Gained around the green, the Kansas-born Florida native has enough short game to save himself when greens are missed, however an in-form Gary Woodland misses fewer putting surfaces than most. 2nd for GIR at the Mexico Open and 9th on the same count at the Texas Open are two recent examples and when he does miss, 42nd for Scrambling for the season to date puts him in the upper echelons of that statistic.

Of course there must be some negatives for a Major Champion that I’ve just described in such a positive light who’s available in excess of 100/1. Missed cuts at The Masters and on his last start at the Wells Fargo have kept him off the bookies’ radar, yet prior to that we’ve seen top-5 finishes at the Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational already this term as well as 8th at the Texas Open last month, so he’s hardly in terrible nick.

6th and 8th at the US PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019 respectively, another finish in that same kind of region would reward each-way backers here this week, and there’s always the chance that he could push on and convert a second Major title. RESULT: T34

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✅ Bonus code SPORT50 can be used, but does not change the offer amount in any way
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✅ Early odds available each week on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour
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bet365 New Customer Offer: Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code SPORT50 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. #Ad

Rickie Fowler 1pt EW 300/1 (5EW, 1/4) with 10bet

There was a time, in the not so dim and distant past, when Rickie Fowler was far closer to the top of the betting boards at Major Championships – and rightly so. 5 PGA Tour wins and a top-3 or better in each of the 4 Majors is impressive, even if he’s been guilty of not converting quite as often as he should.

Add to that list a Hero World Challenge title, two DP World Tour successes, plus an Asian Tour trophy for good measure and it’s easy to see why the bookies used to take no chances. Yet this week we’re getting a healthy 3-figure price, which is far longer on the Exchange if you’re happy to take your chances win-only, about this 33 year-old, who’s both got married and become a father since his form dropped away after his last Tour win in Phoenix in February 2019.

Perhaps off-course distractions are partially to blame, and the disruption from the pandemic can’t have helped either, however with home life settled now perhaps we’ll see him push on once again. Certainly this corresponding fixture last year offers some cause for optimism – 8th at Kiawah Island came after a pair of missed cuts in the fortnight leading up to the event and marked his first top-10 finish on Tour for well over a year. 11th to follow at Memorial on his next start and 3rd later in the year at the CJ Cup provide further positivity, however it wasn’t until his most recent outing at TPC Potomac that we’ve seen anything noteworthy since. 21st overall contained an opening round of 66 and a closing round of 68; middle rounds of 72/74 explain his final position, but positive signs nonetheless to take into this week.

A long, classical track with Bentgrass greens and wind in play would have been a nigh-on perfect combination for the Fowler of old heading into a Major Championship, so I’m happy to take a chance that he can rekindle some of the magic that saw him reach the dizzy heights of 4th in the OWGR back in the day.

I can’t resist the price with the standard each-way terms on Fowler, however he’s also available at 200/1 with Unibet (7 places each way, 1/5) and 175/1 with bet365 (8 places each way, 1/5) at the time of writing if you prefer. RESULT: T23

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 13:30BST 16.5.22 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.