Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's US PGA Championship Tips 2024

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Congratulations if you were on-board favourite Rory McIlroy at best Monday prices of 17/2 with bet365 last week at Quail Hollow, or Chris Gotterup at 50/1 who captured his first PGA Tour win at the alternate Myrtle Beach Classic event.

On to this week we go and the 106th PGA Championship is visiting the Valhalla Golf Club for the fourth time. It should be an absolute feast of golf with the deepest field in Major Championship golf present.

Before we go into the detail surrounding the PGA Championship, we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System. Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System Podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, +6,300 strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

Course Guide: Valhalla Golf Club has hosted 3 PGA Championships (1996, 2000 and 2014), plus the 2008 Ryder Cup. The 2024 PGA Championship will feature a lengthened golf course from that we saw when Rory McIlroy won in 2014, and fascinatingly the course will also feature different agronomy.

Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky: Designer: Jack Nicklaus 1984/85, with Nicklaus renovation 2011 plus 2021 Nicklaus Design Team inspired course lengthening; Course Type: Classical, Technical, Long; Par: 71; Length: 7,609 yards; Number of Holes with Water In-Play: 7; Number of Sand Bunkers: 60; Acres of Fairway: 23; Fairways: Zeon Zoysiagrass; Rough: Kentucky Bluegrass with, Tall Fescue 4″; Greens: 5,000 sq.ft average featuring T1 Bentgrass; Stimpmeter: 13ft.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes other Jack Nicklaus PGA Tour designs include:

  • Annandale Golf Club – Sanderson Farms Championship through 2013
  • Glen Abbey – RBC Canadian Open – 2008, 2013, 2015-2018
  • Montreux Golf & Country Club – Barracuda Championship through 2019
  • Muirfield Village – The Memorial Tournament
  • Old Greenwood GC – Barracuda Championship 2020-2023
  • PGA National – Cognizant Classic
  • PGA West – Nicklaus Private – Humana Challenge through 2015
  • PGA West – Stadium Course – The American Express
  • Sherwood Country Club – Thousand Oaks – World Challenge through 2013 + 2020 ZOZO Championship
  • The Concession – WGC Workday Championship 2021

Course Overview: Take a look at the Valhalla course and you will see a track which is wide off the tee, tree-lined in parts, and undulating in set-up. Green complexes feature T1 Bentgrass which provide resistance to the harsh Kentucky temperature extremes. The layout of the course is designed for drama, with the closing reachable par-5 likely to relinquish a tournament-changing eagle or two in the closing stages. Indeed 2 of the 3 previous PGA Championships hosted at Valhalla ended in play-offs, with Rory McIlroy winning by a mere shot in 2014.

So what changes will we see in 2024?

Firstly the course has been extended from 7,458 to 7,609 yards, that’s an increase of 151 yards. New tee boxes have been added to the 1st (484 yard par-4), 8th (190 yard par-3), 12th (494 yard par-4), 14th (254 yard par-3) and 18th (570 yard par-5). A 7,600 yard, Par 71 in a parkland setting is what I think of as a typical PGA Championship venue, and it’s a course that Kerry Haigh, Chief Championships Officer of the PGA of America, will be able to tinker with both before and during the tournament. The PGA of America traditionally like a single digit under par winning score – 5 of the last 6 PGA Championships played on long golf courses have been won with a single digit under par score – and unless Valhalla plays as soft as it did in 2014, they will get their way again in 2024.

In a detailed bid to help make Valhalla tougher, another change to the golf course is that Bentgrass fairways have been removed and replaced with Zeon Zoysiagrass. Zoysiagrass needs less water and is renowned for the additional roll that it provides, essentially meaning that the fairways will tolerate more water if it rains and will dry out far faster. If all goes to plan, they should make for a faster golf course.

Zoysiagrass fairways also feature at

  • East Lake (Tour Championship)
  • Narashino CC (2019, 2021 + 2022 – 2023 ZOZO Championship)
  • The Dunes Golf and Beach Club – 2024 Myrtle Beach Classic
  • TPC Southwind (WGC St Jude Championship + WGC-St Jude Invitational + FedEx St Jude Classic)

For reference only Narashino Country Club – home of the ZOZO Championship across 2019 (Tiger Woods), 2021 (Hideki Matsuyama), 2022 (Keegan Bradley) and 2023 (Collin Morikawa) – features the same combination of Zoysiagrass fairways and Bentgrass greens as Valhalla.

Zoysia isn’t the most popular of fairway grasses with many players who claim the quirky grass promotes flyers. These fairways also featured at the 2011 PGA Championship hosted at Atlanta Athletic Club and interestingly at Bellerive Country Club which hosted the 2018 PGA Championship. Bellerive is located in St Louis, Missouri, only 300 miles to the west of Louisville, Kentucky.

pga championship tips

PGA Championship Winners: 2023: Brooks Koepka (-9); 2022: Justin Thomas (-6); 2021: Phil Mickelson (-6); 2020: Collin Morikawa (-13); 2019: Brooks Koepka (-8); 2018: Brooks Koepka (-16); 2017: Justin Thomas (-8); 2016: Jimmy Walker (-14); 2015: Jason Day (-20); 2014: Rory McIlroy (-16); 2013: Jason Dufner (-10); 2012: Rory McIlroy (-13); 2011: Keegan Bradley (-8); 2010: Martin Kaymer (-11); 2009: Y.E. Yang (-8).

  • 2023: Brooks Koepka 72-66-66-67 -9/271
  • 2022: Justin Thomas 67-67-74-67 -5/275
  • 2021: Phil Mickelson-70-69-70-73 -6/282
  • 2020: Collin Morikawa 69-69-65-64 -13/267
  • 2019: Brooks Koepka 63-65-70-74 -8/272
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka 69-63-66-66 -16/264
  • 2017: Justin Thomas 73-66-69-68 -8/276

Path to Victory: Below are end of round positions for the winners of the PGA Championship since 2010:

  • 2023 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 38th, Round 2: 6th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2022 – Justin Thomas: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 7th.
  • 2021 – Phil Mickelson: Round 1: 8th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2020 – Collin Morikawa: Round 1: 33rd, Round 2: 25th, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2019 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2018 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 33rd, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2017 – Justin Thomas: Round 1: 44th, Round 2: 7th, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2016 – Jimmy Walker: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2015 – Jason Day: Round 1: 3rd, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2014 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2013 – Jason Dufner: Round 1: 11th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2012 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2: 5th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2011 – Keegan Bradley: Round 1: 36th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2010 – Martin Kaymer: Round 1: 44th, Round 2: 15th, Round 3: 4th.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the PGA Championship winners since 2010 and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2023 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2022 – Justin Thomas: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: 7 back.
  • 2021 – Phil Mickelson: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: Level, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2020 – Collin Morikawa: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 6 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2019 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 1 ahead, Round 2: 7 ahead, Round 3: 7 ahead.
  • 2018 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 2 ahead.
  • 2017 – Justin Thomas: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 5 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2016 – Jimmy Walker: Round 1: 1 ahead, Round 2: Level, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2015 – Jason Day: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 2 ahead.
  • 2014 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2013 – Jason Dufner: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 2 ahead, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2012 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 3 ahead.
  • 2011 – Keegan Bradley: Round 1: 8 back, Round 2: Level, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2010 – Martin Kaymer: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 4 back.

OWGR of PGA Championship Winners: 2023: Koepka 44; 2022: Thomas 9; 2021: Mickelson 115; 2020: Morikawa 12; 2019: Koepka 3; 2018: Koepka 4; 2017: Thomas 14.

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats | Majors Stats.

My published predictor is available here. Top 10 of my published predictor are: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka, Joaquin Niemann, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa.

Our brand new predictor model is running alongside, where you can build your own rankings in live time using the variables listed on the left hand side.

PGA Championship Winners & Prices: 2023: Koepka 18/1; 2022: Thomas 16/1; 2021: Mickelson 250/1; 2020: Morikawa 35/1; 2019: Koepka 11/1JF; 2018: Koepka 20/1; 2017: Thomas 45/1; 2016: Jimmy Walker 150/1; 2015: Day 14/1; 2014: McIlroy 5/1F; 2013: Dufner 40/1; 2012: McIlroy 20/1; 2011: Bradley 175/1; 2010: Kaymer 50/1. Past 5 Renewals Average: 66/1; Average: 61/1.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Louisville, Kentucky is here.

The weather report for the PGA Championship is that there’s likely rainfall pre-event with the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to the tournament all showing high chances of precipitation, which could also be a factor on Friday morning as well. With well over 2 inches of rainfall in May already, I’m expecting soft turf conditions and likely soft green surfaces for a chunk of this tournament.

Aside from that, winds look very light apart from Friday with gusts likely up to 20mph and temperatures look comfortable between 24-28 degrees Celsius, 75-82 Fahrenheit.

Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the Valspar Championship / Singapore Classic which includes both PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV League events, where recorded. Player rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Bryson DeChambeau / Min Woo Lee; 3) Ludvig Aberg / Rasmus Hojgaard; 5) Dean Burmester; 6) Scottie Scheffler; 7) David Puig; 8) Rory McIlroy; 9) Wyndham Clark / Alejandro Tosti; 11) Sungjae Im / Keith Mitchell / Sepp Straka; 14) Collin Morikawa / Jon Rahm; 16) Sahith Theegala; 17) Joaquin Niemann; 18) Kurt Kitayama / Brooks Koepka; 20) Tommy Fleetwood / Nicolai Hojgaard / Jordan Spieth / Xander Schauffele / Cameron Young; 25) Stephan Jaeger.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Ludvig Aberg / Corey Conners; 4) Keegan Bradley; 5) Martin Kaymer; 6) Byeong Hun An / Shane Lowry; 8) Russell Henley; 9) Dean Burmester; 10) Joaquin Niemann / Xander Schauffele; 12) Patrick Cantlay / Tyrrell Hatton / Chris Kirk / Rory McIlroy; 16) Adam Svensson / Sahith Theegala; 18) Lucas Glover / Talor Gooch / Jon Rahm; 21) Si Woo Kim / Sebastian Soderberg; 23) Keita Nakajima / Andy Ogletree; 25) Bryson DeChambeau / Tommy Fleetwood / Kurt Kitayama / Phil Mickelson / Gary Woodland.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Cameron Smith; 2) Tyrrell Hatton; 3) Patrick Cantlay; 4) Martin Kaymer; 5) Dean Burmester / Tommy Fleetwood / J.T. Poston / Patrick Reed; 9) Joaquin Niemann; 10) Rickie Fowler / Stephan Jaeger; 12) Denny McCarthy; 13) Taylor Moore / Alex Noren / Scottie Scheffler; 16) Hideki Matsuyama / David Puig; 18) Keita Nakajima / Jon Rahm / Tiger Woods; 21) Bryson DeChambeau / Max Homa / Justin Thomas; 24) Russell Henley / Si Woo Kim.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Dean Burmester; 3) Bryson DeChambeau; 4) Ludvig Aberg; 5) Joaquin Niemann; 6) Alex Noren; 7) Si Woo Kim; 8) Rory McIlroy / Jon Rahm; 10) Tyrrell Hatton; 11) Patrick Cantlay / Tommy Fleetwood; 13) Lucas Glover / Russell Henley / Martin Kaymer / Shane Lowry; 17) Xander Schauffele, 18) Max Homa / Kurt Kitayama / Sebastian Soderberg; 21) Keith Mitchell; 22) Chris Kirk / Keita Nakajima; 24) Taylor Moore; 25) Byeong Hun An.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Talor Gooch / Denny McCarthy; 3) Patrick Reed; 4) Dean Burmester; 5) Lucas Herbert / Mackenzie Hughes; 7) Christiaan Bezuidenhout; 8) Sebastian Soderberg; 9) Tyrrell Hatton; 10) Matthew Fitzpatrick; 11) Cameron Smith; 12) Jason Day; 13) Sepp Straka; 14) Akshay Bhatia / Thomas Detry / Andy Ogletree / Xander Schauffele; 18) Taylor Pendrith; 19) Thriston Lawrence / Adrian Meronk / Phil Mickelson; 22) Harris English / Justin Rose; 24) Brian Harman / Joaquin Niemann / Brendon Todd.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Dean Burmester; 3) Sebastian Soderberg; 4) Tyrrell Hatton / Xander Schauffele; 6) Ludvig Aberg; 7) Joaquin Niemann; 8) Talor Gooch; 9) Keita Nakajima / Patrick Reed; 11) Alex Noren / Rory McIlroy; 13) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Russell Henley / Jon Rahm; 16) Bryson DeChambeau; 17) Patrick Cantlay / Tommy Fleetwood / Cameron Smith; 20) Si Woo Kim; 21) Denny McCarthy; 22) Akshay Bhatia / Lucas Glover / Mackenzie Hughes; 25) Ben Griffin / Max Homa / Chris Kirk / Hideki Matsuyama.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of Rory McIlroy winning here in 2014 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:

  • 2014, Rory McIlroy (-16). SG Off the Tee: 1st, SG Approach: 11th, SG Around the Green: 34th, SG Tee to Green: 3rd, SG Putting: 12th.

Statistically from a Stroke Gained perspective Rory gained 3.03 strokes per round from Tee to Green (73%) and 1.11 Putting (27%).

Incoming Form of PGA Championship winners since 2010:

  • Brooks Koepka: 5th LIV Tulsa/3rd LIV Singapore/11th LIV Adelaide/2nd Masters.
  • Justin Thomas: 5th Byron Nelson/35th Heritage/8th Masters/35th WMP.
  • Phil Mickelson: 69th Wells Fargo/MC Valspar/21st Masters/MC Texas Open.
  • Collin Morikawa: 20th St Jude/48th Memorial/1st Workday/MC Travelers.
  • Brooks Koepka: 4th Byron Nelson/2nd Masters/56th WMP/56th Players.
  • Brooks Koepka: 5th Bridgestone/MC Canada/39th Open Champ/19th Travelers.
  • Justin Thomas: 28th Bridgestone/MC Open Champ/MC Quicken/MC Travelers.
  • Jimmy Walker: 14th Canada/MC Open Champ/16th Bridgestone/MC US Open.
  • Jason Day: 12th Bridgestone/1st Canada/4th Open Champ/9th US Open.
  • Rory McIlroy: 1st Bridgestone/1st Open Champ/14th Scottish Open/MC Irish Open.
  • Jason Dufner: 4th Bridgestone/26th Open Champ/MC Travelers/4th US Open.
  • Rory McIlroy: 5th Bridgestone/60th Open Champ/ 10th Irish Open/MC US Open.
  • Keegan Bradley: 15th Bridgestone/43rd Greenbier/22nd Canada/MC AT&T National.
  • Martin Kaymer: 22nd Bridgestone/7th Open Championship/MC Scottish Open/6th Open de France.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2010. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2023 – DeChambeau – AM -4/66 – 80/1.
  • 2022 – McIlroy – AM -5/65 – 20/1.
  • 2021 – Conners – PM -5/67 – 66/1.
  • 2020 – Day / Todd – AM/PM Split -5/65 – 50/1 & 90/1.
  • 2019 – Koepka – AM -7/63 – 25/1.
  • 2018 – Woodland – PM -6/64 – 100/1.
  • 2017 – Kisner/Olesen – AM/PM Split -4/67 – 80/1 & 125/1.
  • 2016 – Walker – AM -6/65.
  • 2015 – D Johnson – AM -6/66.
  • 2014 – Chappell/Palmer/Westwood – 1AM/2PM -6/65.
  • 2013 – Furyk/Scott – AM/PM Split -5/65.
  • 2012 – Pettersson – AM -6/66.
  • 2011 – Stricker – AM -7/63.
  • 2010 – Kuchar – PM -5/67.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of pure Bentgrass green PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 8 – Rory McIlroy.
  • 7 – Justin Rose.
  • 6 – Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods.
  • 5 – Patrick Cantlay, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas.
  • 4 – Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama.
  • 3 – Keegan Bradley, Bryson DeChambeau, Lucas Glover, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott.
  • 2 – Jason Dufner, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Brian Harman, Billy Horschel, Martin Kaymer, Tom Kim, K.H. Lee, Chris Kirk, Patrick Reed, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler.
  • 1 – Sam Burns, Wyndham Clark, Emiliano Grillo, Padraig Harrington, Lee Hodges, Charley Hoffman, Max Homa, Viktor Hovland, Sungjae Im, Collin Morikawa, Joaquin Niemann, Vincent Norrman, Taylor Pendrith, J.T. Poston, Jon Rahm, Sepp Straka, Brendon Todd, Camilo Villegas.

Winning prices at the PGA Championship can vary significantly. Short prices such as Rory McIlroy – who’s won this title twice at 20/1 (2012) and 5/1 favourite (2014) – and Jason Day at 14/1 (2015) have had much recent success. Throw in Brooks Koepka at 20/1, 11/1 (joint favourite) and 18/1 over 2018, 2019 and last year, plus 2022 winner Justin Thomas at 16/1 and we have 7 of the past 12 winners landing at sub-20/1. Add Collin Morikawa at 35/1, Justin Thomas (2017) at 45/1 and Jason Dufner at 40/1. So 10 of the last 12 PGA Championships have been won at 45/1 or less.

To counter this point there are also four triple-digit exceptions since 2009, with Phil Mickelson’s 250/1 win in 2021 at Kiawah Island very fresh in the mind. Jimmy Walker is another, as he played brilliantly throughout at Baltusrol in 2016 to lead from start to finish and capture his first Major title at an unbelievable (after the tournament) 150/1. He joined Keegan Bradley (2011) and Y.E. Yang (2009) who won at 175/1 and 150/1 respectively.

The PGA Championship in recent history has seen a plethora of long-hitters getting the job done, with many capturing their first Major titles. Exclude Oak Hill in 2013 (7,163 yard Par 70) and TPC Harding Park in 2020 (7,234 yard Par 70), which weren’t your stereotypical long, PGA Championship venues – Y.E. Yang (2009), Martin Kaymer (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Jason Day (2015), Jimmy Walker (2016) and Justin Thomas (2017), have all been long off the tee and captured first-time Majors to boot. Add Dufner and Morikawa to that first-time list on those shorter Par 70s.

Rory McIlroy (winner at Kiawah Island in 2012 and here in 2014), Brooks Koepka who drove the field into submission at Bellerive (2018), Bethpage Black (2019) and Oak Hill (2023), plus Justin Thomas (2022) at Southern Hills who ranked 11th for Driving Distance – All Drives landing in Oklahoma – provide even more evidence that long hitters have a distinct advantage at “traditional” PGA Championships. Kiawah Island was by the coast, but both of those renewals were won by Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson – the latter still ranked 50th in Driving Distance on the PGA Tour when becoming the oldest Major winner at 50 years of age 3 years ago.

Naturally the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone South is no more, but the idea that a player will need to be playing well in their immediate start, which for most of the elite will be either the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, or the CJ Cup Byron Nelson / LIV Singapore the week before, should be one to consider and we have masses of precedent here. Going back to 2006, every winner of the PGA Championship has played within the past 2 weeks prior to their victory, and up until Phil Mickelson had finished no worse than 28th (Justin Thomas 2017). Phil being Phil finished 69th at the Wells Fargo. Justin Thomas in 2022 finished 5th the week before at the Byron Nelson and Brooks Koepka 5th at LIV Tulsa 12 months ago.

Go back further to 2002, 2004 and 2005 and you will see that PGA Championship winners Rich Beem, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh finished 1st, 10th and 1st respectively in their preceding outings. So strong form in, seems a prerequisite.

My final US PGA Championship tips for 2024 are as follows:

Brooks Koepka 3pts EW 14/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

Brooks Koepka has always been a Major Championship monster and the PGA Tour and now LIV Golf has always been secondary to the Floridian. With 5 of Koepka’s 13 PGA/LIV wins being Majors themselves, Brooks wants his legacy to be remembered purely on the volume of Major successes and a PGA Championship on a long, classical golf course featuring Bentgrass greens in Kentucky must have him licking his chops in anticipation.

And that’s the deal with Brooks who can mix it in all conditions and on all Major Championship golf courses, no matter the weather. In the past we have landed him at 20/1, 11/1 and 18/1 across his 3 PGA Championship wins, and I can’t really see a reason to swap allegiance for this one. Coming here directly off a morale-boosting LIV Singapore win on a course that featured Zoysiagrass fairways is obviously a huge thing for Koepka, especially when you note that all 3 of his most recent Major wins – which have all been PGA Championships – have come off top-5 finishes the start before.

-55 in all Major Championships since 2016 and with a formidable 70.37 Major Championship Scoring Average since the 2018 Masters, Brooks, when fit, has always been pretty straightforward to read. If the driver and approach play is peaking then watch out at the Majors. “BK” was 9th (LIV Adelaide) and 1st (LIV Singapore) across his last 2 LIV appearances, where the 34 year-old ranked 10th and 4th for Driving Accuracy, 1st and 5th for Greens in Regulation, plus 9th and 5th for Ball Striking. Koepka shot 66-64 in Singapore Friday and Saturday and a solid 68 Sunday, when the real work was done to win by 2. He’s ready once again.

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Bryson DeChambeau 2pts EW 25/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau can be backed at a decent each-way price this week and I like where his game is at in 2024.

Having lost the bulk, a slimline Bryson looks far healthier as does his golf. 4 top-10 finishes on the LIV Tour so far in 2024, Californian Bryson has already won a U.S. Open in New York State, plus finished 4th at the 2020 PGA Championship (TPC Harding Park, California), 8th at the 2022 Open Championship (Sandwich), 4th at the 2023 PGA Championship (Oak Hill) and 6th this year at The Masters. He’s undoubtedly a Major performer, whilst I see plenty of players shorter in the market that you have to ask serious questions about when it comes to performing in the Major tests.

3rd, 2nd, 12th and 3rd for Driving Distance across his last 4 appearances, Bryson 24-style has ranked 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th for Ball Striking in 4 of his last 5 starts. A 10-time PGA Tour / LIV Tour winner, 9 of which have been on greens that have featured Bentgrass or Bentgrass Poa Annua mix, DeChambeau also has a stellar record in these geographical climes. 5 of his professional wins have come in neighbouring states to Kentucky notably Illinois (x2), Ohio (x2) and West Virginia. Those wins were the 2016 DAP Championship (Korn Ferry), 2017 John Deere Classic, 2018 Memorial Tournament (on Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village), 2023 LIV Greenbrier and 2023 LIV Chicago.

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Max Homa 2pts EW 30/1 (10EW, 1/5) with Betfred

I have always said that players mature at different rates and for every Jordan Spieth or Wyndham Clark, who won Majors with little previous exposure, others take a little longer to get accustomed to golf at the very highest-level.

Take Max Homa who landed his first Major top-10 finish in his 16 Major Championship start. That happened with 10th place at the Hoylake-hosted Open Championship last July and since then Homa was a real contender last time out at the Masters where he was 1st going into the weekend and 3rd heading into Sunday. 73 in the final round was ultimately disappointing, but Max landed T3 alongside 2-time Major champion Collin Morikawa and Tommy Fleetwood, whose career has delivered a couple of runner-up finishes in Majors, with the Masters being his 7th top-5 finish.

The 2019 Wells Fargo champion at Quail Hollow, Homa has now followed that up with a further 5 victories making 6 in total on the PGA Tour, and where he wins always fascinates me. As we know Quail Hollow is a PGA Championship (and Presidents Cup) venue, which is long, classical and has Bermudagrass greens. His 2021 Genesis Invitational win came at Riviera Country Club, which again is a lengthy, old-style classical track which hosted the 1983 and 1995 PGA Championship. Max’s 2023 Farmers Insurance Open victory came at Torrey Pines South, which has hosted recent (2008 and 2021) U.S. Opens.

Although continually underrated, Max has also finished 10th (2019) and 7th (2021) at Pebble Beach, 5th (2020) and 10th (2022) at Riviera on top of his victory, 6th at Copperhead (2021), 8th (2023) and 8th (last week) at Quail Hollow on top of his victory, 6th (2021) and 5th (2022) at Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village, and 5th at Olympia Fields at the BMW Championship last August, where he was the 36-hole leader. A second Wells Fargo Championship win also came at TPC Potomac in 2022 on a tighter, old-style, classical golf course located in Maryland, which is only 90 minutes away by plane and featured Bentgrass greens.

A relatively quiet 8th last week in North Carolina saw Max average 317 yards off the tee (12th) and finish in the top 8 for Strokes Gained Tee to Green.

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Sepp Straka 1pt EW 80/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

We were on Sepp Straka recently at the RBC Heritage where he was 1st heading into the weekend and 2nd going into Sunday at 70/1. It all got a little too much for him in the final Sunday reckoning, but he did well to fight on after a disastrous opening 9 holes to land 5th place and a full each-way payout for the column. Since then he’s done little wrong, finishing 11th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans team event and 8th last week at Quail Hollow, where in a Signature event-level field he ranked 7th for Strokes Gained on Approach, 13th for Tee to Green and 16th for Strokes Gained Putting.

Ranking in the top 11 – in this field – for Strokes Gained Off the Tee over the last 8 weeks and the top 15 for Strokes Gained Putting is a decent enough mix for a PGA Championship, and let’s be fair with the 31 year-old Austrian who lives in Alabama, he’s been decent in recent Majors. 7th at the Oak Hill-hosted PGA Championship 12 months ago, he then went on to finish T2 at the Open Championship and 16th at The Masters, where he ranked 8th for Tee to Green.

An unlikely winner I grant you, Sepp won the 2023 John Deere Classic in the neighbouring state of Illinois and his record on Zoysiagrass is interesting as well, finishing 2nd at TPC Southwind in 2023, plus finishing 6th (2022) and 6th (2023) for 72-hole scoring at East Lake across the past couple of Tour Championships in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 13:35BST 13.5.24 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.

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