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USPGA Championship Preview And Tournament Tips

For many years, the USPGA Championship was the final Major of the golf season, held in August after the British Open a few weeks before. However, in 2019, a switch in the calendar which moved The Players Championship to March, saw the USPGA moved to the former’s spot in the calendar in May.

That means that now, the USPGA Championship is the second Major of the year, coming a month after The Masters and it also means that we now have all four golf Major titles contested across a four-month period from April to July.

Last year, Collin Morikawa landed victory at Harding Park in San Francisco, California to claim his first Major title, in doing so becoming the second youngest player to ever win the coveted Wanamaker Trophy. He will be one of a stellar field of golfers competing at the famous Kiawah Island Ocean Course from Thursday.

The Major championships are always very popular betting opportunities for punters and this week’s tournament will be no exception. If you are looking for a wide choice of pre-event markets, as well as stacks of In Play betting, then bet365 Sport offers a very comprehensive service for golf.

The site also offers an excellent Live Golf Tracker which lets you stay right up to date with the action across the course.

Of course, interest in this event will be equally as big, if not bigger, in the United States as the host country for the tournament, as well as many of its top players likely to be in contention. If you want the latest USPGA betting news, betting information, promotions and offers, then BetRivers PA is a great place to start.

Let’s now take a closer look at the tournament which starts on Thursday this week.

USPGA Championship 2021

With the four Majors coming in successive months (Masters in April, USPGA in May, US Open in June and British Open in July) players have now reorganised their schedules to try and ensure that they can peak for these four big Championships each year.

Heading into this year’s USPGA Championship, we have seen a number of big name players return to good form including the likes of Justin Thomas, who I successfully tipped to win The Players Championship back in March as well as Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy who have both returned to the winner’s circle following recent victories.

With the likes of the ever-consistent Dustin Johnson also competing, along with the big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau to name but a few, it all looks like being an exciting four days of action at the Ocean Course.

The tournament has been moved back west after being played in San Francisco last year, a rare visit to the east coast for a tournament that has traditionally been played on the west side of the United States.

With 16 past winners of the tournament set to compete (it would have been 17 had Tiger Woods not missed out due to his injuries), including the player who won this tournament the last time it was played at Kiawah Island, it promises to be a very exciting event.

Kiawah Island – The Toughest Test?

Pete and Alice Dye’s famous course was opened in 1991 and in that same year, it was the scene for a famous US Ryder Cup victory. In 2012, it also hosted the USPGA Championship for the first time when a young Rory McIlroy won the title by a record eight shots.

However, changes to the course have now made Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course become one of the most famously difficult courses on the tour. Holes like the brutal par 3 17th, where a slight fade (or draw for the lefties) is the ONLY shot you can safely play at the hole (and even then it is incredibly difficult) have seen some golfers label the course “brutal”.

The 7849-yard course is a par 72 and unlike many American courses, which are more parkland in design, it is more like a links course, as it sits right on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, which can make things even more difficult given the prevailing wind and weather conditions at the time of the tournament.

One thing is for sure, whoever the player is that picks up the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday, they will have earned their victory by being the best player on a course that is arguably the toughest in the world to play today.

Who Has Won The USPGA Championship?

American players have dominated the USPGA Championship honour roll, with 84 winners out of the 102 tournaments already played. The next best country on that list in terms of winners is Australia with just five. There has not been an English winner since the second tournament held in 1919 was won by Jim Barnes (who won the first two USPGA Tournaments).

Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus have both won the event most often with five wins apiece. Tiger Woods has four, with Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead both winning the tournament three times. Several players have won it twice including Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Ray Floyd, Nick Price, Vijay Singh, Rory McIlroy and the most recent addition to that list, Brooks Koepka who won back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019.

Other winners of this tournament include Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington, Jason Dufner and Phil Mickelson.

World number 1 Dustin Johnson’s best finish was last year’s joint-second behind Collin Morikawa.

Current World Golf Rankings – Top 15

  1. Dustin Johnson (US)
  2. Justin Thomas (US)
  3. Jon Rahm (Spa)
  4. Xander Schauffele (US)
  5. Bryson DeChambeau (US)
  6. Collin Morikawa (US)
  7. Rory McIlroy (N.Ir)
  8. Patrick Reed (US)
  9. Tyrell Hatton (Eng)
  10. Webb Simpson (US)
  11. Viktor Hovlund (Nor)
  12. Patrick Cantlay (US)
  13. Brooks Koepka (US)
  14. Tony Finau (US)
  15. Hideki Matsuyama (Jap)

Who Are The Golfers To Consider Backing This Week?

The good news for the competitors in this week’s tournament is that the weather forecast looks like being positive in terms of wind, with relatively light winds forecast for the duration of the tournament. Friday looks to be the worst day in that regard.

However, plenty of sunshine does raise the prospect of dry greens, which can be difficult should they dry out too much, especially late in the day.

Given these outlooks, it does feel like a player that is long off the tee, but accurate and who is a very good scrambler around the green, should do well this week.

Dustin Johnson certainly fits that bill and there’s no doubt he would like to add this tournament to the other Major tournaments he has already won. However, you could also say the same for the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Justin Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau.

For me, the winner is likely to come from that group and if forced, I would pick Johnson as the winner at  18/1 with bet365.

If you want an each way bet, and bet365 are offering each way payouts of 1/5 of the odds for the top eight finishers in the event, then I think another good option here Lee Westwood (125/1). The Englishman has been in superb form this season and has risen back up to 21st in the world and he has been playing superbly well in the US in particular.

 

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