PGA Championship Golf Betting Tips
Robert Cobley is a maths graduate with years of experience in the sports betting industry. He has now teamed up with Bet UK to bring his golf betting tips to our readers.
TPC Harding Park - San Francisco, California, USA - Par 70, 7234 Yards
Harding Park was opened in 1925, and has hosted some huge golf tournaments over the years, although only a handful in this century when it was the backdrop for Tiger Woods dramatic American Express Championship win over John Daly in a playoff back in 2005, as well as Rory McIlroy's victory at the WGC Matchplay in 2015, and before that the 2009 President's Cup.
In the late 1990s, Harding Park had fallen into disrepair for 20 years with the magnificent Cypress trees growing out of control, blocking out the greens and rendering the course almost unplayable but in the late 1990s San Francisco lawyer, and former USGA President, Sandy Tatum, raised $16 million to get the course back on track, and it is to everyone's benefit that he did as this is a real gem.
The course is usually set up as a par 72, but it will play as a par 70 this week, as it did for the American Express, and is going to provide a significant test to the World's best players for the first of three major championships in 2020. Harding Park is a public course positioned about a mile away from the Pacific Ocean. It's essentially a parkland course that sits on a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the cypress tree-lined Lake Merced. The back-nine loops around the front nine and is more exposed to the wind and the bentgrass greens are large and undulating. Later on in the day they become almost broccoli like, and can be a real leveller with long game more important than putting to success this week.
The Market Leaders
The bookies are unable to split joint American favourites Brooks Koepka (9/1) and Justin Thomas (9/1) at the top of the market this week following on from the latter's success last week at the opening World Golf Championship event of the season. The pair are both strongest tee to green, with Thomas claiming an almost unbelievable 14 strokes on the field last week with his long game. He was below average in strokes gained putting which is highly unusual for a winning player, particularly in an event as competitive as a WGC. With the greens being slower and less predictable here than at the majority of venues, it is hard to argue against why this pair head the market.
Koepka's approach play last week was superb, and had his putting been a bitbetter he would have been pushing Thomas harder, but as it was he had to settle for second place three strokes behind his Ryder Cup teammate. Although the prices don't excite, it is hard to see either one of these players not being in the Sunday shake up. If i had to go for one, it would be Koepka as he goes for a PGA Championship hat-trick. He has more experience and a better track record of closing out events. I make him this week's most likely winner.
European duo John Rahm (12/1) and Rory McIlroy (12/1) follow the big two in the market, and for me lay almost as much claim to the title in what is set to be a thrilling week. Over the last twelve months i would make Rahm the best golfer in the World, and last week's finish outside of the top 50 should not detract from his chances here on the back of a win at The Memorial just three weeks ago on a far more challenging setup than the players encountered at the St Jude last week. Rahm has a very complete game, and is another who won't be put off by the setup here at all. Although it is his first visit, he will be able to counter the course's length and he is a very strong wind player as he proved winning back to back Irish Opens. He isn't a selection for me this week, but he is certainly a contender.
McIlroy has failed to light the touch paper of his season following the restart with no top 10s. He has had disappointing finishes both last week and at The Memorial, and of the leading contenders arrives the most out of touch. He has, however, won at Harding Park (one of only two players in the field to have achieved a win here) and can never be discounted at a Major Championship where a great long game and slow greens are the primary factors. This could be all or nothing for Rory, but again he is one I have left out of my stable here.
Rob’s Golf Betting Tips
Headline Betting Tip
Tiger Woods has made just one appearance since the restart, where he finished 40th at Colonial despite a fast start that saw him trade as short as 4/1 in places as he edged back into competition for the first time in nearly five months. Tiger's schedule is sparse at the best of times so it is no real concern that he hasn't had much competitive golf so far this year. He did, however, turn up unusually early (Sunday afternoon) to Harding Park and from his press conference yesterday it is crystal clear that Tiger wants, and expects, to win this week. He is a reigning Major Champion and was the Fedex Cup winner in 2018 so any rust and reintroduction to the winners circle are long gone; it's now all about Tiger and whether he is good enough to beat this field at Harding park this week.
His game has looked good, his driving is completely under control, and he has always been able to tackle breezy conditions as well as any player. The forecast this week is for 15 mph winds gusting up to 30 mph in the mid afternoons, and this will be when the leading layers are beginning their rounds. This gives Tiger an edge. The more significant edge for me comes in the likely winning score, which I expect to be only a few strokes under par. Nobody manages the mental setbacks as well as Woods, and there are bound to be many for the field this week in conditions far tougher than what they are accustomed to. I've selected three mentally tough relative veterans this week, and Tiger is the pick of the lot. I am having 3 points e/w @ 28/1.
Other Betting Tips
Jason Day was a selection last week, and he shared a very small part of the places at River Highlands as he once again improved into a top 6 finish. Day is a fine player, and for me is now completely back with consecutive top 10s in his last three events. He loves the California conditions, and the wind will be an extra boost to the chances of the 2015 PGA Champion. Jason's biggest asset this week will be his piercingly low ball flight, particularly with his irons which will allow him to keep his ball under the tree canopy and largely away from the strong winds; particularly on the more sheltered front 9 where the winds will be strongest over the weekend in the early afternoon. His short game is, and always has been, beyond reproach and if he finds his form on these tricky bentgrass greens, he will be right in contention come the weekend. I recommend having 2 points e/w at 33/1.
My final selection this week is Adam Scott who has been preparing for this event ever since the restartas he has been at home in Australia before travelling over last week. Nobody has a more consistent record at the PGA as Scott does, having finished in the top 10 on 5 of his last 8 appearances at the Championship. Scott's game is similar to Day's in that he keeps the ball low, straight,and is a very impressive tee to green. Both players will need to improve their putting this week, but again they are benefited by the great leveller of Bentgrass putting surfaces. Scott is, as i have said before, a talent that got away. He should have multiple Majors and WGCs but it has never quite happened for him. With the seriousness of preparation that he has brought this week, I feel he has as good a chance as any at another Major title and will be having 1 point e/w at 50/1.
Following a rolling profit of 463 points in 2019, I am looking for an even better 2020. Each week I will pick between 2 to 4 selections at each event on the European and PGA Tours, and suggest a suitable staking plan.
|European Tour||-103 points|
|PGA Tour||+27 points|