All eyes will be on TPC Harding Park this week as the first golf major of the year, the PGA Championship, kicks off on Thursday night. The PGA Championship continues a fantastic two month stretch of golf that kicked off with the WGC event last week and culminates in the U.S Open on the 17th of September.
Check out our full preview and betting tips for the 2020 PGA Championship below, and remember to head to our Golf Betting Tips page for regular weekly PGA Tour articles.
Justin Thomas became the first player to rack up three PGA Tour victories on the weekend when he took out the WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational. With the win, he extended his lead in the FedEx Cup standings, which now sits at over 700 points to nearest rival Webb Simpson. Thomas will return to the No.1 ranked player in the world with the win after Jon Rahm was promoted to the position just a few weeks ago.
Thomas will start as favourite for this week’s PGA Championship in front of what is predictably a stacked field for the first major of the delayed season.
We are no stranger to stacked fields over the past few months of golf. The hiatus in the PGA Tour has meant that the majority of top ranked players in the world have been playing plenty of golf lately, but there’s no doubt that this will be the strongest field we have seen so far.
95 of the top 100 players in the world are expected to tee it up this week, and although Justin Thomas is the man of the moment, the field will no doubt be headlined by Tiger Woods, who will be playing his first tournament since a T40 at the Memorial a few weeks ago. Alongside Tiger, the biggest names in golf in the likes of Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantley and Webb Simpson will all be in action.
TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California has been the host of a few major tournaments in recent history, most notably the 2009 Presidents Cup and the 2015 WGC Match Play event. The course plays as a Par 70 at 7,234 yards and was substantially renovated in the year 2000, including adding 400 yards to make it more challenging for PGA Tour players that would compete on it in the new millennium.
In preparation for the upcoming major championship, the rough has been grown out and the fairways have been narrowed considerably. Strong play from tee to green will be super important this weekend and we’ll be targeting adept players in this category more than the players who excel on and around the green.
How can you look past Justin Thomas at the moment? He is the most in-form player in the world and ticks all of the boxes we are targeting this week as one of the best ball strikers ad tee-to-green players in golf. Ranks 18th in the PGA Tour in shots gained off the tee, 1st in shots gained on approach and 1st in shots gained from tee-to-green. Has never played a tournament at TPC Harding Park but the course looks to set up pretty nicely for JT.
After some ordinary performances in PGA Tour events in recent weeks, Brooks Koepka finally found some form at the WGC event on the weekend, shooting -10 to finish T6, just his second top 10 finish since the season resumed. Koepka will be defending his title this week at the PGA Championship, which seems to bring out the best in him as it did last week. There’s no stats that work in Koepka’s favour as he has had a pretty average season by his lofty standards this year, but the No.6 rnaked player has to be respected in major championships.
If it was anyone else putting up these results, you’d think that the player was in pretty solid form, but by the standards that McIlroy is held to, his results have been a little bit underwhelming since the season resumed. He has slipped from 1st to 3rd in the world rankings but has to be respected ahead of the major championship, especially on a course where he is one of the few past winners in the field. McIlroy took out the 2015 WGC Matchplay event at TPC Harding Park, defeating Gary Woodland in the final despite not having won a major since 2014, has a fantastic record in them, racking up 10 top 10 finishes in the past five seasons.
Looking a little further down the field now at Aussie Jason Day, who has been superb in his last three tournaments in a row. After missing the cut at the RBC Heritage and the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Day has finished in the top 10 of the Workday Charity Open, the Memorial Tournament and the WGC-FedEx in back to back weeks. Another past winner of the PGA Championship and another guy in great form.
I truly think the lack of respect that Patrick Reed gets as one of the best players in the world at the moment is criminal. To have him below the likes of rookies in Colin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland in the betting markets is a bit of a slap in the face to the former Masters Champion and No.8 ranked player in the world. Is coming off a T10 at the Memorial a few weeks ago and a solid performance at the WGC on the weekend. Is no doubt our value pick of the week.
Can’t get enough of Jason Day this week. As we highlighted above, he has three straight top 10 finishes and is a past winner in the PGA Championship. In fact, he has finished in the top 20 of the PGA Championship in six of his last seven appearances. Back him to do the same again this week at good odds.
Ryan Palmer – ($201)
We liked Ryan Palmer last week as our best bet and he came through with the goods, comfortably finishing inside the top 40 at odds of $2.10. He is playing some great golf at the moment, backing up a 2nd place finish at the Memorial with a T15 at the WGC on the weekend.
Louis Oosthuizen ($71)
The golfer’s golfer has had a great run in majors over the last few years, making the cut with his eyes closed for the majority of the time. In 23 major championships since the start of the 2014 season, Oosthuizen has missed the cut on just two occasions, both of which were in the British Open. Has not missed the cut at the PGA Championship since 2011 and finished T2 in 2017.
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