Our Best Bets And Tips For Next Week’s USPGA Golf Championship

Next week sees the start of the Premier League football season and there is always a huge number of promotions and offers available at this time of the year. However, it is also the week of the fourth and final golf major of the year, and rather than get lost in amongst all the Premier League buzz, we thought we’d bring you our USPGA Championship preview a week earlier.

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And if you do that of course, then you will have plenty sloshing around in your account for you to bet with on one of the biggest golf events of the year. This year’s USPGA Championship takes place at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina and gets under way on Thursday 10th August in what promises to be an exciting and perhaps, unpredictable tournament.

Let’s take a little look at the history of the course itself and why players who may well be used to the course, will find the challenge this time around rather different.

Quail Hollow but Not As You Have Ever Seen It Before

If you are a fan of golf, in particular the US Tour, then you will certainly recognise the name of this years USPGA Championship course. That is because Quail Hollow has been a regular part of the US Tour for many years, first hosting the Wachovia Championship which became the Quail Hollow Championship which then went on to become the Wells Fargo Championship, as it is known today.

However, this is the first time that Quail Hollow has ever hosted a Major championship and in preparation for that, this year’s Wells Fargo Championship was played at a different course in North Carolina, while Quail Hollow was undergoing 90 days of frantic alterations and preparations ready for this event.

Those changes saw several holes altered and lengthened, while the structure of certain holes were changed. While these changes offer a different challenge, the fact that the course has planted more Bermuda grass, rather than the original Rye grass, could have implications for the players.

That’s because Bermuda grass tends to see the ball roll on more than Rye, which means it is more difficult for players to judge distance and control shots. It can also grab the club in the rough more readily which makes playing from the first or second cut more of a challenge.

What is certain is that Quail Hollow 2017, is very different from the course that most players will remember playing on over the past 10 years or so. It remains to be seen whether those alterations have a positive or negative impact, although with this being a Major, it seems likely that the course is only going to play a lot tougher.

The History of the USPGA Championship

This is the 99th USPGA Championship but the first held at Quail Hollow. The winner will take home a massive $1,890,000 in prize money, the fourth biggest prize in cash terms on the US Tour (behind the US Open, Masters and Players Championship)..

Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus hold the record with 5 wins in the event each, Tiger Woods has four, with Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead on three apiece. Several players have won it twice, though the only double winner of the event in the 2017 field is likely to be Rory McIlroy.

All the winners of the event since 2000 are listed below:

  • 2000 – Valhalla Golf Club – Tiger Woods (US)
  • 2001 – Atlanta Athletic Club – David Toms (US)
  • 2002 – Hazeltine National – Rich Beem (US)
  • 2003 – Oak Hill Country Club – Shaun Micheel (US)
  • 2004 – Whistling Straits – Vijay Singh (Fji)
  • 2005 – Baltusrol Gold Club – Phil Mickelson (US)
  • 2006 – Medinah Country Club – Tiger Woods (US)
  • 2007 – Southern Hills Country Club – Tiger Woods (US)
  • 2008 – Oakland Hills Country Club – Padraig Harrington (Ire)
  • 2009 – Hazeltine National – Yang Yong-eun (S.Kor)
  • 2010 – Whistling Straits – Martin Kaymer (Ger)
  • 2011 – Atlanta Athletic Club – Keegan Bradley (US)
  • 2012 – Kiawah Island Golf Resort – Rory McIlroy (Ire)
  • 2013 – Oak Hill Country Club – Jason Dufner (US)
  • 2014 – Valhalla Golf Club – Rory McIlroy (Ire)
  • 2015 – Whistling Straits – Jason Day (Aus)
  • 2016 – Baltusrol Golf Club – Jimmy Walker (US)

In recent times, winners have come from all over the globe, but in the past, this has been an event dominated by American golfers. However, the eclectic mix of the modern tour means that it is more likely that foreign players will win these events nowadays as far more compete in them than in previous eras.

Who do the bookies think will win the USPGA Championship 2017?

The bookies are offering very short odds on two players for this event, first up is Dustin Johnson (7/1 with Bet365) and it is not difficult to see why. The World Number 1 has enjoyed a stellar year on tour and has definitely earned his place at the top of the rankings, however as yet, his performances have not yet delivered him a Major this year and perhaps this is the time and place to do it.

The other big favourite is Rory McIlroy (15/2) as the Irishman is a two-time winner of this event and is also a two-time winner at Quail Hollow on the PGA Tour, including his first ever win on the US Tour back in 2010.  In terms of pedigree and form in this event and on this course, McIlroy is the obvious pick.

Outside of this duo there’s good money for Jordan Spieth (11/1), Jason Day (12/1), John Rahm (16/1), Hideki Matsuyama (18/1), Henrik Stenson (22/1), Justin Rose (22/1), Rickie Fowler (22/1) and Masters Champion Sergio Garcia (25/1). US Open Champ Brooks Koepka is a 28/1 shot to double up, while long-hitting Justin Thomas, another star of 2017, is also a 28/1 shot.

Other interesting bets include Phil Mickelson (40/1), Patrick Reed (50/1), Paul Casey (66/1), Tommy Fleetwood (75/1), defending Champion Jimmy Walker (90/1) and Lee Westwood is a 125/1 shot.

However, if you are going to have a wager then we think it is difficult to look anywhere beyond the top two players on the list at the moment. McIlroy may have the pedigree in this event and on the course, but Dustin Johnson’s form and quality not just off the tee but with Irons in his hand and on the greens, make him our favourite to win it.