Selectabet: The 93rd US PGA Championship
August 8, 2011 Leave a comment
Date: 11th – 14th August 2011
Competition: The 93rd USPGA Championship
The PGA Championship is the last major of the season and often called Glory’s Last Shot. Interestingly, it shows a bias to the eastern half of the United States, only venturing west ten times and currently no western venues are scheduled through 2018 which will be the 100th PGA Championship.
Venue: Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek, Georgia (Highlands Course)
It has been ten years since the Athletic Club last hosted the US PGA (where David Toms overcame Phil Mickelson that time) but it’s a very different track this time. The fairways have been pinched in, there is expanded bunkering across the course and the doglegs have been turned forcing players to shape their shots to find the short stuff that is so critical to find in order to control the spin of their approach shots on the newly seeded fast and firm greens.
Yards: 7,467 yards
A lot of good Georgian Southern boys will contest the season ending major including Davis Love III (251/1 at BetDaq), Stewart Cink (208/1 at BetFair), Lucas Glover (105/1 at BetDaq), Chris Kirk (484/1 at BetFair) and Matt Kuchar (46/1 at BetDAQ). Although it’s not so exclusive that the other best players in the world including WGC Champion, Adam Scott (22/1 everywhere including SportingBet and ToteSport), didn’t also earn an invite. Permit me if you will to make special mention of the odds for a rank outsider victory for Jerry Pate that returns odds of 5,000/1 (Bet365).
For all the reasons mentioned above, birdies will be harder to find in any conditions as the course will provide a significant test for all. Those in the know are suggesting that it will be near impossible to achieve double digits under par come close of play on Sunday.
Instead of my usual look around the course and its’ conditions, let us look at some of the more unusual of betting options this week. Worth noting, for interest purposes if nothing else, the Chubby Slam. Where any Andrew “Chubby” Chandler (ISM) Managed Winner would return odds of 3/1 (Sky Bet) and ensure that his stable holds all four majors this year. Being the greatest golfing Nation (obviously!) SkyBet are offering 6/1 on a Northern Irish victor bagging the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday night while the odds for Darren Clarke to finish as top Irish player are 10/1 (William Hill). Hmmmm.
However, whatever the opportunities, the player to win the 93rd US PGA Championship will have to be driving the ball well and definitely be playing from the fairway – as this week, of all weeks, it’s as cut and dried as that.
Ones to watch:
The future of golf is with the young, but it’s the experienced battling old timers that will have enough of a game to give them a certain edge this weekend. This includes David Toms (66/1 at PaddyPower); winner last time around here in 2001, and “shock” winner of the 2011 Crowne Plaza at Colonial (despite results that include 5 top ten’s in 16 starts and a solid 10th place on the Fedex Cup standings this year alone). A patient player for the big events having blasted critics in a solid finish as runner up to K J Choi (86/1 at BetDaq) at The Players Championship earlier this year who is also sits 4th in driving accuracy and 2nd in greens in regulation.
Steve Stricker (30/1 with SkyBet and WilliamHill) has made the cut in every event he has played this season and secured five top tens in 13 starts. Since his re-emergence in 2006, Stricker has played in 21 Majors and ended with five top tens and ten top 20’s! He is popular in my eyes but still not to be counted out of any tournament he plays in as again demonstrated with a 14th place finish at the WGC Bridgestone invitational.
Ones to win (and about time too!):
The good looking smart young Webb Simpson (113/1 with BetFair and BetDaq) from North Carolina is one to win this week. Sitting pretty in the top ten of the Fed Ex Cup (in 9th), Simpson is second in the stats for birdies, 4th for actual scoring and 1st in overall rankings and is reasonably long, accurate and consistent with 6 top tens from 18 tournaments this season. His Official World Golf Ranking is 51st, although on the significant rise from 151st since last year, it is surely just a matter of time before he breaks the ceiling of the World’s best players and secures a victory that will backs up his impressive stats.
It’s time we also had a win from Oklahoma’s finest collegiate player, Rickie Fowler (33/1 with PaddyPower and BetFred) too. Joint second (again) at the WGC, and with 4 top ten results to his name so far this year – the Floridian is yet to prove himself as a winner on the Tour. That said, he has been in contention again in some of the bigger events of this year and so with the growing supporter base and improvement and consistency in his own game – like Simpson, it’s only a matter of time before he holds a trophy aloft of a maiden win come a Sunday evening.