The Course

  • The Straits Course, Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • Par 72 (7,514 yards)

The links-style course was established in 1998 and will also play host to the 2020 Ryder Cup. This event was last staged here in 2010 when Germany’s Martin Kaymer beat Bubba Watson in a three-hole play-off.

The Tournament

The US PGA tournament was first staged in 1916 as a match play event. It is the last of the four major golf events to be held each year. The best players from around the world will gather on Thursday 13 August to compete for the Wanamaker Trophy.

Recent winners

The reigning champion is World No.1 Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman also won the 2012 edition of the event.

Last five winners:

  • 2014 – Rory McIlroy
  • 2013 – Jason Dufner
  • 2012 – Rory McIlroy
  • 2011 – Keegan Bradley (playoff)
  • 2010 – Martin Kaymer (playoff)

How does the course play?

The US PGA tries to retain consistency throughout their events but every course has different attributes that may favour certain players. Whistling Straits is known as a links-style course and this can present the players with a range of different hazards. In 2010, an official video review showed that Dustin Johnson had grounded his club on the final hole in an area that was classed as bunker due to the presences of sand. As a result, he received a two-shot penalty and missed out on a play-off place.

The statistics from the last two events to be held on the course show that the players that hit a high quota of greens in regulation have the best chance of winning. If a player can combine this attribute with a decent putting average and some solid bunker play (there are an estimated 1000 bunker areas) then they should have a good chance of being in contention.

Players to look out for

Due to the links nature of the course, players that perform well in the British Open Championships should also fare well here – take Zach Johnson for example. The current Open champion came third here in 2010 and has also recorded four top 10 finishes in his last five majors. The American can currently be backed at 50/1 with Bet365. At that price, each-way punters will surely be tempted.

Another player that may be worth backing in the Each-Way or Top Ten Finish markets is Brooks Koepka. The 25-year-old American finished 10th at the British Open at St. Andrews and also bagged a sixth-place finish at the WGC Bridgestone event last week. He also had a good US Open, finishing in 18th place on the difficult links course at Chambers Bay. He can be backed at 45/1 with Bet365.

History shows that form is important going into this tournament and players that do well in the preceding Bridgestone Invitational tournament tend to do well in the US PGA. It could therefore be worth keeping an eye on Shane Lowry. The Irishman beat off stiff competition from the likes of Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Jim Furyk to bag the title at the Firestone Country Club last weekend.

One name that cannot be ignored is Jordan Spieth. The youngster came agonisingly close to a third straight major at St. Andrews and there is nothing to suggest that he cannot compete again. If one player has shown this year that they can take on whatever challenges that top level golf can throw at them, it’s the 22-year-old. With an incredible 14 top ten finishes already this year, the Texan has got the bookies scared and has been installed as the pre-tournament favourite. If you want to back Spieth, you can get a price of 7/1 on the Betfair exchange.

World number one and reigning champion Rory McIlroy will be well-backed in the winners market but he is still recovering from an ankle injury and may be too much of a risk.

If you fancy an outside tip, look no further than David Lingmerth. The Swedish player had a torrid time in April and May but since then he has found his game in a big way. He has secured four top-ten finishes in the last six events including a win at the Memorial Tournament and a sixth-place finish at last week’s Bridgestone. He has only played in three majors and missed the cut in his previous PGA appearance and as a result; he has barely registered on the bookies radars. He can be backed at 100/1 to win; however, the 4/1 for a top 20 finish with Bet365 looks like the smarter bet.

Top tips

  • Zach Johnson – Each-Way @ 50/1 with Bet365
  • Brooks Koepka – Top 10 finish @ 4/1 with various bookmakers
  • Jordan Spieth – To win @ 7/1 with Betfair
  • David Lingmerth – Top 20 finish @ 4/1 with Bet365

Remember, both Bet365 and Betfair will pay six places on all Each-Way bets,

Get your money back as a free bet of up to £25 if your outright selection finishes 2nd or 3rd to Jordan Spieth with Betfair.

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