Finding statistical angles into the last two major championships has rewarded us with each-way winning selections at 28/1, 33/1 and 66/1 – so I’ve unearthed a couple of gems in our quest to find some value selections for this week’s PGA Championship.
Four of the last five PGA Champions were winning their first major (the exception being Rory McIlroy), whilst 11 of the last 12 winners had also won a PGA Tour event that season – giving us a shortlist of Jimmy Walker, Ryan Moore, Chris Kirk, Harris English, Patrick Reed, Scott Stallings, Kevin Stadler, Jason Day, Russell Henley, Chesson Hadley, John Senden, Matt Every, Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones, Matt Kuchar, Seung-Yul Noh, J.B. Holmes, Brendon Todd, Hideki Matsuyama, Ben Crane, Kevin Streelman, Brian Harman and Tim Clark.
The bookies are paying 6-places at the time of writing and, with the Valhalla course likely to be playing long after recent rain, it seems a good idea to cut out shortlist down to the six players from the shortlist who look to have the best credentials to perform well in the forecast conditions.
J.B. Holmes 100/1 each-way
Returned from brain surgery to take this year’s Wells Fargo Championship, and posted three good rounds at Firestone last week which looked a perfect warm-up for the local long-hitter who also claimed 2½ points out of 3 in the 2008 Ryder Cup at this venue.
Jimmy Walker 60/1 each-way
After claiming his breakthrough PGA Tour victory this season he quickly added victories two and three. Also finished 8/9/26 in this season’s other three majors, and a win here would extend his lead in the Fedex Cup Standings.
Patrick Reed 80/1
Another player to notch a hat-trick of PGA Tour wins in a short space of time, including a WGC Event, and it’s surely only a matter of time before this young star makes his presence felt in a major championship. Will also be looking to make sure of his Ryder Cup spot.
Hideki Matsuyama 55/1
The young Japanese superstar added his first PGA Tour victory to a string of Asian Tour wins in none other than the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village (another famous Jack Nicklaus design) and, having already shown up well in a couple of majors, it will be a surprise if he doesn’t go close this week.
Seung-Yul Noh 200/1
His win in this season’s Zurich Classic will have instilled him with confidence and, having finished 28/45/21 in the last three PGA Championships, this long, straight driver may challenge for major honours this week.
Brendon Todd 125/1
The 29 year-old has been popping up on leaderboards all over the place since winning the Byron Nelson in May, including finishing 17th at the US Open and 39th at the Open, and may just surprise a few people this week.