Golf’s fourth and final major of 2016 starts on Thursday 27th July, and the 2016 US PGA Championship is being held at Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey.
The course is a par-70, measuring in excess of 7,400 yards, and it has hosted one other US PGA and 7 US Opens. The Greens are smaller than average, with tricky to read slopes, whilst penal rough puts an emphasis on being able to hit the averagely wide fairways to be able to control your shots into the greens. The bunkers have also been deepened since the course last hosted a major to make them more of a challenge.
Perhaps the most interesting statistic from the last two majors held here are that 9 of the first 10 home in 2005 where major winners, as where 6 of the first 10 in 1993, and that’s the major influence on this week’s selections.
If that’s the case, then Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy all have serious chances, with all four of them also boasting win or placed form in the event. Preference would be for Johnson and McIlroy, but I’m still happy to look for better value – and I’m backing four players this week.
Henrik Stenson 1.5 points each-way @ 16/1 (Betfred, Betvictor) ¼ odds 6 places
Stenson may just be so happy with his Open win that he can’t raise his game here but, on the other hand, that win may just have given him untold confidence in his own ability. If he turns up in the same form as at Troon he will be difficult to beat – and 16/1 looks fair for a player who has placed four times in the last six US PGA Championships.
Phil Mickelson 1.5 points each-way @ 22/1 (Betfred, Betvictor) ¼ odds 6 places
If Stenson hadn’t been in the field at Troon, Mickelson would have been crowned an unbelievable winner. His US PGA record isn’t that impressive apart from one win in 2005, but that just happened to be at this course.
Jason Dufner 1 point each-way @ 100/1 (Betfred) ¼ odds 6 places
Injury problems and Marital difficulties may have held Dufner back for a couple of years, but the 2014 PGA winner is a tee-to-green machine at his best, and a player who loves this tournament having also placed in 20111 and 2012. He’s also been showing some decent signs of reaching his peak recently, and 100/1 looks a must play.
Keegan Bradley 1 point each-way @ 150/1 (Betvictor) ¼ odds 6 places
Bradley may still not have fully come to terms with putting with a conventional putter, but his tee-to-green game is close to the level that helped him finished first and third in his first two US PGAs, and he finishes this week’s portfolio at 150/1.