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Jordan Spieth often excels in Majors when coming in off a big week and Southern Hills looks perfect for him. Back Spieth for the win at +1800 with Caesars Sportsbook.
Shane Lowry is in great form and boasts a far superior record in the Majors than Matt Fitzpatrick. Take the Irishman to win their 72-hole match at -134 with bet365.
Talor Gooch has strong local connections and finished T14 in last month’s Masters. Back the Oklahoma State star for a Top 20 finish at +500 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
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It still takes a little getting used to having the PGA Championship played as the year’s second Major and this is only the third time it’s occupied the new May slot.
Last year, Phil Mickelson rolled back the years to win at Kiawah Island although he won’t be defending this time.
And the first May winner was Brooks Koepka in 2019 (Covid meant the 2020 edition, won by Collin Morikawa, was held in August).
The three champions mentioned so far are all American and the current home streak stands at six. Winding further back eight of the last 11 golfers to hoist the giant Wanamaker Trophy wore the Stars and Stripes.
This year, the tournament heads to Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a venue with plenty of Major history.
It staged the US Open in 1958 and in more recent times it was the scene of Tiger Woods’ 2007 PGA Championship win and Retief Goosen’s US Open triumph in 2001.
The course has undergone a serious Gil Hanse restoration since then, the upshot being less trees to gobble up loose tee shots and much greater importance on short game due to the shaved run-off areas around the greens.
Hitting them is a key skill but recovering when approach shots don’t find their target is likely to be far more important than normal.
That plays into the hands of the elite chippers whose skills come much more to the fore when they create their own shots rather than just hack out of greenside rough.
Par at Southern Hills is 70 and the course has been lengthened to 7,365 yards. Wider fairways than in 2007 will help those who get a little loose off the tee but the real test begins from there.
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Jordan Spieth already has three of the four Majors in his pocket and needs this one to complete the set and become just the sixth player to win the Grand Slam.
He’d join some very esteemed company: Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, and Gene Sarazen.
Spieth couldn’t be in better form as he heads to Southern Hills having finished first (RBC Heritage) and second (last week’s Byron Nelson in Texas) on his last two starts.
During his home Dallas tournament, Spieth spoke of a recent recce to Southern Hills with Justin Thomas.
It’s fair to say Spieth liked what he saw.
I thought the golf course was fantastic. I loved it. It was a great test. I really enjoyed playing it.
If designing an ideal Jordan Spieth course, you might come up with something that had a little room off the tee but required some short game magic. That applies to Southern Hills.
It’s also a good description of Augusta National where Spieth has an outstanding record: a win, two seconds, and two-thirds.
Some players like to just tick over or even have the week off ahead of a Major. Spieth, though, loves to tee it up and get competitive.
The reason can be found in his numbers. Spieth has gone into a Major on the back of a top three on eight occasions. Three times he’s ridden that hot form to a Major victory.
It means last week’s second place in the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic is a huge pointer that he’s ready to make a huge title bid at Southern Hills.
Back Spieth for the win at +1800 with Caesars Sportsbook.
Last week’s match bet had the ideal outcome as it was done after 36 holes due to Antoine Rozner missing the cut. Our pick, Victor Perez, posted tied 33rd.
This week I’m going to focus on two more Europeans and take Shane Lowry to beat Matt Fitzpatrick, a 72-hole match-up put together by bet365.
Both are outstanding chippers of the ball, with Lowry ranked 2nd in Scrambling and Fitzpatrick 3rd.
But there is a huge difference between the pair when comparing their records in the Majors.
Lowry won the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2019, finished tied fourth in last year’s PGA Championship, and posted tied third in last month’s Masters.
Overall, he has a win, three top fours, and a further three top 10s in the Majors.
Fitzpatrick just hasn’t cracked the code at this level. The Englishman has played in 27 Majors and recorded just a single top 10.
That came way back in the 2016 Masters when he tied for seventh.
Lowry is in great form so back him to win their 72-hole match at -134 (bet365).
Talor Gooch is one of the local connection guys this week having grown up in Oklahoma and then attended Oklahoma State.
The 30-year-old can drive to the venue from his house and describes Southern Hills as one of his ‘favorite’ golf courses in the world.
A winner this season at the RSM Classic, Gooch made his Masters debut in April and performed admirably to finish tied 14th.
Strong chipping was a key part of his game at Augusta and that will again hold him in good stead this week.
Gooch ranks 2nd on the PGA Tour’s All-Around ranking and 7th in Strokes Gained: Around The Green so he has the tools for the job.
He’s recorded 10 top 20 finishes from 18 starts this season and looks a strong bet at +500 with DraftKings Sportsbook to rack up another.
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|PGA Championship Information|
|Location||Southern Hills, Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Time||Thursday, May 19 – Sunday, May 22|
|How to Watch||Thursday-Friday 2pm-8pm ET (ESPN), Saturday-Sunday 10am-1pm (ESPN), 2pm-7pm (CBS). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: dav[email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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