14 May 2019, by:  BET Contributor


A quick turnaround to the year’s second Major means the final leaderboard of the 101st PGA Championship could look strikingly similar to that of the 2019 Masters.

Just four events separate Augusta and Bethpage Black, so there’s not terribly much you can read into “form”. In fact, you could probably withdraw those who haven’t fared well in the interim.

There is one player that stands out – not just for his burly, pro footballer frame – when looking at possible champions. Already a two-time US Open Champions, it would be quite a feat for the American to defend his US PGA Title won at Bellerive last year.

“The brawny American has shown more than enough from tee to green to suggest he should be far and away the best bet.”

Koepka continues to prove himself as a big event player and works so well at muscling his way through leaderboards despite having a chip on his shoulder about a lack of love from the US media. Not really considered as a favourite at The Masters, he missed a putt on the 72nd that would’ve forced a playoff.

The brawny American has shown more than enough from tee to green to suggest he should be far and away the best bet. Length off the tee has never been an issue but since adding in laser-like irons and a sharp putting game, he has been elevated to the next level.

If Tiger Woods continues to be the fans’ favourite, there aren’t many writers who would leave Koepka out of their picks. Woods, who pushed Koepka close at last year’s PGA, hasn’t teed it up since his Major win and will arrive fresh. The course, which will play even longer should the poor weather forecasted arrive, doesn’t exactly suit the 15-time Major winner. A few loose shots off the tee and his bid could end far earlier than many will expect.

The Favourites

Koepka, DJ (both 12.00), Tiger and Rory (both 12.75) are all tightly bunched as the top four in the outright market and it’s not hard to see why. All four possess the ability to dominate par 5s and run hot should they get off to a decent start.

The Challengers

Looking behind the favourites and there is some value out there. Tony Finau, who featured in the final group at Augusta, is out at 42.00 with Paul Casey at 51.00. They couldn’t be more different characters; one a big, boomer on the lookout for his big win while the other is a tour veteran coming into something of a purple patch late in his career.

The South African Contingent

Patriots will have to look all the way down to 67.00 to find the first South African in Louis Oosthuizen. He may have a runner-up finish in the event in the past but there’s very little to point to a good week in New York.

Should you fancy a patriotic punt, you’d be better suited looking at the place market. Erik van Rooyen (48.00) and Dylan Fritelli (59.00) have shown themselves capable on the big stage in recent years and could be worth a dabble.

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