USPGA Championship Tips: 4 Long Shots To Back At Valhalla

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USPGA Championship Tips: 4 Long Shots To Back At Valhalla
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USPGA Championship Betting Predictions:

Scottie Scheffler and Rory Mcllroy lead the way with golf betting sites to win the second major of the year this week, but there are plenty of other candidates to upset the apple cart at the USPGA Championship.

World number one Scheffler has won four of his last five tournaments – including the US Masters – and was runner-up in the other, but his wife last week gave birth to their first child, so his focus may be elsewhere ahead of the trip to Louisville, Kentucky.

McIlroy teamed up with fellow Irishman Shane Lowry to win the two-man team event at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans three weeks ago, but it was his fourth victory at the Wells Fargo Championship over the weekend which really caught the eye.

PGA Championship 2024: Top 10
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Scottie Scheffler
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Brooks Koepka
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Collin Morikawa
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Patrick Cantlay
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Teams Best Odds
Scottie Scheffler
Rory McIlroy
Xander Schauffele
Jon Rahm
Ludvig Aberg
Viktor Hovland
Bryson DeChambeau
Brooks Koepka
Collin Morikawa
Patrick Cantlay
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Despite a double-bogey at the last, McIlroy’s closing 65 ensured a five-shot victory over Xander Schauffele to boost his confidence ahead of his return to Valhalla where he won the USPGA in 2014 in his last major success. 

The 35-year-old Northern Irishman is 15/2 with betting sites to end a 10-year drought and having finished in the top 10 in seven of his last nine majors there appeared to be very few negatives to report until it was revealed on Monday that McIlroy had filed for divorce a day after his brilliant victory at Quail Hollow.

With that in mind, we have picked out a few players that have slipped under the radar in our USPGA Championship betting preview.

Americans have won the last eight renewals of this tournament, with Brooks Koepka capturing the Wanamaker Trophy on three occasions, so it would be remiss not to have at least one player from the United States in our USPGA betting predictions.

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Morikawa Can Repeat 2020 Success

Collin Morikawa is hardly a name that screams the word ‘outsider’, having tasted his first major success at the USPGA four years ago thanks to a brilliant closing 64 at TPC Harding Park, but this lengthy par-71 course measuring 7,675 yards is likely to favour long hitters.

Morikawa has plenty of other attributes to suggest he could go well this week, though, starting with the fact he has the joint best record in the field for victories on Jack Nicklaus-designed courses; three wins at Muirfield, Montreux and The Concession.

The 2021 Open champion finished third at the recent US Masters, since when he posted a top 10 at the Heritage and 16th at Quail Hollow over the weekend.

Morikawa also fits a pattern of recent USPGA champions being in their twenties and inside the world’s top 15 at the time of the tournament which suggests an elite player will lift the trophy on Sunday.

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World rankings are potentially misleading since the emergence of LIV Golf, but there is no doubt Morikaka remains a quality player.

His distance off the tee is a concern, but the rough could be quite penal this week which would suit a straight hitter like Morikawa, who is second for finding fairways this season.

BetVictor are the pick of the bookmakers offering 28/1, with five each-way places as our first selection.

An One To Watch At Valhalla

The rest of our USPGA Championship outsiders are non-Americans, starting with An Byeong-hun, who has bookended an excellent start to the year with excellent performances in his last two tournaments.

The South Korean started 2024 with outright fourth at The Sentry, was runner-up at the Sony Open in Hawaii a week later and T8 at Bay Hill in March.

Although two missed cuts followed, An finished 16th at Augusta followed by top-fives at the Byron Nelson and Wells Fargo Championship.

Encouragingly, only three players hit the ball longer off the tee on average than An this season, yet he is also just outside the top 20 for Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and to put the icing on the cake he topped the putting stats at Quail Hollow which should stand him in good stead at Valhalla.

He has only played in four majors between 2021-24, but with a new-found spring in his step, we’re on board An at 55/1 with Bet365, who are offering eight places at a fifth of the odds.

In-Form Taylor A Major Factor

Taylor Pendrith may lack significant major experience, but few can boast his current form which saw him clinch his first PGA Tour title at the Byron Nelson a fortnight ago.

Either side of that victory, the Canadian was 11th at the low-key Corales Puntacana Championship and 10th when facing a stellar field at Quail Hollow.

Pendrith sits inside the top 10 for driving distance this year and although there is a danger he may have peaked too soon ahead of only his fifth major appearance, he finished inside the top 30 on his USPGA Championship debut last year and his form looks hard to ignore.

His odds are shortening with some betting apps, but Betfred are still offering 225/1 and 10 places.

Bomber Jaeger Has Tools To Tame Long Course

The last of this week’s USPGA predictions is another big-hitter in the shape of Stephan Jaeger, who like Pendrith has only a handful of major appearances to his name, but is also a recent first-time winner on the PGA Tour.

Jaeger finished one shot clear of a congested leaderboard, which also included Scheffler, at the Houston Open at the end of March and, despite missing the cut at the Masters, he has since posted three successive top-25 finishes.

The German is no spring chicken at 34 having won his six times on the Korn Ferry Tour, but he seems to be a late bloomer.

Stephan Jaeger

Interestingly his fortunes took a turn for the better when his coach helped him add distance to his game which came with an added bonus.

He said: "I was one of the shortest and most crooked guys out here and I just kind of went, you know, like if I'm going to hit it in the rough, I might as well hit it far in the rough. 

“So I ended up gaining a bunch of speed and hitting it straighter for some reason. That was a great kind of second titbit to that. I ended up hitting more fairways and being straighter and being longer which has really helped and kind of catapulted my game to the next level."

His excellent SG: Tee-to-Green stats should also help this week and we’re on board Jaeger at 100/1 with Ladbrokes for a breakthrough major display as the last of our USPGA tips, although there are bigger prices available.

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