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ISCO Championship tips: Michael Thorbjornsen can outshine weakened PGA field in Kentucky

While golf’s elite shift their focus to links golf in the UK, the PGA Tour's journeymen get a chance to shine in the ISCO Championship, which gives pundit Martin Colwell plenty of food for thought.

ISCO Championship key stats:

  • When: July 11 - 15 2024
  • Where: Keene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, Kentucky 
  • How long: 7,328 yards - par 72
  • What to expect: Usually low-scoring, very open course with six water hazards and large receptive greens 
  • Who won last year: Vincent Norrman (-22) 

An open-looking weakened-field tournament has newcomer Luke Clanton installed as the 11/1 favourite in what appears to be a classic case of recency bias.

It’s true that the 20-year-old has created a stir after his runner-up spot at the John Deere Classic made him the first amateur in more than half a century to achieve back-to-back Tour top-tens, but those odds makes him easy to swerve, even in this weakened field.

Following a similar career trajectory as Clanton is 14/1 shot Michael Thorbjornsen, who is another star amateur who turned professional just last month - which, unlike Clanton, means he was able to enjoy his hefty payout after sharing the same runner-up spot last weekend. 

Thorbjornsen had kicked off 2024 with a top-12 finish at the Dubai Desert Classic, and since turning pro has been trending significantly, with a decent mid-division finish at the Travelers before last week’s heroics in Illinois. at 16/1.

Suggested bet (1): Michael Thorbjornsen each-way in the ISCO Championship




After those two highly-rated youngsters, a jump in the betting takes us to Carson Young at 28/1. An eight-under-par final round saw Young leapfrog his way into the backdoor places, but his inconsistency leads us to doubt that he can repeat last week’s form.

Carrying the same 28/1 price tag, Chan Kim appears to be a much more likeable prospect after enjoying a very successful Korn Ferry Tour record that he is trying to translate into the PGA version. 

He went off the boil following his breakthrough top ten finishes at the Mexico Open and the Puntacarna Championship, but after a series of missed cuts, he looked close to his best again when tying for 12 at last week’s John Deere Classic

Yet to prove he can really mix it with the world’s elite, his past performances tell us that he likes low scoring courses and can excel in weaker fields, both of which we have this week.

Suggested bet (2): Chan Kim each-way in the ISCO Championship




Others to watch:

  • Ben Silverman (25/1) - Hasn’t missed a cut in five outings, including three top-20 finishes, the Canadian is just bubbling along, maybe ready to boil over soon
  • Neal Shipley (40/1) - missed the cut last week, but showed enough as an amateur at both the Masters and the US Open to indicate a bright future awaits
  • Hayden Buckley (55/1) - Tied for fifth at the Charles Schwab, solid mid-division last two weeks, the 28-year-old prefers shorter-to-medium courses, and gets his wish here with no big names to contend with
  • Andrea Pavan (85/1) - Capable Italian has put in some decent showings on the DP World Tour (4th in the Dutch Open, 5th in the Italian) and his price does not seem to reflect the potential of his talent.
  • Joel Girrbach (225/1) - Struggled recently, but the Swiss-born pro came third at the China Open a few weeks back and is probably better value that the price the bookies have assigned to him.

Suggested bet (3): Hayden Buckley each-way in the ISCO Championship



Suggested bet summary:

All listed prices are from Planet Sport Bet and are correct at time of article publication, but could be subject to change

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