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  • Who Will Win The PGA Championship?: Best Bets And Predictions From Valhalla

Who will win the 2024 PGA Championship?: Best bets and predictions from Valhalla

The world’s best players converge on Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky this weekend to compete for the second of this season’s four golf Majors, the PGA Championship.

As with all Major tournaments, a valid argument could be made for the majority of the 155-player line-up, so we’ve split the field into bite-size chunks and picked out a best-value bet or two from each category.

Top Price On The Planet: Best odds for Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, and 50% back if your bet leads after any round but then loses

Champions revisited  

Winning back-to-back Majors is a rare feat indeed, but in 2019 Brooks Koepka became the only golfer since World War II (other than the inevitable Tiger Woods, who has done so twice!) to successfully defend his PGA Championship title.

Koepka will tee off looking to emulate Woods’ double-double after holding off the challenge of runners-up Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland at Oak Hill 12 months ago.

His bottom-half finish at the Masters last month should not overshadow some decent form at this year’s LIV events, culminating in a two-shot victory in the Singapore Invitational last time out, and as a five-time Major winner, in-form Koepka will fancy his chances of contending again here.

 

 

Catching the eye at upwards of 20/1, 2020 champion Collin Morikawa looks as if he is bringing out the best aspects of his game just in time for the serious part of the Major golf season.

Glimpses of improvement during a patchy start to the campaign came to fruition at Augusta, where he finished tied for third behind the unstoppable Scottie Scheffler machine.

Morikawa appears to have rediscovered his famous laser-like precision with his irons, and further top-16 finishes at the RBC Heritage and at last weekend’s Wells Fargo Championship suggest he could well be in the mix again here.

 

 

 

Homegrown hopefuls  

Not including those in other categories, we have around 70 high-quality Americans to consider here, such is the strength in depth of the PGA Tour.

That means there is no room among our homegrown picks for high-profile names such as Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Brian Harman, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa or Sahith Theegala, all of whom are arguably interchangeable with our final selections.

That said, not many would pick anyone above Scottie Scheffler right now, and his rivals can only hope that the safe arrival of his first child last weekend will blur his focus on his game after a few weeks away.

Last month’s Masters victory came amid a run of eight straight top-ten finishes, including four wins in his last five tournaments, while only a missed putt on the final hole deprived him of a play-off chance in his runner-up ‘failure’ at the Houston Open.

Already by far the best from tee to green, the world number one appears to have conquered his putting demons, and it will take a stellar performance form one or more of his rivals to prevent him adding to his Major haul here.

 

 

Scheffler surely cannot keep winning indefinitely (can he?!), and one of the most likely candidates to knock him off his perch is Xander Schauffele, who has been in solid form all season without converting any near misses into victories.

He looked like doing so when leading by two shots with 11 holes left at Quail Hollow last weekend, only to succumb to a combination of his own putting woes and Rory McIlroy’s brilliance, eventually settling for another runner-up spot.

The reigning Olympic champion’s last taste of victory on American soil came in the 2022 Travelers Championship, and surely the time is right for him to end that barren streak after making the top ten in eight of his 11 outings so far this term.

 

LIV up to expectations  

The LIV tour will have 16 representatives teeing off at Valhalla (including reigning champion Brooks Koepka), and it would be unwise to overlook the quality of this array golfers that do not enjoy mainstream television coverage every week.

Jon Rahm is a perfect case in point, and it’s easy to forget that it’s only just over a year ago that the Spaniard crowned four early-season PGA wins with his second Major at the 2023 Masters.

He looked like a golfer who was trying too hard when only just making the cut in last month’s Augusta reappearance, which belied the form he has shown so far during his first LIV season, making the top ten in all but one of his seven events, including four top-fives. 

Bryson DeChambeau appears to have reined in his all-muscle gung-ho approach recently, and that shift in attitude and game plan could continue to make his strengths more effective in Major tournaments.

Three top-ten finishes on the LIV Tour suggest the kind of form he showed when shooting a first-round 64 at the Masters, and although he ended up tied for sixth, his game held together well around Augusta’s demanding track.

DeChambeau was also in contention throughout last year’s PGA at Oak Hill, where he finished a creditable fourth despite being the only one among the final top seven to fail to shoot under par on the final afternoon.

 

 

 

Best of British 

We’ll hold our hands up and admit that we’ve bent our own rules a little here by including two-time PGA Champion Rory McIlroy in this small category rather than among previous winners.

The Northern Irishman continues to look capable of winning any tournament he enters, so he would have been as frustrated as anyone until his barren PGA streak was ended by his shared success with Shane Lowry in last month’s Zurich Classic pairs competition.

He immediately backed that up last weekend by landing the Wells Fargo Championship for the fourth time in his career, blowing away the challenge of Xander Schauffele with an imperious final-round 65.

After disappointing at Augusta, Rory’s decade-long quest for his fifth Major continues, so he will hope to put that right at the same course that staged his last success in the 2014 edition of this tournament.

Tommy Fleetwood hit the ground running by landing the Dubai Invitational on his second outing of 2024, and although not at his most consistent in the States, the popular Lancastrian has pitched in with a handful of top-ten finishes, including a best-yet third place at the Masters, and a decent showing last week at Quail Hollow.

Indeed, Tommy Lad has enjoyed top-five finishes at each of the four Majors without lifting a crown, including fifth place in the 2022 PGA (T18th last year), which should add to his showing at Augusta to give him confidence ahead of another Major assault at Valhalla.

 

Europe’s finest

Europe’s best golfers no longer seem overawed by the demands of the PGA Tour, with the likes of Matthieu Pavon, Stephan Jaeger and Nicolai Hojgaard all making their presence known at the top of final-day leaderboards.

Head and shoulders above all those stands Ludwig Aberg, who caught the golfing world’s attention and imagination with the composure and skill that he displayed in his first ever Major at the Masters, where he managed Augusta’s challenges with aplomb to finish runner-up behind Scottie Scheffler..

The Swedish sensation was not even on the PGA Tour this time last year, and his skill set and temperament suggest that his first Major success will come sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we’re keeping faith with Viktor Hovland, who has been struggling through some minor technical adjustments to his game in an apparent attempt to mend something that did not appear to be broken.

Hovland finished last season with figures of 1st, 1st, 5th, 2nd and 10th, including lifting the FedEx Tour Championship, so it’s a mystery why he missed the cut at the Masters and has made just one top 20 in seven events this season.

We all hope to see the Norwegian back to his best soon, hopefully kicking off this weekend, and while his current 33/1 price looks tasty, it should be treated with caution while he overcomes his demons.

 

Best of the Rest of the World

Hideki Matsuyama pulled out of last weekend’s Wells Fargo Championship with a back injury, which we hope was a precautionary move ahead of the PGA, because the 2021 Master champion has an agreeable habit of saving his best for the big events.

After looking out of sorts for weeks, he shot a memorable nine-under-par final round to snatch the Genesis Invitational, since when three more top-12 finishes preceded a mid-field spot at Augusta, which was his last appearance.

If Hideki returns 100 percent fit, then don’t be surprised by another bold bid from Japan’s star export.

Byeong-Hun An has missed a couple of cuts this season, but when he survives until the weekend he is rarely too far away from the business end of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.

The consistent South Korean kicked off his campaign with a couple of top-five finishes in Hawaii, and has also made the top five in his two most recent outings at the Byron Nelson (4th) and the Wells Fargo (3rd) over the last two weekends.

The latter of those was obviously missing some of the high-profile names he will face here, but he is clearly bang in form and as capable as any of them of putting four good scores together over the weekend.

 

 

 

Others to watch  

From each of the above groups, we’ve also picked out a selection of dark horses whose chances might not match those of the of the heavyweights listed above, but who definitely have the skill set to put themselves in the mix on Sunday afternoon.

  • Wyndham Clark (33/1) - Current US Open champion, winner at Pebble Beach this year, and runner-up to Scheffler at both the Arnold Palmer and The Players, Clark looks ready to produce again on the biggest stage
  • Justin Thomas (35/1) - Two-time winner of this event in 2017 and 2022, several recent top-ten finishes suggest Thomas is back on track for this PGA tilt in his home State, although he notably missed the cut at both the Players and the Masters.
  • Will Zalatoris (55/1) - Not quite back to his pre-injury peak, Zalatoris is a big-stage performer, and his ninth place at the Masters was his seventh top-10 finish in nine US Major starts (two missed cuts).
  • Cameron Smith (35/1) - Sixth at the Masters and ninth in last year’s PGA, the 2022 Open Champion loves the Majors, and is in good shape after coming runner-up in LIV’s Singapore event two weeks ago.
  • Tyrrell Hatton (45/1) - Top 15 in each of the last two PGAs, Hatton’s ninth-placed finish at the Masters suggests he is not far away from making a serious bid for his first Major success.
  • Sepp Straka (70/1) - The Austrian’s top-20 Masters finish was a springboard for further good showings at the RBC Heritage (5th) and last week’s Wells Fargo (8th). 
  • Corey Conners (80/1) - has not missed a cut all year, and while his odds reflect his chances in this company, the consistent Canadian could be a dark horse to make the frame on Sunday.

Top Price On The Planet: Best odds for Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, and 50% back if your bet leads after any round but then loses

The above list of 19 likely (and arguably less likely) contenders has still barely scratched the surface of such a massive star-studded line-up, who should provide four dramatic days of scintillating golf and maybe land us a winning bet or two along the way!

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

 

READ MORE: Ten each-way long shots to follow at the PGA Championship

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