Free Picks: PGA Championship Early Odds & Tips

Richard O'Hagan

Monday, July 29, 2013 3:02 PM GMT

The USPGA Championship takes place at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York, from 8-11 August. Here, we take an early look at the win market. 


Golf Tips  -  Avoid the big names for the outright win

Finding the winner of a major golf tournament is often like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. In any given years there are often at least a dozen potential winners, and of course the eventual champion very often comes from outside of that group anyway.

In many respects, though, this year’s majors have been more predictable than in most years. You might not have plucked Adam Scott or Justin Rose from a list of, say, thirty golfers at the start of the year, but if you studied form as the season went on you would’ve seen that they were winning money consistently, not to mention the fact that both had had top five finishes at big tournaments recently.

Similarly, there was little money going on Phil Mickelson at the start of the British Open, with the markets blinded by the attraction of Rose and, inevitably, Tiger Woods. Backing Lefty at the outset would’ve netted you 28/1 and again if you’d looked up his performances this year you would’ve seen that he was too long a price, really.

From a betting perspective, one of the nice things about any major tournament is that the presence of Woods inevitably skews the market. Tiger may have won more majors than anyone other than Jack Nicklaus, but it is over five years now since he last won one and a best price of 13/2 with 888.com is scarcely justified. This year, Mickelson is adding to the effect, being 12/1 almost across the board. That has the effect of lengthening prices on some other contenders, but at the same time you need to be wary of the bigger names.

Last year’s winner, Rory McIlroy, has had a torrid six months and again looks too short, even at 28/1 with BetFred. Lee Westwood is 25/1 betting odds with BetVictor, but has admitted seeing a sports psychologist to get over the trauma of losing the British Open on the final day. Other big names, such as Graeme McDowall and Rose, seem to have lost form in the last few weeks. Sergio Garcia and the man often touted as the next big thing in golf, Jason Day, seem to start well but fade away as tournaments go on. 

All of which really opens up the field for us. Two men who look particularly good value at the moment are Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker. Mahan played solidly at Muirfield, keeping himself in the hunt for the Open without every fully challenging, and was going well at this week’s Canadian Open until forced to withdraw when his wife went into labor. He’s 33/1for our golf picks with Paddy Power.

Snedeker also had a good time in Scotland then won in Canada and his reputation as the best putter in world golf will get a stern test on the difficult greens of Oak Hill. He’s currently ranked 7th in the world, ahead of the likes of Westwood, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell, so wouldn’t be a complete suprise winner, but 25/1 with SkyBet looks to be a very useful price indeed.

The last time that the USPGA Championship came to Oak Hill, it was won by a rank outsides, Shaun Micheel, who was ranked 169 in the world at the time. It is hard to see that happening again and he’s currently 500/1 in most markets to win. If you’re looking to stake money on number 169 again, that’s Jason Kohrak and he’s 200/1 with Ladbrokes.