2019 PGA Championship Tips And Preview
The golfing powers that be have fiddled with the calendar this season. Usually the US PGA Championship is the final major of the season, but this year it starts earlier. James Punt has tried to find some value bets, check out his 2019 PGA Championship tips and preview below…
2019 PGA Championship Preview And Tips
The USPGA Championship has been moved from it late summer slot as the last major of the year to May and the second major of the year. Traditionally it has been the major which throws up more surprise winners than any other, lots of first time major winners at big odds.
However while we may have seen a trend away from the days of a few players dominating major championships to a much bigger spread of winners and first time major winners, they are not unknown players. In the last twenty nine majors, the winner has come from the top 50 in the world.
Current Form Is Key
Good form is of course essential and while the change of date may affect this the fact is most PGA winners had a win in the same season.
The course, par 70 Bethpage Black is a tough lay out. Very long for a par 70, it has relatively small greens well protected by bunkers. The weather has been relatively wet and the course is said to be soft and that make it play even longer. The rough is said to be fairly light thanks to a lack of growth during a cool spring. This plays further into the hands of the big hitters.
The course also rewards players who can find a lot of greens in regulation. Good scrambling skills are also need for those occasions when players miss the green. The greens are relatively flat and straight forward. This is very much a tee to green kind of course. Those that can drive the ball long and reasonably straight and find a lot of greens in regulation could score well.
Power Needed Off The Tee
All the talk from the venue is about the length of the course. Players and pundits alike are saying that the course demands length off the tee first and foremost. Hitting the relatively small poa annua greens will be easier with a more lofted club and the big hitters will have that advantage. They can fly it up and over the bunkers guarding the greens and get more stop on the green.
So we are looking for a top 50 player who hits it a long way off the tee and hits a lot of greens in regulation. They should have won a tournament this season and won on poa annua greens.
Nobody ticks all the boxes but there are a few names that are ticking more than most. Sadly they are all well fancied players for that reason and short in the betting.
2019 PGA Championship: 2 points e/w Rory McIlroy to win @ 12.00 with Boylesports (e/w top 10 places)
McIlroy is back playing something like his best golf. He has a win and five other top 10’s in the last three months. He is ranked 2nd to strokes gained tee to green and has won on pos annua greens. His short putting can make your toes curl at times but the greens here are not tricked up and are reasonably flat.
2019 PGA Championship Tips: 1 point e/w Dustin Johnson @ 11.00 with Betfair, Paddy Power (e/w top 10 places)
Another big bomber in good form, ranked 7th for strokes gained tee to green and he has had ten wins on poa annua greens. The odds are certainly not very sexy but he is very hard to get away from.
2019 PGA Championship Tips: John Rahm e/w @ 21.00 with William Hill (7 places e/w)
Big hitting Rahm is another with the game to suit the course. Very long off the tee a winner on poa annua greens. He has already won this year and his major form is showing us that he can compete in the big events. Rahm was 9th in The Masters and was 4th in this last year. He does have a bit of a temper on him which is a negative but he fits the bill of a first time major winner if he can keep his head straight.
2019 PGA Championship Tip: 1 point e/w Hideki Matsuyama @ 46.00 with William Hill, Betfred
We backed Matsuyama for the Masters only for him to drop three shots in the first nine. But for that and his last nine on Sunday he played very well. He is a big hitter, 3rd for strokes gained tee to green and a top 50 player who has yet to win a major. He has had two USPGA top 5 finishes and while his most recent form could be better, he hasn’t won this season, he has the game with which to be competitive at Bethpage Black. 19th for driving distance, 7th for strokes gained approaching the green and the weakest part of his game, putting shouldn’t be as big an issue on the poa annua greens, on which he has won before.