The USPGA Championship returns to the Ocean Course, Kiawah Island this week, where golf’s heavyweights will slug it out for $11m in prize money off the Atlantic Coast.
Rory McIlroy – who won the US PGA by a huge eight shots in 2012 – is the bookmakers’ early favourite to repeat history this week, though we’ve picked out two more promising alternatives in our US PGA Championship predictions below.
US PGA Championship betting tips and predictions
Rory McIlroy has been all the rage for the US PGA Championship, having won at Quail Hollow in his last start, and the Northern Irishman is clear favourite as he bids for a fifth Major title this week.
McIlroy must obviously be considered for the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island – where he won the US PGA by eight shots in 2012 – but the track has changed in the nine years since that shootout.
Much drier weather in the build-up this time has made for firmer greens, while the switch from August to May means the grasses around the dancefloors are not as lush.
The increased difficulty of the course – and the fact McIlroy is still in the early days of his swing work with relatively new coach Pete Cowen – means the short prices against his name can be left alone. He putted superbly at Quail Hollow, but Kiawah Island is a stiff tee-to-green assignment for which he may not quite be ready.
US PGA Championship course guide and where to watch
Course: Ocean Course, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Where to watch: Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Golf from 1pm Thursday
US PGA Championship winner prediction: Viktor Hovland at 20/1
Preference at double McIlroy’s price is for Viktor Hovland, who has rapidly developed into one of the best players in the world. The Norwegian youngster has finished in the top six in eight of his last 13 tournaments and his ball-striking has been exceptional.
Hovland immediately settled in Major arenas and his form in the four biggest events on the calendar is 32-12-33-13-21. His two PGA Tour victories have come on paspalum grass, the surface used at Kiawah, so everything points to a serious performance from the 23-year-old starlet.
US PGA Championship outsider prediction: Will Zalatoris at 55/1
Another Major maiden could go close to a breakthrough on Sunday – Will Zalatoris also possesses the ball-striking quality to get in the mix. The Californian, sixth in the 2020 US Open and runner-up in the Masters a month ago, has an ideal game for Major combat.
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