The last Major of the year is upon us already. This week we are off to Louisville, Kentucky to the Valhalla Golf Club. The course is a Par 71, measuring 7,458 yards. Greens are bentgrass and will be running fast and undulating.
There are a few trends this week that should be looked at closely when assessing the chances of each golfer. The following trends have already been pointed out by many people.
- The last 10 winners had a Top 25 finish in their latest PGA event
- 13 of the last 15 winners had a win earlier in the season
- 8 of the last winners had a Top 22 finish in the WGC Bridgestone
Past winners have also ranked highly in length off the tee, greens in regulation and putting stats for the week. Like most Jack Nicklaus designed courses accuracy off the tee is not a major factor however iron play into the greens will need to be spot on.
Sportsbet.com.au‘s top five in betting this week are:
Rory McIlroy $6 : Aiming for three wins on the trot after taking out the WGC Bridgestone and The Open Championship. Fits all the trends and is the new world number one. Won this tournament in 2012 by 8 shots.
Adam Scott $12: Eager to claim back his top spot from Rory. Top 15 finishes in all three Majors this season. Fits all the trends.
Sergio Garcia $26: Current form of 2nd, 12th, 2nd and 2nd. Career best form and his putting is spot on at present. Also makes all the trends.
Justin Rose $19: World No.5 at the top of his game. Two wins and a second in his last four starts. Ticks all the boxes.
Rickie Fowler $26: 2nd in the US Open and 2nd at The Open Championship during last four starts. Time to go one better.
Two players who stand out this week are:
Adam Scott $12
Adam fits all the trends this week. He is coming off a T8th at the WGC Bridgestone where he lost his number ranking to the winner Rory McIlroy. No doubt this will be an added incentive to produce the goods this week.
From 12 starts this season he has managed 8 Top ten finishes which includes a win in the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
When it comes to the three majors this season, Adam has played some fantastic golf. T14th The Masters, T9th US Open and T5th Open Championship.
The USPGA Championship has also seen Scott produce the goods on a regular basis. From 13 starts in the tournament he has managed 6 Top 20 finishes which include a T5th last year.
While Adam fits all the trends he also comes up trumps in the stats. 18th in driving distance, 13th in strokes gained putting, 3rd in birdie average, 10th in ball striking, 31st in greens in regulation, 24th in scrambling and 7th in going for the green.
Heading into this week he is also building up to a high finish with his last three starts being 9th, 5th and 8th. Expect to see Scott challenging the leader board this weekend.
Keegan Bradley $34
Keegan ticks two of the three trends. The only thing he is missing is a win this season. His highest result was a 2nd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
It is also worth looking at his tournament history. From three starts he won at his first attempt in 2011. He then followed that up with a 3rd in 2012 and a T19th last year. You get the feeling he enjoys the tournament.
From 20 starts this season Bradley has turned half of those finishes into a Top 20. This includes 5 Top 10ís.
His Majors form this season reads as a missed cut at The Masters, T4th in the US Open and T19th The Open Championship. He is also coming off a T4th last week at the WGC Bridgestone.
Stats rankings also hold up well with a 14th in driving distance, 24th in strokes gained putting, 14th in birdie average and 15th in scrambling.
At the available odds of $34 Keegan can not be left out of the calculations. He should be right in the finish again this week.
Good luck and good punting.