Rory McIlroy 8/13
Tiger Woods 8/1
Carl Pettersson 10/1
Adam Scott 12/1
Bo Van Pelt 16/1
Trevor Immelman 22/1
Steve Stricker 22/1
Graeme McDowell 33/1
Peter Hanson 40/1
Vijay Singh 40/1
Padraig Harrington 40/1
Ian Poulter 40/1
Keegan Bradley 80/1
Golf Monthly have just taken a dip into the world of the iphone/ipad generation with their new instruction app.
Top 25 Coach Gary Smith takes you through his short game drills and routines, to improve your bunker, chipping, pitching, with a few extras thrown in.
Presented by Gary Smith, renowned short game guru, the app is free to download for which you get four videos covering all the main areas of instruction. There are a number of in app purchase options which give you access to around 60 minutes of further content
And so to the last major championship of the year, being played over the Pete Dye Ocean course at Kiawah Island, which from the tips can play up to a mind numbing 7,937 yards. A little known fact about the Ocean course is that it has more seaside holes (ten) than any other course in the Northern hemisphere [I had to get my book out and check Western Gailes (eight)]
And like the Open Championship the weather will play a big part in this years PGA Championship. In the 1991 Ryder Cup, during practice rounds players were hitting 7 and 8-irons into the par-3 17th hole, by Sunday, with the wind up and into their faces, they were hitting 3-irons to 3-woods.
Positioned on the eastern-most end of Kiawah Island, Pete Dye has used the natural beauty of Kiawah's seaside environment to develop this “links” style track. Originally the course was meant to sit behind the dunes, but Dye's wife, Alice suggested raising the course to allow unobstructed views of the Atlantic coastline from every hole and in the process making the course more demanding due to its exposure to the area's brisk and unpredictable sea breezes.
Dye designed up to 6 tees to allow for the wind to be taken into account on each hole, giving flexibility on hole lengths and setting up separate landing areas for when the wind is against or behind.
Large greens that are up to 50-yards in length take into account that a player may be hitting a long-iron approach shot one day and a short-iron approach shot the next.
My tips to win:
Luke Donald (18/1). I’ve always felt that a PGA Championship would be Donald’s first major win and the lad from Hemel Hempstead comes into this week in great form. The first round is crucial for Luke as he has a tendency to put himself out of a major before it starts.
Dustin Johnson (28/1). Here’s a guy who definitely feels he is owed a PGA Championship. Johnson did very well to come back from injury to take the FedEx St Jude Classic, while a top-10 finish at The Open Championship sees him coming into this week in good form.
Jason Dufner (30/1). I think Dufner has unfinished business here and with two wins and five other top-10 finishes this year, now knows he has the game to win. With two top-25 finishes out of the three majors so far—including a T4 at Olympic—plus his second place at the PGA last year, I think the lad from Cleveland is ready to make that step up.
My each-way tips:
Graeme McDowell (35/1). Now looking for that second major championship, McDowell has two top-5 finishes at both Open championships this year, plus a T-12 at The Masters. The lad from Portrush is on the verge.
Louis Oosthuizen (35/1). One of my picks earlier this year for the Masters, it was only the genius of Bubba Watson that stopped Louis from donning the Green Jacket. I have felt all year that Louis would pick up another major: Besides his Masters loss, he finished in the top 20 at the Open Championship, but a final-round 73 pushed him down the leaderboard.
I’m stuck between Australian John Senden (125/1) and Vijay Singh (150/1) as my final choice, but I am going to give the nod to the Fijian. It’s Vijay’s last year before he qualifies for the Champions Tour and what a fitting finale it would be to a wonderful career to see the big man once again holding aloft the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday night.
This week sees the return of the World Golf Championship (WGC) at one of the most iconic golf courses on the US Tour, The Firestone Country Club, in Akron, Ohio has a long history having hosted PGA Tour events for over five decades. The South Course with its great views of the Firestone water tower provides a challenging, test.
Opened back in 1929 and designed by Bert Way, it then had a redesign by Robert Trent Jones in 1960. It’s a tough track at 7,400 yards with two halves of 35 making a par 70.
No surprise to see Tiger Woods 5/1 at the top of the betting odds, Firestone is a course Tiger loves, winning seven times on this track and I do feel he will do well here this week if not win it, but I don’t think the odds reflect where Tiger is at the moment.
My tips to win:
I am hoping that the setback Adam Scott 16/1 suffered at this years Open Championship spurs him on to defend his title here this week. It was tough to watch but I believe he has the game and more importantly the mental toughness needed to come back and learn from what happened.
Hunter Mahan 35/1 finished the Canadian Open with a flourish firing a final round 66, he had a steady Open Championship finishing inside the Top 20. A past winner here and with a WGC championship already won this season look for Hunter to make it a double this week.
I am not sure if he will want to win this week, but I think Graeme McDowell 35/1 will be in the thick of it come Sunday night and he will want to prove to himself after his final round 75 at the Open Championship put paid to his chances of winning, that he can produce on the final day.
My each-way tips:
I am going to tip Brandt Snedeker 66/1 again this week, I thought he would do well in the Canadian Open, but maybe that was to soon after his third place at the Open Championship, but a final round of 66 in Canada sees Brandt coming into this week with full confidence in his golf game.
Nicolas Colsaerts 61/1 has teed it up twice this year in WGC events and has just been outside the Top 30 both times, but I feel the tall Belgium lad is looking to take that next step on the ladder. He started the Open Championship with a bang before fading, but I think he has the game to do well on this monster of a track.
A good outside bet here this week is Ian Poulter 70/1, Ian played well in the Open Championship and seems to becoming back into form and will want to do well here with the last major of the year coming up next week.