When Pete Dye decided to build a golf course on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin his aim was to replicate all the great attributes of a links golf course. With over 1000 bunkers on the layout and a huge amount of sand brought in the PGA have fallen in love with this “mock links” and from the first PGA in 2004, the latest in 2010 and now 2015 they need little encouragement to come back here. It is a true test of golf.
What they wont have this weekend is the high winds and rain of St Andrews. The forecast is good with 24-26 degrees expected most days and light winds so it really should suit almost everyone. Martin Kaymer was the last to be successful here and at 50-1 generally you could understand those wanting to be with him. The course clearly suits his game and he was tied 12th for the open at 9 under so majors now hold no fear for him.We might just have a little 1/2 unit e/w saver on him.
Favourite for the event is 2014-15 superstar, Jordan Speith and at 7/1, after his final round 66 on the weekend he seems to be as strong mentally as ever. My question might just be how he can continue to handle this extreme pressure for so long. Tiger did it for quite a few years and we never questioned it but then he seemed to be playing a different game to everyone else. Now they are all playing the same game such is his legacy and for that reason it is so much harder for someone to dominate. The game goes through these periods and Jordan has done incredibly well to do what he has done.Overachieved or a true Superstar? This weekend will add to that arguement.
The 2014 PGA Champion, Rory McIlroy returns this weekend and he quite often “goes well fresh”, its a big ask on the one of the four biggest stages and his odds of 10/1 are not overly appealing. I hope he plays well as the game needs him and when he is hot, no one can live with him. I just dont think it will be this weekend but we will back him before this year is out and he will win.
At really big prices I like the look of Camillo Villegas. He is 250/1 with Betway and that seems way too big. His four rounds last weekend looked more like the player of old and he knows how to both go low and hold it together under pressure. There is always someone leading this event at a big price and whilst he may not get the job done I think he could be up there early allowing me to cash out if a profit comes my way.
I also think Ian Poulter is over priced. He showed for quite a while over the weekend and there was just a hint that the sparkle and confidence were returning to his game. Feared in matchplay by everyone his ball striking looks good and his putting on the way back. If he believes he can win, he can win and 125/1 with Betway looks over priced. Lets hope he really gets fired up.
My big three this week are led by poster boy Rickie Fowler. You know he has a big one in him and sadly we wont get big prices because of that but 25/1 for six places with Sportingbet seems about right. He is a bit like the handicapper who keeps going up for placed efforts, only in this case his price remains lower than you would like given his record. Bookies rarely pay out on the win bet but often on the place. He might put that right this weekend.
Jason Day is another like Fowler. Always up there, often close and competing but not getting the job done. He is a better player now and if his head stays right (vertigo) he can win this weekend. Sadly a few others know that as well and I can only get us 14/1 about him with Skybet with 6 places this weekend.
My final fancy is Henrik Stenson. I do tip him regularly and thats because he is very good. He also looks to be running in to major form at the right time for this event and I couldnt bare not being with him if he went in Over a cliff, some might say but so be it, we punters are like that. He raises his game for the big ones and with the exception of the Open, where on a crowded leader board he was still 5 under even though that was tied 40th, he always finds his way to the top 10. He is 28/1 with Boylesports and we need some of that as well.
it promsies to be a far better PGA than it was a US Open because they are at least not playing on a mickey mouse golf course. I think our tips will give us a strong set of performers and after backing Zach Johnson in the Open and Speith in the Masters our major performance has been good again this year. We could just do with a big priced winner now to really get things going. We might just have the ammunition to do it with this lot.