Americans have historically dominated the fourth and final Major of the year. Since 1958 there have been just 12 winners emanating from countries other than the United States. Six of those ‘foreign’ triumphs have come from multiple winners – Vijay Singh (2), Nick Price (2) and Gary Player (2).
So it makes sense to look to the Americans in the market. Tiger Woods leads the way at 9.00, Dustin Johnson is 20.00, Jason Dufner 30.00, Phil Mickelson 35.00 and defending champion Keegan Bradley is also at 35.00.
Throughout the tournament’s history only two European’s have won the title, and never a Brit. Although those two European triumphs have come in the past four years – Messrs Harrington and Kaymer – the trends suggest we're best off avoiding the likes of Luke Donald (17.00), Rory McIlroy (20.00) and Lee Westwood (20.00).
Only two men in history have won The Open Championship then gone on to win the USPGA Championship in the same year. Tiger Woods has done it twice, in 2000 and 2006, and Nick Price achieved the feat in 2004, so while Ernie Els is in top form following his win at Royal Lytham a few weeks back, history is not on his side.
The Kiawah Island resort has twice hosted the World Cup of Golf. The first time in 1997, Ireland represented by Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley won, then in 2003 Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini won the title for South Africa.
Paul McGinley is not in the field for this week but the other three are. Harrington is a 45.00 shot, Sabbatini is quoted at 175.00 and Immelman, who tends to save his best for the Majors, is intriguing me at 200.00.
Throughout the history of the USPGA Championship only one man has successfully defended his title. Yep, you guessed it, that man again. Mr Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods. He won back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000 and again in 2006 and 2007. Defending champion this time is Keegan Bradley,and he's in good knick having won the Bridgestone Invitational last week. Don't write him off at 35.00 to win consecutive USPGA Championships.
Vijay Singh, in 2004, was the last player over 40 to win a Major championship stateside. On that basis, veterans Phil Mickelson (35.00), Padraig Harrington (45.00), Ernie Els (50.00), Steve Stricker (40.00) and Jim Furyk (50.00) can all be ruled out at the head of the market.
11 of the last 12 winners – Shaun Micheel proving the exception – had won on the tour previously that season, while the last ten had all finished in the top-15 of an event in the month preceding.
Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, Steve Stricker an Justin Rose are amongst those who fit the bill having won recently. Check your sources for wins on the tour this season and recent results before placing any bets on the winner market.
The Times They Are A-Changin
While much of the chat in the build up will be about whether Woods can get back on the Major winning trail and if Bradley can defend his title, we should, perhaps, be looking to those who have yet to add their name to the list of Major winners.
16 of the last 24 USPGA Championship winners claimed their first Major triumph in this tournament, while the nine Major winners prior to Ernie Els at The Open last month were all tasting Major success for the first time.
Jason Dufner finished second in this event 12 months ago after a play-off with Bradley, while Dustin Johnson has history in the USPGA and also enjoys playing on Pete Dye-designed courses. They each also tick almost all of the above boxes.
Best Bets: Jason Dufner @ 30.00; Dustin Johnson @ 20.00.