GOLF: US PGA betting focus: Clever money’s on Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson

Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington during a practice round at Bethpage
Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington during a practice round at Bethpage

Local betting expert Joe Whitaker gives his guide to the US PGA Championship, which gets under way today.

After what was a sensational victory for Tiger Woods at this year’s US Masters, the public are eager to see if the sports icon can lift another Major, this time the US PGA Championship at Bethpage, outside New York, this weekend.

For the betting public its another chance to get involved with what should be a great weekend of action.

The talk of Tiger being back to his very best after Augusta was being met with caution by both the bookmakers and punters, and rightly so.

As good as he is on his day, there is a field against him packed full of sheer quality and the 14/1 for Woods to win a back-to-back Major looks a like a true reflection of his chances.

Just ahead of him in the betting at 12/1, Irishman Rory McIlroy is another with a huge chance at Bethpage.

The long par-70 Black Course is clearly suited to a player who can go long off the tee and do it consistently.

Whilst the consistency part hasn’t been his biggest strength in recent years, his game is in good order of late and he must fancy his chances of adding to his Major tally, with what would be his first since the 2014 US PGA at Valhalla.

A great player, which McIlroy is, will not go forever without collecting big prizes and this weekend he could just get things to fall for him on Long Island.

A player with similar claims to McIlroy is the long-hitting American Dustin Johnson, who has also been posting good rounds lately.

He was closing in on Woods at Augusta, though his charge was too late, and if he manages to have a good weekend on the firm greens, you can imagine he will not be far away on Sunday.

He is the current favourite at 10/1 and though it is short, it can still be worthwhile to back him each way at that price.

At a bigger price and one much more suitable for each- way punters, Jon Rahm at 20/1 is also a big hitter with the all-round game to go close. In his only start since The Masters, he won the Zurich Classic so he is clearly in good order, and a player of his quality will win a Major eventually.

If you really are after the summer holiday money, the American Gary Woodland is another who likes to bomb it off the tee.

He is having a good year of it and you could see him having a good four days, providing he keeps out of the long grass which will undoubtedly spoil the party for many.

Woodland is 66/1 to win, so the place money alone would see a nice return for your investment should he get in top seven.

Have a great weekend folks and enjoy the golf, Joe.