The PGA Championship this week heralds the second Major of the campaign, and just like the intense media scrutiny Rory McIlroy experiences in the build-up to the Masters, all eyes will be on Jordan Spieth as he attempts to etch himself into the history books.
So far, the PGA Championship is the sole Major that has eluded Spieth, who is aiming to become the sixth man in the game to complete the Career Slam. Southern Hills will be a huge tester for Spieth, who is coming off the back of a runner-up finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his hometown state Texas.
Southern Hills is no stranger to hosting Major tournaments, and it was restored three years ago by renowned golfing architect Gil Manse. There are however a few key facts about this Oklahoma club and the tournament in general:
- Southern Hills was originally conceived by Perry Maxwell in the late 1930s
- Tiger Woods hold the joint record for lowest round shot at Southern Hills (63), which he managed in 2007.
- Brooks Koepka boasts the 72-hole record (264) en route to his success in 2018 at Bellerive CC.
- Phil Mickelson became the oldest Major winner in tournament history last year when he lifted the Wanamaker Trophy aged 50.
While Mickelson withdrew from the PGA Championship, the 156-man field is dripping with talent and there are plenty of potential winners. This event will naturally spark plenty of interest, so we have picked out a few big tips from one of the best online sports betting operators to help you with your wagers.
Jordan Spieth to flourish in Southern Hills
Although chasing history may be a burden for some players, Spieth is peaking at just the right time and he will pose a significant threat. The 28-year-old produced a scintillating final round of 67 last weekend to finish on -25, but it may well be a case of what could have been after pushing a three-footer putt right of the cup for bogey at the 10th hole.
That bogey killed his momentum, but if we place Spieth’s season so far into a wider context, there have been signs of encouragement and he is trending in the right direction.
Spieth has gained more distance off the tee (over six yards to be precise) this season, and he won the RBC Heritage last month which was another sign that he is getting back to his best.
While Spieth’s best finish in the PGA Championship was runner-up to Jason Day in 2015, Spieth could go one better this time. The BetMGM Tournament Winner market is currently running longish looking odds of +1800 for Spieth to triumph, but this could be his week.
Justin Thomas to produce a scorching round
Justin Thomas has this steely determination about him and he’s no stranger to PGA Championship success, having hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy in 2017.
He is currently ranked fifth in strokes gained with his approach to the green and he is second in terms of birdie average. Thomas, you imagine, will be in contention come the weekend and it could be tightly bunched at the top of the leaderboard.
One of the prop markets that are not usually advertised, is the Best 18 Hole Round score of the Tournament. This has been dished up by SugarHouse and if Thomas has the bit between his teeth, he could go on a serious roll. He is available at +2000 to shoot the lowest round of the tournament, which could be worth exploring further.
A serene final round
Although things will be rather tight for the first couple of rounds, it may not be the same story come the weekend. Leafing through past editions of the tournament, more specifically the last five years, the winning stroke margin has been two shots.
As mentioned, there are so many potential winners on this course and as we have gone with Spieth, we expect him to close out in style. He could wrap up the tournament with a two-shot victory. So, if you wish to follow up on that, you can get a solid price of +350 with SugarHouse for the winning margin to be by two shots.