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PGA Championship Preview: Straka Can Strike At Valhalla

The second major event of the golf season, The PGA Championship, starts on Thursday, with the event being held at Valhalla Golf Club.
PGA Championship Preview

Golf fans might be familiar with the course, as in 2008 it famously hosted the Ryder Cup. Furthermore, the last time it hosted the PGA Championship was in 2014, when Rory McIlroy won his last major.

Valhalla has plenty of water around the fairways and greens, so it’s going to be important to be siding with a player that can keep the ball in play.

Scheffler The Hot Favourite

From a betting perspective, Scottie Scheffler is once again the favourite. There has just been no stopping the World Number One this year, and even at The Masters, when he looked like he might be in trouble, he found a way to get back on track. Since his win at Augusta last month, he has followed up with another victory in the RBC Heritage. He just seems to be strong in all departments of his game.

The only thing that might stop him is his preparation for this event. It was only a few days ago that there was some doubt if he was going to play, as his wife was due to give birth any minute. However, over the weekend, Scheffler confirmed his participtation, as she gave birth to their second child on Sunday. As his schedule has been a bit all over the place, he might not be totally focused, so it’s worth taking him on.

Another Major For McIllroy?

The form player coming into this event is Rory McIllroy after his win at Quail Hollow. He has a great record at that event, winning it on four occasions, so he’ll be pleased to come into this event with a win under his belt. Moreover, he’ll be happy returning to Valhalla after winning the PGA Championship here in 2014. 

On the other hand, I think that when it comes to Rory at the majors these days, he doesn’t have the mentality to get over the line. At almost every golf major, the press is always asking him if he can win again, and I just think it plays on his mind. We all know he’s got the talent, but the question is, can he put it all together? He’s currently 15/2 to win this week with Rhino, but I’d be happy to leave him at the price.

Fleetwood Flying High

When it comes to my shortlist for this year’s PGA Championship, Tommy Fleetwood is on it again. He’s a golfer I keep backing in the majors, as I do feel his time is near. He rewarded us with a decent each-way return of 33/1 when he finished third at the Masters. I think he was actually the best player that week from tee-to-green, but the putter was a little cold. 

In the last three majors, he has finished in the Top 10, so he knows what it takes to get into contention. I think Valhalla is a course that will suit him, as he is currently third in the PGA Tour standings for driving accuracy in 2024. If he can keep the ball on the short stuff, he’ll be in the mix for sure.

Straight Straka

Speaking of driving accuracy, there aren’t many players better than Sepp Straka at finding the fairway. He’s currently ahead of Fleetwood in the rankings, in second place. Over the last 12 months, Straka’s profile in the game of golf has been reaching new heights. 

Last year, he was the runner-up at The Open Championship as well as finishing seventh at the PGA Championship. Those achievements led to him representing Europe in the Ryder Cup, where he was on the winning team.

Straka played well at the weekend, finishing in eighth place in the Wells Fargo Championship. With the Austrian coming into this event in decent shape, I wouldn’t be surprised if he could build on his majors experience and throw his hat in the ring again.

Deja Vu For Day?

Another player who feels like he’s bouncing back to form is Jason Day. The 36-year-old is a former World Number One and PGA Champion, but in the past few years he’s suffered from vertigo, which has affected his ability to play golf. 

However, in the last twelve months, he has proven that he can still perform well on the big stage, after he too was a runner-up at the Open Championship. At certain points this year, he has been in contention, which showed with a good fourth-place effort at Quail Hollow last weekend.

Day has always been good in most areas of his game, but his ball striking and approach play have always stood out. If he can get the putter going this week, he can definitely feature high on the leaderboard.

The PGA Championship tends to be a major where there isn’t a run away leader. Hopefully we’ll get an event with a good number of players still in contention on the final day.

If you are having a bet at Valhalla this week, please remember to gamble responsibly.

PGA Championship Shortlist

Tommy Fleetwood (33/1)

Jason Day (50/1)

Sepp Straka (70/1)

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The second major event of the golf season, The PGA Championship, starts on Thursday, with the event being held at Valhalla Golf Club.
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