PGA Championship Expert Preview

Bellerive Country Club, Missouri, St Louis, Aug 9-12, 2018


Course Details

In only its second hosting of the PGA Championship in its 100th year anniversary, Bellerive is a Robert Trent Jones venue that will be in pristine condition. Bellerive is a long course measuring 7547 yards, and is built around a large creek that comes into play on nine of the holes. Six of the par 4’s measure over 450 yards, with the longest par 4 measuring 519 yards, and with the creek coming into play on nine of the holes and water hazards in play on additional two holes, it is going to no doubt be a true driving test, as errant shots will get heavily penalized.

Depending on how the rough is playing this week, the 10th hole, which is normally a par 5 for members, will be played as a par 4. If players miss the fairway on the 10th hole and the rough is “up”, then players missing the fairway will struggle to reach the green in two. An in-play trading strategy could be laying tee-shots and re-backing after the hole is completed.


Wether Report

Thursday – 35 Degrees Celsius, Humidity 41%, Wind 6-10km/h, Precipitation 10%

Friday – 34 Degrees Celsius, Humidity 43%, Wind 8-13km/h, Precipitation 20%


Last 10 Winners and Runners Up

Year Winner Runner Up
2017 J Thomas F Molinari, L Oosthuizen, P Reed
2016 J Walker J Day*
2015 J Day* J Spieth
2014 R McIlroy* P Mickelson
2013 J Dufner* J Furyk
2012 R McIlroy* D Lynn
2011 K Bradley J Dufner*
2010 M Kaymer B Watson
2009 Y.E Yang T Woods*
2008 P Harrington B Curtis, S Garcia
2007 T Woods* W Austin

Players contending more than once * T Woods, R McIlroy, J Day & J Dufner

Players contending more than twice**


Top 25 World Rankings Form Review

Please note Last 5 event stats are European Tour & PGA Tour combined. Scoring average is last 5 events on PGA Tour.

Player Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4 Event 5 Scoring Average To Par 72  
1. Dustin Johnson T3 1st MC 3RD 1st -2.44** 69.56**
2. Justin Thomas 1ST MC T8 T56 T25 -0.67 71.33
3. Justin Rose T2 T9 T10 T6 1ST -2.00** 70.00**
4. Brooks Koepka 5TH MC T39 T19 1ST -0.67 71.33
5. Rory McIlroy T6 T2 T28 T12 MC -1.43 70.57
6. Francesco Molinari T39 1ST T2 1ST T25 -1.85** 70.15**
7. Jon Rahm T17 MC T4 T5 MC 0.13 72.13
8. Jordan Spieth T60 T9 T42 MC MC 0.56 72.56
9. Rickie Fowler T17 T28 T6 12TH T20 -0.65 71.35
10. Jason Day T10 T17 T12 MC T44 -0.67 71.33
11. Tommy Fleetwood T14 T6 T12 MC T59 -1.75 70.25
12. Patrick Reed T28 T9 T28 T23 MC -0.39 71.61
13. Alex Noren T31 T17 1st T25 T23 0.39 72.39
14. Bubba Watson T31 MC MC T13 1st -1.25 70.75
15. Paul Casey T31 T7 T51 T2 T16 -0.35 71.65
16. Hideki Matsuyama T39 MC MC T16 T13 -0.35 71.65
17. Henrik Stenson T39 T35 T6 T26 T13 -0.3 71.7
18. Marc Leishman T14 60TH T13 MC T45 0.4 72.4
19. Xander Schauffele 68TH T2 T21 MC T6 -1 71
20. Webb Simpson T24 T12 T47 MC T10 0.11 72.11
21. Phil Mickelson T24 T24 MC T65 T48 0.25 72.25
22. Bryson Dechambeau 30TH T7 T51 T2 T16 -0.6 71.4
23. Sergio Garcia T39 MC MC T8 T12 1.25 73.25
24. Patrick Cantlay T6 T12 T15 T45 4TH -1 71
25. Tyrrell Hatton T28 MC T2 55TH MC 0.61 72.61
& Tiger Woods T31 T6 T4 MC T23 -0.83 71.17

Note – Tiger Woods is rising fast in the world rankings, therefore I will add him into the form review.

Poor Form*- Players Averaging over par –   Sergio Garcia has been out of form for a while, Jordan Spieth is also struggling outside of his British Open performance. Other players that are averaging over par recently are Tyrell Hatton, Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Marc Leishman, Alex Noren and John Rahm.

Good Form** – Players averaging 1.5 under or better – Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose & Francesco Molinari.  Rory McIlroy is also paying well, along with Patrick Cantlay, Tiger Woods and the inconsistent Bubba Watson.


Top 25 World Rankings Performance at the Event the past 5 years

Player 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 Scoring Average To Par 72  
1. Dustin Johnson T13 MC T7 DNP T8 -0.43 71.57
2. Justin Thomas 1ST 66TH T18 DNP DNP -1.16 70.84
3. Justin Rose MC T22 4TH T24 T33 -0.94 71.05
4. Brooks Koepka T13 T4 T5 T15 T70 -1 71
5. Rory McIlroy T22 MC 17TH 1ST T8 -1.33** 70.66**
6. Francesco Molinari T2 T22 T54 T58 T33 -0.35 71.65
7. Jon Rahm T58 DNP DNP DNP DNP +1.75* 72.75
8. Jordan Spieth T28 T13 2ND MC MC -0.43 71.65
9. Rickie Fowler T5 T33 T30 T3 T19 -1.35 70.65
10. Jason Day T9 2ND 1ST T15 T8 -2.30** 69.70**
11. Tommy Fleetwood T61 DNP MC MC DNP +1.88* 73.88
12. Patrick Reed T2 T13 T30 T58 DNP -1 71
13. Alex Noren T67 T49 DNP DNP MC +1.90* 73.9
14. Bubba Watson MC T60 T21 T64 MC 0.5 72.5
15. Paul Casey T13 T10 T30 MC MC -0.25 71.75
16. Hideki Matsuyama T5 T4 T37 T35 T19 -1 71
17. Henrik Stenson T13 T7 T25 T3 3RD -1.70** 70.30**
18. Marc Leishman T13 T60 MC T46 T12 0.05 72.05
19. Xander Schauffele MC DNP DNP DNP DNP +6.50* 78.5
20. Webb Simpson T33 T13 T54 MC T25 0.16 72.17
21. Phil Mickelson MC T33 T18 2ND T72 -0.16 71.83
22. Bryson Dechambeau T33 DNP DNP DNP DNP 0.75 72.75
23. Sergio Garcia MC MC T54 T35 T61 +1.13* 73.13
24. Patrick Cantlay T33 DNP DNP DNP DNP 0.75 73.75
25. Tyrrell Hatton MC T10 T25 DNP DNP -0.5 71.5
& Tiger Woods DNP DNP MC MC T40 +1.75* 73.75

Good History at Event **  Jason Day leads the way with the lowest stroke average the past 5 years, followed by Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson. The past 4 years Brooks Koepka has also been very impressive.

Poor History at Event *  There are a couple of players that made their first appearance at the PGA Championship last year. Xander Schauffele had a horrible tournament and will be looking to mend things this year, along with John Rahm. Other notables that have struggled at the PGA Championship in recent years, include Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.


My Adjusted Stroke Average for the Top 25

  My Handicap My Adjusted Stroke Average
1.       Dustin Johnson -1.83 70.17
2.       Justin Rose -1.69 70.31
3.       Jason Day -1.52 70.48
4.       Rory McIlroy -1.31 70.69
5.       Rickie Fowler -1.2 70.8
6.       Justin Thomas -1.19 70.81
7.       Henrik Stenson -1.13 70.87
8.       Francesco Molinari -1.05 70.95
9.       Patrick Reed -0.89 71.11
10.    Brooks Koepka -0.81 71.19
11.    Hideki Matsuyama -0.77 71.23
12.    Bubba Watson -0.69 71.31
13.    Paul Casey -0.55 71.45
14.    Patrick Cantlay -0.5 71.5
15.    Tommy Fleetwood -0.49 71.51
16.    Jordan Spieth -0.45 71.55
17.    Phil Mickelson -0.38 71.62
18.    Bryson DeChambeau -0.35 71.64
19.    Webb Simpson -0.3 71.7
20.    Marc Leishman -0.17 71.83
21.    Tiger Woods 0.01 72.01
22.    Jon Rahm 0.11 72.11
23.    Tyrrell Hatton 0.12 72.12
24.    Alex Noren 0.58 72.58
25.    Sergio Garcia 0.93 72.93
26.    Xander Schauffele 1.66 73.66

Betting Notes

The market is correct in having Dustin Johnson as favorite, however I believe there are some discrepancies which Ill list below. You can apply these to “backing over the odds” or “laying under the odds” for top 5, top 10, top 20 etc.

  • Rory McIlroy should be $23 not $14.50
  • Justin Thomas should be $25 not $16.00
  • Justin Rose should be $14.50 not $25 (providing his back is ok)
  • Jason Day should be $16 not $23
  • Francesco Molinari should be $26 not $40
  • Jon Rahm should be $75 not $30
  • Henrik Stenson should be $26 not $60
  • Jordan Spieth should be $60 not $26

In Play Trading Opportunities

1 – I will be looking at difficult driving holes that have water coming to into play or bunkers for laying tee shots and re-backing after the ball comes to rest.

2 – In 1992 when Nick Price at this venue, only 8 players the tournament under par, I will be accessing the scoring after the morning day 1 and from there I will make an assessment on if ill “lay” some first round morning scores and “re-back” when they are due to commence the afternoon day 2 play. This assessment will also set the tone for players that finish their rounds early on day 3 when players are still left on the course.


Examples of Pre Tournament Bets

As mentioned previously, I generally don’t like to place any bets pre-tournament bets. Glad I didn’t last week at the Bridgestone Invitational as some players who have been out of form returned to form (Justin Thomas, Marc Leishman etc) and our biggest unit bet Justin Rose “3 units” for top 10 withdrew late due to a back injury. Justin Rose is entered for the PGA Championship this week, although I never back a player that is immediately returning from injury.

For those of you following the “unit” betting strategy, we took a bit of a hammering at the Bridgestone Invitational last week, however for the year to date, I have calculated that we are running at approximately 25-30% profit on turnover (85 unit outlay for a 25 unit profit).

I really like the tournament head to head match bets, and I have listed a couple of options below, possibly wait until Thursday evening when there is more liquidity in the pool.

 BACK – Jason Day to beat Jon Rahm @ $1.85+ for 3 units

 BACK – Rickie Fowler to beat Tommy Fleetwood @$1.9+ for 2 units

 BACK – Patrick Reed to beat Xander Schauffele @ $1.90+ for 1 unit

 BACK – Justin Thomas to beat Tiger Woods @ $1.90+ for 1 unit

 BACK – Brooks Koepka to beat Jordan Spieth @ $2.00+ for 1 unit

 LAY – Lay Jon Rahm for Top 10 @ $3.90 for 1 unit

 BACK – Back Jason Day for Top 20 @ $2.20 for 1 unit

 


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