US PGA History

oakhillThe PGA Championship is the last of the four major championships of the season in professional golf. PGA champions are given invitations to play in the other three majors for the next five years, and are exempt from qualifying for the PGA Championship for life. They also receive automatic membership on the PGA and European Tours for the following five seasons and an invitation to The Players Championship for five years.

The first PGA Championship was held in October 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Eastchester, New York. Victory went to Jim Barnes who received $500 and a diamond-studded gold medal donated by Rodman Wanamaker. In 2012, Rory McIlroy earned $1.4 million.

During the 1960s, the PGA Championship was played immediately after The Open Championship, making it virtually impossible for players to compete in both events. In 1965, the PGA was moved to a later date in August.

The PGA Championship is usually played in the eastern half of the United States, venturing west on only ten occasions.

US PGA Stats

Gene Sarazen was the youngest winner at aged 20 in 1922. The oldest winner was Julius Boros in 1968 at the age of 48. Rory McIlroy’s eight-stroke victory in 2012 was the largest winning margin in the stroke play era.

The lowest 72-hole score is 265 by David Toms in 2001 (66-65-65-69). This remains the lowest 72-hole score ever recorded in any major championship. However, Tiger Woods has the record for the lowest score in relation to par at 18 under set in 2000 and in 2006. He shares this record with Bob May who he went on to beat in a playoff in 200.

The last winner at Oak Hill was Shaun Micheel in 2003, a player ranked at 169 in the official rankings at the time of his victory.

US PGA Tee Times

The winners of the first three major championships of 2013 will tee off together for the opening two rounds of the season’s final major at Oak Hill. Masters champion Adam Scott, US Open champion Justin Rose and British Open champion Phil Mickelson will begin their first round at 1:45pm local time on Thursday and their second round at 8:35am on Friday.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy starts his defence at 1.25pm alongside former winners Vijay Singh and Martin Kaymer. World number one Tiger Woods is among the early starters at 8:35am on Thursday and plays with two more former champions in Keegan Bradley (2011) and Davis Love (1997). Woods and Bradley finished first and second at Firestone last week and go into the event full of confidence.

Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson are part of an interesting trio that is completed by former Open champion Darren Clarke. The opening shot will come from Club professional Rob Labritz at 7.10am. Labritz qualified when holing out from 100 yards for birdie in a play-off in qualifying.

The only player missing from the world’s top 100 golfers is Louis Oosthuizen who has been forced to withdraw through injury.

US PGA Betting Tips

stenson

Keegan Bradley (tipped here at 40-1) gave us a tidy profit from Firestone. We also put up Hunter Mahan but he was a late withdrawal, deciding to spend more time with his wife and new-born child having withdrawn when leading the Canadian Open. Your bookmaker SHOULD be refunding you on both tournaments.

The market is certain to be dominated by Tiger Woods after he cruised to victory last week. Although that confirmed the world number one to be in excellent form, it is worth remembering that the PGA provides an altogether stiffer test than Firestone. Micheel’s winning score was just four under par here in 2003 and Oak Hill calls for a golfer with patience to grind out a good score.

The first of our selections fits the bill perfectly. Ian Poulter made little impression last week but his late charge at the British Open is still fresh in the mind and he will be dangerous again this week if he can stay on the fringes until the closing round. He finished with a 69 last year to grab a share of third place.

By the same token, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson has the game to feature strongly this week. He must be sick of the sight of Phil Mickelson after finishing third to “Lefty” in the Scottish Open and then runner-up to the same man in the British Open. He continued his fine run of form by finishing tied for second with Keegan Bradley at Firestone last week.

There seems no reason to desert Bradley after his excellent performance in the same event. It was a game effort by the defending champion but he was always chasing shadows with Woods so far ahead. He has a fine recent record in this event having won it in 2011 and finished tied for third last year.

2010 winner Martin Kaymer signalled a possible return to form with a highly respectable four under par score last week. That was his best showing since May when fifth in the Byron Nelson and he could provide some each-way value.graememcdowell

With bookies offering enhanced place terms again this week, our wild card selection is Graeme McDowell. Rather like Phil Mickelson, he’s either hot or he’s not this season. A week after missing the cut at the Masters, he won the RBC Heritage. A week after missing the cut at The Players Championship, he won the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria. He has disappointed his supporters in the majors so far this season but at odds of around 70-1 he could just bounce back this week.

Ian Poulter 66-1 Youwin, Spreadex
Keegan Bradley 40-1 Youwin
Henrik Stenson 30-1 Paddy Power
Martin Kaymer 70-1 Youwin
Graeme McDowell 70-1 Betfair