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US PGA Championship: Koepka can be crowned Bellerive king

US PGA Championship Betting Tips

We have selected four players expected to go well at this week's US PGA Championship at the Bellerive Country Club.

The US PGA Championship takes place at the Bellerive CC this week and Brooks Koepka can deliver his second major of the year and third overall at 20/1.

Koepka successfully defended his US Open title at Shinnecock two months ago and his record in majors generally since 2014 is phenomenal with seven top 10s in 16 appearances, six of which have been in the frame.

In percentage terms, the 28-year-old American has been inside the top six 37.5% of the time since finishing fourth at the US Open in 2014.

There is also an interesting correlation between Firestone and the winners of the final major of the year as the following list demonstrates: Thomas (2017, 28th), Jimmy Walker (2016, 16th), Jason Day (2015, 12th), Rory McIlroy (2014, 1st), Jason Dufner (2013, 5th), McIlroy (2012, 5th), Keegan Bradley (2011, 15th).

Last week Koepka finished fifth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational where he was first for greens in regulation and first for driving distance. If you're worried about fairways, Koepka was 25th out of the 71-man field so he is comfortably inside the top half.

These skills will be vital at this long 7,317-yard par-70 course which has suffered from the global heatwave that has left the fringes of the greens patchy and burnt. The fact Koepka was fourth for proximity to the hole last week should hold him in good stead.

Next in our US PGA Championship betting preview at 50/1 is Marc Leishman who was 14th at Firestone, although that could have been better if the Aussie had not dropped four shots in his final six holes.

Fifteen of the last 18 US PGA champions won during that season and while Leishman has not achieved that in 2018, he managed the next best thing by posting second at Jeju Island and at the Byron Nelson, plus he has a couple of top-15 finishes at this major in the last five years.

Another player who catches our eye at 70/1 is Louis Oosthuizen who last year was joint runner-up to Justin Thomas, the start of a run which has seen the South African finish inside the top 30 in the last four majors.

The 2010 Open champion looked good for a top-10 spot at Firestone last week but a closing 74 meant he finished in a disappointing 24th.

However, Oosthuizen's form is excellent in general (24-28-16-3-5) and he stands second in the proximity to the hole stats which may be needed to avoid those crusty fringes.

The last of our golf predictions is Tony Finau who has finished inside the top 10 in all three of this year's majors and was 10th on his US PGA debut at Whistling Straits four years ago.

The American ticks the box for a decent performance at Firestone where a closing 68 gave him a top-10 finish, so he makes the final cut at 40/1 in our four-man plan.

Warren Barner
@warren_barner in Golf