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TWO WINNER PICKS FOR  THE SECOND MAJOR OF THE SEASON

The tours come together again for the second major of the season, the PGA Championship from Valhalla. However it’s the PGA TOUR guys who lead the tournament winner betting.

Scottie Scheffler (+400) returns to action with no potential withdrawal on the cards following the birth of his child. After his excellent Masters victory, another here would put the calendar grand slam into full focus.

Meanwhile Rory McIlroy (+750) arrives at the venue he last won a major at and, like Scheffler, off the back of two straight victories. The Northern Irishman was hot on Sunday night and if he carries that through then he’ll put up a serious challenge to field.

It’d take a brave bettor to go against the above duo but, in the first of our two tip selections this week, we are doing just that in the hope that Scheffler’s been on late night fatherhood duties and McIlroy’s major hoodoo continues…

OUTRIGHT WINNER: JON RAHM (+1600, DraftKings)

Strike a line through that disappointing Masters, defending champions nearly always struggle at Augusta for a whole host of reasons, exacerbated for him by his move to LIV. Take that event out of his form line, it’s been 11 tournaments since Rahm finished outside of the top 10 and he’s currently second in the LIV standings. There is no doubting how well he’s playing and yet, unjustifiably in our opinion, there are four above him in the betting.

It has come as a surprise that Rahm is yet to win on LIV, but the signs suggest he just keeps running out of holes. It’s well known that the shortened 54-hole format is quite to the liking of the Spaniard. He’s had his best round on day three in his last two starts and he’ll be relishing the chance to be out on the course for a fourth day this week.

Statistically on LIV this season, Rahm looks rock solid! He’s number 1 for birdies made, 6th in both scrambling and driving distance, 8th for both greens In Regulation and putting, and a respectable 13th in fairways hit (less than 1% behind the top 10). Every part of his game looks in tune.

Along with every other player in the field, the two-time major champ will need every part of that well-rounded game to score well at this typically difficult PGA Championship standard course, but he’s got far more ticks in the boxes than most. He should most certainly be in contention on Sunday and +1600 is too big for him to be lifting the Wanamaker Trophy and acquire his third major.

OUTRIGHT WINNER: CAMERON YOUNG (+5500, DraftKings)

He’s got to win something eventually, right? Why not make it a major!

Cameron Young is the 7th best driver on tour this season, but most notably his accuracy ranking is better than his distance ranking for the first time in his career. The 27-year-old is now bombing it accurately and that will play perfectly around Valhalla. Many of the fairways narrow considerably beyond the 300 yard mark but the opportunities presented past that point are significantly advantageous.

It may seem insane to take on Young to win his first tournament on the biggest stage, but it’s the biggest stage where he’s come closest. In his last eight majors, he’s been inside the top 10 on five occasions, including a T3 in this event two years ago, a solo 2nd at the 2022 Open Championship and a T9 at the Masters most recently. The American knows how to peak at just the right time, even if it hasn’t quite got him across the line yet.

Young has a 2nd, 3rd and T4 to his name this season and no missed cuts in all 12 starts. This is in part down to a significant improvement in his approach play (22nd on tour for SG: Approach). He should be playing confidently and last week’s spin around Quail Hollow looked good until a closing 76 to finish T34 when he knew chances of being in contention near the top had gone. Focus perhaps already wandering to Kentucky.

Recent form and driving/approach statistics aside, this is somewhat of a value play. Too often Young is in the top 5-10 in the betting, amongst serial winners, but at +5500 he’s got a very fair price and he’ll most certainly make it look too big if he can continue to drive it far and straight this week.

Look out tomorrow for our top finishing position and other bets for the 2024 PGA Championship.

All odds listed from DraftKings, as of Tuesday May 14.

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