With our main team bets all in place for the PGA Championship it is time to turn our attention to the raft of speciality markets available with Paddy before the action gets underway on Thursday.
1st Round leader
The first thing we need to consider is the weather forecast and this is even more important on a course like TPC Harding Park, which can potentially be exposed to wind. Thursday indicates light winds early in the morning, increasing to gusts of 20mph+ as the day goes on.
So I am keen to focus on the early starters.
The first who jumps out at me from the morning tee times is Harris English. The 31-year-old is fancied to produce a big performance this week as his solid tee-to-green game looks ideal for this venue. English has been in tremendous form this season having posted 10 Top 20 finishes in 14 starts and a trademark has been the ability to get off to a quick start. Five times on day one, he has posted rounds of 66 or better.
Ad he’s win-less since 2014, it is probably too big an ask for English to return to the winner’s enclosure this week. However with a tee time of 9.12am local time (17:12 GMT) he can get out of the blocks quickly and reward us at juicy odds in a market where Paddy are paying to 7 places each-way before the field tees off.
I’m also keen to have Scottie Scheffler onside, who heads out in the first group off the 10th tee at 7.05am local time (15.05 GMT), so he will get fresh greens to take advantage of.
Like English, Scheffler has the perfect long game for TPC Harding Park and has returned to form the last couple of weeks after a post lock-down slump. In good form pre-lockdown, he posted seven sub 70 Thursday efforts in eight starts including two 65’s and a 62. He looks a player who can start quicly again.
Top Nationality markets
I am happy to take my chances on young Austrian, Matthias Schwab in the Top Continental European market. In his short time on the European Tour, Schwab has made his name as an ultra-consistent performer with a strong all-round game, who rarely turns in a bad week.
After a fine top four finish at the WGC HSBC Champions event, Schwab who attended college in the US is now turning his attention to a PGA Tour card and after a top three finish last weekend in the Barracuda Championship, he is on the verge of receiving temporary membership.
Jon Rahm is a worthy favourite in this market, however Hovland struggled last week and Stenson has only played once since lockdown so there is plenty of each-way scope for Schwab where Paddy is paying 1/4 the odds the first three each-way.
There are four runners here, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Brian Harman and Robert McIntyre and the one I want to be on here is Bubba Watson at 15/8.
Watson is on record as to saying how much he likes TPC Harding Park as it suits his right to left fade well. Phil Mickelson was in good form last week in Memphis however you never know what you’re going to get from him these days. With Watson also playing nicely last week I am expecting a strong showing from him.
Top 20 Finish
One who catches my eye here is Argentinian Emilliano Grillo. It’s been a lean time for Grillo of late but he bounced back with two top 10 finishes in his last two starts and this strong ball striker looks good value to produce another good week and post a top 20 at least.
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