We’ve only just put a dramatic US Masters behind us but a change in scheduling means that the world’s best golfers are already preparing for the second Major tournament of the year. The USPGA Championship goes off at TPC Harding Park on Thursday May 20th with the winner being crowned four days later.
There’s interest from an Irish perspective but, as expected, the focus falls entirely on Rory McIlroy. The multiple major winner retains a high place in the sport’s global rankings but, as he celebrates his 32nd birthday, the wait for another big tournament win goes on.
Rory McIlroy will begin his preparations for the PGA Championship at one of his favourite events. The Wells Fargo Championship is the first Tour tournament in May and, in the history of the competition, McIlroy is the only man to have won it on more than one occasion.
Rory followed up his opening win in 2010 with a record breaking victory five years later. In beating Patrick Rodgers and Webb Simpson into second place by seven shots, he recorded the lowest aggregate, the lowest total to par and the biggest winning margin in the event.
McIlroy also finished as a runner up in the Wells Fargo Championship in 2012 so it’s no surprise to learn that he is the leading money earner in the history of the tournament. The Northern Irishman lines up at Quail Hollow again in 2021 but he’s one of the outsiders in a strong field that contains Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau.
It’s a similar story in the golf betting markets for the PGA Championship where Rory McIlroy is down among the chasing pack at odds of around 18/1. That currently makes him the sixth favourite while Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele all carry lower odds according to websites linked to asiabet.org.
The challenges don’t end with those five golfers and there are a number of men carrying similar odds to McIlroy. Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Reed are all Major winners who can offer a threat at TPC Harding Park. Hideki Matusyama is also listed in the chasing pack and, as he proved at Augusta, a surprise winner can never be ruled out.
As the Wells Fargo Championship, and other tournaments this month are completed, those PGA odds will adjust. Asiabet will react to those results and update the new golfing markets as they come in.
As an all-round package, readers can also find a number of new sportsbooks with a different set of funding options and many of those sites have welcome offers and free bets to consider.
The long wait Continues
Rory McIlroy had won three of golf’s four Major tournaments by the age of 25. He was some way below the point that players were expected to peak and many were predicting a host of big tournament wins moving forward. The Northern Irishman has continued to perform well on both of the main Tours but he has yet to add to his last Major victory – the PGA Championship in 2014.
For somebody who was expected to challenge Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus at the top of the overall Majors leaderboard, seven years represents something of a drought. To date, there have been four major wins for Rory and he needs to add the Masters in order to complete a clean sweep of the big four.
McIlroy will return to golf having taken a break since the Masters at the start of April. He will head to the Wells Fargo Championship on the back of three Missed Cuts in his last five starts and that’s clearly not ideal as he builds towards the second Major of 2021.
His last win of any kind came in November 2019 when he eased out Xander Schauffele in a playoff for the WGC HSBC Champions Trophy. In between those missed cuts are two top ten finishes in the WGC Workday Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Rory McIlory’s recent results are, to say the least, mixed. Inconsistent form means that few expect him to succeed at the PGA Championship but perhaps he needs to go under the radar and avoid the pressure that goes with the usual higher expectations.