USPGA CHAMPIONSHIP PICKS

It's the second stop of a massive 2 weeks in the race for the coveted positions at the top of the money list as the last of this year's majors hits Whistling Straits in Wisconsin....

As mentioned in last week's Bridgestone preview, there's 1 man who would love to get his hands on the trophy and that's home boy Steve Stricker. Battling Lee Westwood for the tag of best player without a major, Stricker who came closest to that feat in the USPGA 1998, couldn't wish for a better place than in front of his home crowd to get his hands on that elusive title. Jerry Kelly, Stricker's partner for last year's shark shootout is another from Wisconsin who wouldn't mind the trophy either and could be a decent outside pick for a top 10 or 20 after a 3rd place finish last week at Turning Stone.

Of the market leaders, Lee Westwood has now pulled out, Mickelson, as usual, offers little value and Tiger Woods was absolutely abysmal last week. He's never looked so disillusioned in all his days playing golf and while the weather should play a massive part this week at the USPGA Championships, I'll be focusing my picks mainly on players suited to windy conditions as they will have an advantage over the field should the winds blow as expected on the links style Whistling Straits course.

The Whistling Straits course facts:
It should be a very exciting week as the last of the year's majors takes place on the Pete Dye designed par 72 track playing to a yardage over 7,500. Whistling Straits is a links style course running along a stretch of coastline and wide open space and as mentioned, wind is expected to be a huge factor here. Greens are pretty large and undulating and there is sand everywhere and deep pot bunkers to avoid. Fairways are lined by dunes and long fescue grass awaits drives taken on the wind.

PGA Championship Picks
(Paddypower are paying 6 places)

Pick 1: Padraig Harrington E/W @ 25/1 (general) Harrington is simmering right now and it may just take the right type of course to get him going full throttle and he will relish the test at Whistling Straits especially if wind blows

Pick 2: Rory McIlroy E/W @ 16/1 (paddypower) Another well used to windy conditions and game looked in good shape at Bridgestone.

Pick 3: Steve Stricker E/W @ 28/1 (paddypower) Warmed up nicely last week and no doubt been thinking about this 1 all year. Home crowd can keep him going and spur him on.

Pick 4: Martin Kaymer E/W @ 55/1 (Paddypower) Another who is simmering at the moment and I always fancy him in the wind. He has the ability to shape the ball and keep it at a low ball flight.

Pick 5: Adam Scott E/W @ 80/1 (Totesport) Scott had a top 15 when the PGA was played here in 2004, knows how to play in the wind with his great ball striking and a good performance last week. Says he's very happy with his game at the moment and will be confident this week

Pick 6: Angel Cabrera E/W @ 100/1 (Paddypower) Man for the big occasion, wind won't bother him and game looked to be getting into gear last week

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Bryan Nicholson is the pioneer of the progressive form and course fit ratings for golf betting, with the associated progressive form model and course fit profiling model. Bryan is the author of the annual course fit profiling manual and #1 golf betting book Angles & Edges.


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What is expected Strokes Gained Course Fit ?

Bryan pioneered the concept of Expected Strokes Gained Course Fit (xSGF) in golf betting. xSGF can be predicted using my model below. For prospective golf betting tips it projects ahead of time how many shots a player is expected to pick up per round on average on a particular golf course. It's weighed against a neutral golf course of the same rating.

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