Golf Betting Tips: US PGA Championship Predictions, Preview and Best Bets

The PGA Championship returns this week, featuring some of the world’s top golfers. As always, John Pentin is back after his win last week, to offer his best bets, predictions, and a complete preview for the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

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US PGA Championship Betting

US PGA Championship Betting Tips | Thursday 16th May to Sunday 19th May 2024


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Tournament Overview

History of the PGA Championship

The Professional Golfers’ Association of America was established in February 1916, just a month after a luncheon hosted by wealthy store owner Rodman Wanamaker. This meeting set the agenda for the formal organisation of the PGA. The first PGA Championship was held in October 1916, but the tournament was not conducted in 1917 and 1918 due to World War I, and in 1943 due to World War II. This year marks the 106th edition of the championship.

Initially staged in August as the PGA Tour season concluded, the US PGA Championship was often seen as the least prestigious of the four majors. The introduction of the FedEx Cup Series in 2007 did not help this perception. However, to elevate its status, the PGA Tour schedule was revised in 2019, moving the Championship to May, making it the second major of the year.

This year, the Championship returns to Valhalla Golf Club, ten years after Rory McIlroy secured his fourth and last major win here.

Valhalla Golf Club

Valhalla Golf Club, located in Louisville, Kentucky, is a par-71 course stretching 7,457 yards. Designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened in 1986, the course has undergone several renovations, the latest in 2021.

The course features water hazards on seven holes and has the typical Nicklaus design elements, including wide fairways and penal roughs. The fairways are made of Zeon Zoysiagrass, while the rough comprises thick Kentucky Bluegrass.

Valhalla is known for its long, undulating, tree-lined fairways and visually appealing landscape. It includes several risk-reward holes, such as the short par-four 13th with its bunker-laden fairway and small elevated green, and the slightly longer par-four fourth, which yielded eight eagles and 147 birdies during the last PGA Championship held here.

The course’s finishing hole, a reachable par-five, was the easiest hole in the 2014 Championship, averaging 4.49 for the week. The par-five seventh hole, which features two fairways, offers players the choice between attempting to reach the green from the smaller fairway or taking a safer route.

Valhalla has previously hosted three US PGA Championships, two Senior PGA Championships, and the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Key Skills and Challenges at Valhalla

Given Valhalla’s layout and design, length off the tee is crucial, but not at the expense of accuracy. The thick rough will punish wayward drives, making precision equally important. Previous winners at Valhalla, such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, were among the longest drivers in their respective years of victory. However, Mark Brooks, the 1996 champion, was known for his accuracy rather than his distance.

The course rewards those who excel in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation (GIR). In 2000, Tiger Woods and Bob May, who contested the playoff, ranked first and second in GIR. Similarly, Rory McIlroy ranked 10th in GIR when he won in 2014.

Putting is also a vital skill at Valhalla. The top three finishers in both 2000 and 2014 were all within the top 10 for Putting Average. The ability to play the par-fives well will be crucial this week, as demonstrated by Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in their respective victories, both of whom played the par-fives exceptionally well.

Course Strategy

To succeed at Valhalla, players must balance power and precision. While driving distance can provide a significant advantage, accuracy is equally important to avoid the penal rough. Players who can hit a high number of greens in regulation and perform well on the greens will have the best chance of contending.

Risk-reward holes like the 13th and the 18th will test players’ strategic decision-making. Those who can capitalise on these opportunities while minimising mistakes on the tougher stretches of the course will find themselves in a strong position come Sunday.

Weather and Coverage

The weather forecast for this week predicts mild conditions, with occasional rain that could soften the course and make it more receptive. This might favour the longer hitters who can take advantage of the softened fairways and greens.

The tournament will start at 13:00 UK time on Thursday.

Recent Performances and Player Analysis

Recent Winners and Their Strategies

Examining the last 12 US PGA Championship winners provides insights into the types of players who succeed in this event. Notably, players like Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy have leveraged their driving distance and strong iron play to secure victories.

Brooks Koepka, a three-time winner in the last six years, demonstrates the importance of a powerful yet precise game. His ability to perform under pressure and his exceptional play on the par-fives have been pivotal.

Rory McIlroy, who won in 2014, played the par-fours better than anyone else and was exceptional off the tee. His recent form, including victories at the Zurich Classic and the Wells Fargo Championship, indicates that he is peaking at the right time.

Key Contenders


Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler, the world number one, is in outstanding form, having won four of his last five starts, including the Players Championship and the Masters. Scheffler’s consistent performances have been marked by his exceptional ball-striking and ability to handle pressure on the biggest stages.

His recent break from competitive golf due to the birth of his first child might impact his focus, but it could also provide a fresh perspective and renewed energy. Historically, the “nappy factor”—a boost in performance following the birth of a child—has positively influenced many athletes. With his solid all-around game and mental toughness, Scheffler’s overall form makes him a strong contender at Valhalla.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy arrives in Kentucky full of confidence after recent victories, including a dominant performance at the Wells Fargo Championship and a win at the Zurich Classic alongside Shane Lowry. McIlroy’s history at Valhalla is particularly noteworthy, as he won his last major here in 2014. His performance at Quail Hollow, a course similar to Valhalla, was particularly impressive, showcasing his ability to drive the ball long and straight—a crucial advantage on this course.

McIlroy’s familiarity with Nicklaus-designed courses and his recent form suggest he could be a strong contender for his third US PGA Championship title. His game appears to be peaking at the right time, and his confidence is sky-high, making him one to watch closely.

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka, the defending champion, has shown he can perform in major championships regardless of recent form. Known for his ability to rise to the occasion, Koepka has a remarkable record in majors, including three US PGA Championship titles. His victory at LIV Golf Singapore indicates he is hitting form at the right time.

Koepka’s ability to elevate his game in majors makes him a perennial threat. His powerful driving and steady putting are well-suited to the challenges of Valhalla. Despite some ups and downs in his recent performances, his knack for peaking during majors cannot be underestimated.

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa, the 2020 US PGA Champion, is in good form and has a strong track record on Nicklaus-designed courses. His precision iron play and calm demeanour under pressure make him a formidable competitor. Morikawa’s recent performances, including a respectable ninth at the RBC Heritage, suggest he could be in contention.

He has a history of rising to the occasion in major tournaments, and his ability to stay composed on challenging courses like Valhalla will be a key asset. Morikawa’s consistency and experience in high-stakes situations make him a strong contender for another major title.

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm, the current world number two, is another formidable contender for this year’s PGA Championship. Rahm’s recent form has been nothing short of spectacular, with several top finishes on both the PGA and European Tours. Known for his powerful drives and exceptional iron play, Rahm has the skills to tackle Valhalla’s demanding layout.

His performance at the Masters, where he finished strongly, highlights his ability to compete in major championships. With a well-rounded game and a fierce competitive spirit, Rahm is poised to make a significant impact at Valhalla. His ability to handle pressure and perform under the spotlight makes him a serious threat in this year’s tournament.

Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay is another player to watch at the PGA Championship. Cantlay’s impressive track record on Nicklaus-designed courses, including his strong performances at Muirfield Village, makes him a natural fit for Valhalla. Cantlay’s game is built on precision and consistency, key attributes for navigating the course’s intricate design. He has been in excellent form this season, with multiple top-10 finishes and a notable win at the ZOZO Championship.

Cantlay’s calm and calculated approach to the game, combined with his ability to perform well in tough conditions, positions him as a strong contender for the title. His tactical play and mental fortitude will be crucial assets in his quest for a major victory.

Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland, the young Norwegian sensation, has quickly established himself as a rising star in the golfing world. Hovland’s recent performances, including a strong showing at the Masters and a win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, demonstrate his capability to compete at the highest level.

Known for his impressive ball-striking and solid putting, Hovland has the tools needed to excel at Valhalla. His ability to remain composed and focused in high-pressure situations makes him a dangerous competitor. As he continues to gain experience in major championships, Hovland’s potential to secure a breakthrough victory grows. His dynamic play and youthful confidence could see him make a significant impact at this year’s PGA Championship.

Predictions for US PGA Championship

Free Tip: Back Rory McIlroy to Win

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Rory McIlroy’s form and familiarity with Valhalla make him a strong candidate for victory. His recent wins at the Zurich Classic and Wells Fargo Championship have not only boosted his confidence but also showcased his peak form. McIlroy’s history at Valhalla is particularly noteworthy, as he won his last major here in 2014, demonstrating his ability to excel on this course.

McIlroy’s driving distance and accuracy, coupled with his strong iron play, are perfectly suited for Valhalla’s layout. His ability to hit long and straight drives will give him a significant advantage on the course’s lengthy and challenging holes. Additionally, his exceptional putting has been a key factor in his recent successes, making him a formidable competitor. With his game appearing to peak at the right time, McIlroy is well-prepared to contend for his fifth major title. His familiarity with the course, combined with his current form, suggests he is ready to reclaim the title at Valhalla.

McIlroy’s strategy often revolves around taking calculated risks, especially on the par-fives, where his distance off the tee allows him to reach greens in two shots, setting up numerous birdie opportunities. His recent performances highlight his ability to handle pressure and maintain composure, crucial attributes for a major championship. Given his track record and current momentum, backing Rory McIlroy to win is a solid bet.

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John Pentin
Born and raised in London, John has always been in love with sport. He started successfully his own blog back in 2006, while writing for football in several newspaper. John has also worked with several betting operators as sports trader and has joined since the start in 2013. John is now head of the content team at