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PGA of Australia
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The final major of the year is upon us and I personally feel that the oldest major of them all is a fitting finale. I played Royal Portrush back in May this year and it is in wonderful condition and I am sure the 148th edition of this wonderful championship is going to be one of the best yet.
When I was there you could feel the excitement in the air and that was two months before the players arrived. There are some great new editions to the course, the 7th is one of the new holes that have been woven into the original Harry Colt design for the championship and overseen by golf architect Martin Ebert of Mackenzie and Ebert.
All together there are five new greens, eight new tee boxes, 10 new bunkers and two new holes, being the 7th and 8th on land which was once part of the Valley course.
For me the par 4, 17th hole will prove pivotal, my playing partner and myself nearly drove the green from the white tees which measure 426-yards and while the championship tees will measure 473-yards it doesn’t play that length as the hole is downhill. There will be a lot of players in the field – depending on the weather of course – who could drive this hole if its dry and still even from the tips. Can you image a player two shots behind holing a tee shot on the 17th on the final day, I wonder what the odds on a hole-in-one on that hole are!
For another trusted Royal Portrush review click here
My tips to Win:
After just missing out on defending his US Open title to make it three wins in a row, Brooks Koepka 10/1 – with SportingBet – will be looking to add to his Major Championship trophy cabinet this week. It’s quite a record Brooks has in the Majors over the last couple of years and to defend his PGA Championship title and have runner-up finishes at both the Masters and the US Open this year, he will be the man to beat this week.
With two wins in three years at the Irish Open Jon Rahm 16/1 – with SportingBet – will certainly come into this week in buoyant move after his latest win and his bond with the Irish fans is becoming very special. A final round of 62 see Jon storm up the leaderboard eight-places and coming on the back of his third-place at the US Open I feel he is ready to become the next Spaniard to win a Major Championship.
Like most golf writers I have felt it wouldn’t be long before Xander Schauffele 28/1 – with UniBet – challenged for a Major Championship and I feel Royal Portrush sets up nicely for the Californian. I am sure Xander will be looking forward to this week after finishing runner-up last year at Carnoustie and with his runner-up finish at the Masters and a third-place at the US Open he will be looking forward this week.
It seems Henrik Stenson 30/1 – with Ladbrokes – is coming into form just at the right time. Henrik opened up with two rounds of 65 at the Scottish Open and finished off with a final round 66 to move into the Top 5. It has been a tough year for the Swede but with Top 10 finishes at both the US and Canadian Opens Stenson is bang in form coming to Royal Portrush.
This pick was between two Aussies but with Steve Williams on his bag I feel Jason Day 35/1 – with BetVictor – will be looking forward to this week and according to reports Williams has already had an input into Jason’s practice routine. Day has finished inside the Top 25 in all the Majors so far this year, with his best finish being a Top 5 at The Masters, but he will be looking to be in one of those final pairings come Sunday.
Could this finally be the time Ian Poulter 66/1 – with SportingBet – takes that step up and win a Major? His game is in great shape and we all know he can hole putts under pressure when it comes to the Ryder Cup but can he take that positive energy into a final round of a Major Championship, I think we are about to find out come Sunday afternoon.
Try Joaquin Niemann 175/1 – with SportingBet
As always good luck
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