USPGA Championship: Five boys to back at Bellerive

Golfer Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka is talking a good game this week, can he back it up?
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The Betfair golf team struck their 20th return of the year when Brooks Koepka placed at Firestone last week and the big-hitting American is part of the team for the final major of the year...

"Past leaderboards here suggest that power off the tee is off little relevance, whereas tee to green accuracy is at a premium. Russell is one of the best around in that regard, ranking sixth and 13th among these respectively for driving accuracy and greens in regulation on this season's PGA Tour."

*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 8 Places

Dave Tindall: Back Brooks Koepka @ 20/1

With niggling doubts hanging over many of his rivals, Brooks Koepka could prove something of an each-way steal at Bellerive this week. For starters, he just has the knack when it comes to majors (perhaps Jon Rahm should pay him for some advice). The American has played in 16 since the start of 2014, registering two wins, four further top sixes, a T10 and another six finishes of T21 or better. That's simply outstanding. In the US PGA he's gone 15-5-4-13 in the last four years so has landed the each-way cash twice in the last three years. And how about these words heading to Bellerive.... "It was as good as I've hit it in my pro career," said Koepka after finishing with a 67 for solo fifth. "I don't think I've ever driven it as well as I did. My iron play was fantastic, yardage control was great. The greens, I mean, I can't tell you how many lip-outs I've had. I feel confident going into next week, which is good. I love to be striking the ball well going into a major, that's a big key because you've got to be able to hit fairways, got to be able to hit greens." Having finished 1st for GIR at Firestone, everything suggests double US Open champ Koepka can cruise his way to another big finish in the majors.

Paul Krishnamurty: Back Russell Henley @ 80/1

In keeping with a longstanding USPGA trend, four of the last six champions were Americans winning their first major and they weren't all obvious by any means. With three PGA Tour titles to his name and top-30 finishes in seven of his last nine US majors, Russell Henley wouldn't look out of place among them. Prior to being forgiveably blown off course at Carnoustie, Henley had registered consecutive top-tens and I reckon he'll be very well suited to Bellerive. Past leaderboards here suggest that power off the tee is off little relevance, whereas tee to green accuracy is at a premium. Russell is one of the best around in that regard, ranking sixth and 13th among these respectively for driving accuracy and greens in regulation on this season's PGA Tour.

Steve Rawlings: Back Gary Woodland @ 125/1

As highlighted in the preview, there are a number of strong trends that look worth following in this championship. The last 27 major winners have been inside the world's top-50, 12 of the last 14 majors have gone the way of a first-time major championship winner and focusing on this specific major, the last 11 US PGA winners have finished inside the top-28 places at last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and 16 of the last 19 winners had already won earlier on in the season. Step forward world number 44, Gary Woodland, who's yet to win a major. He finished tied 17th at Firestone on Sunday and he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February so that's every box ticked and he's a juicy 125/1.

Joe Dyer: Back Kyle Stanley @ 90/1

The trends suggest the USPGA winner will have already tasted the sweet nectar of victory this season and while my man fails on that count, he has twice finished a runner-up including last week and looks a sporting price at 90/1. Stanley, 18th in the FedEx rankings, brings a very strong long game to Bellerive and one that is clearly in good nick following his runner-up finish at the WGC Bridgestone last time out. Stanley had also finished second place in June's Memorial tournament and his long accurate game off the tee will be a real weapon this week. A very solid pro whose game has really stepped up in the last year, it wouldn't surprise were he to finish high up the leaderboard at a USPGA and I'm happy to put him up as one of this week's quintet at what looks a big price.

Dan Thomas: Back Marc Leishman @ 60/1

It's not been a vintage year for a long-time favourite of the each-way column, Marc Leishman, but he showed plenty at Firestone to suggest odds of 60/1 this week are generous. The Australian was bang in contention going into the final round - tied fifth - and was well set for a decent finish before dropping four shots in the final six holes. Despite that horror finish, Leishman spoke positively about his game after the tournament and seems in confident mood as he looks to top last season's 13th in the USPGA. The 34-year old isn't overawed by the majors - he played well in coming ninth at Augusta this season - and I'm hopeful he can land us a place at the least.

2018 Season P/L to date: + £279.33

- WGC-Bridgestone, Brooks Koepka @ 25/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- The Open, Tiger Woods @ 30/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Scottish Open, Ryan Fox @ 45/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Irish Open, Russell Knox @ 28/1 - WIN (Dave)
- BMW International Open, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Steve)
- BMW International Open, Martin Kaymer @ 33/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Italian Open, Lee Westwood @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- BMW PGA Championship, Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Belgian Knockout, Benjamin Hebert @ 50/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Belgian Knockout, Jorge Campillo @ 28/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Rocco Forte Open, Lucas Herbert @ 125/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Golf Sixes, South Korea @ 16/1 - PLACE (Steve & Paul)
- Volvo China Open, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 200/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- US Masters, Bubba Watson @ 16/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Hero Indian Open, Andrew Johnston @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Oman Open, Jorge Campillo @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Maybank Championship, Shubhankar Sharma @ 60/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Dubai Desert Classic, Alex Levy @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- UBS Hong Kong Open, Paul Peterson @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)

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