US PGA Championship 2015: Four plays for day one at Whistling Straits

Danny Lee is fancied to win his first round 3-ball at Whistling Straits on Thursday
Danny Lee is fancied to win his first round 3-ball at Whistling Straits on Thursday
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The final major of the season is upon us, and our man Dan Geraghty has selected a quartet of selections to consider from the first round three balls...


Recommended Bets

Back Nick Watney @ [2.9] (18:50)

Back Shaun Micheel @ [3.9] (18:30)

Back Justin Thomas @ [2.9] (18:30)

Back Danny Lee @ [2.8] (14:15)

Given the drama of Dustin Johnson's post round penalty and Martin Kaymer's playoff victory over Bubba Watson, Nick Watney is somewhat of a forgotten man in Whistling Straits 2010 history. Watney held a two stroke tournament lead going into that final round pairing with DJ, only to double the first and limp home in 81 strokes to finish 18th.

Watney has had a disappointing couple of years, only showing glimpses of the form that's taken him to five PGA Tour victories - however, he's made over $1.5 million this year, sits 58th in the FedEx Cup standings and perhaps most impressively, recently saved par from the toilets! Back at Whistling Straits I make him favourite for a three-ball with Joost Luiten and (actual favourite) Ian Poulter, who missed the cut in 2010.


Following a dismal few years, Y.E. Yang has regained a semblance of form in recent months, but I am eager to take on the short hitting South Korean, on a long soft golf course on Thursday. Yang missed the cut on his only visit here in 2010 and the same result has to be expected this week on a course that doesn't look to suit.

Playing partner Rich Beem spends much of his time these days commentating on the European Tour (and what a fine addition to the coverage he is), so by default, the selection is Shaun Micheel, who looks a big price to come out on top in a very winnable three-ball on day one. Micheel made the cut at Whistling Straits in both 2004 and 2010's tournaments, at the very least I think the disparity between his and Yang's prices is misguided.


Three tournaments ago Justin Thomas traded odds on to win a golf tournament (The Greenbrier Classic) and a couple of hours later finished 54th. It's a testament to his mental strength that he's posted top five finishes in his two starts since then and in such form I expect a strong showing on his first US PGA Championship start. Thomas hits the ball a country mile, so this week's conditions look ideal; he warmed up for the main event by teaming up with one Jordan Spieth and taking some of Phil Mickelson's hard earned cash in practice.

Playing partners are Jimmy Walker, who missed the 2010 cut and the talented Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who was a big disappointment at St Andrews recently.


Danny Lee's recent form is not just good, it's phenomenal. The New Zealander has risen to world number 57 off the back of a PGA Tour win (The Greenbrier Classic) and a further three top 10's in four events, including sixth at last week's WGC Bridgestone Invitational. All that's missing is a good performance in a major (he's yet to make a cut from three tries) and now is the time.

Steve Rawling's each-way selection Brandon Grace and big hitting Tony Finau are clearly formidable opponents, but Lee's confidence levels are at an all-time high, for me he's the man to beat.


Recommended Bets

Back Nick Watney @ [2.9] (18:50)
Back Shaun Micheel @ [3.9] (18:30)
Back Justin Thomas @ [2.9] (18:30)
Back Danny Lee @ [2.8] (14:15)


Follow me on twitter @dangeraghty10


2015 Two/Three-Ball P&L:


+32.72pts

*Based on one point per selection

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