US PGA Championship

US PGA Championship 2023 First-Round Leader Tips: Have faith in 50/1 Fleetwood

England's Tommy Fleetwood
England's Tommy Fleetwood can burst out of the traps

It's the second Major of the season and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets to be first-round leader at Oak Hill...

  • 50/1 Tommy Fleetwood can go low in Majors

  • 33/1 Patrick Cantlay is a great fit and starts fast

  • 80/1 Patrick Reed loves the vibe of New York crowds


Weather forecast for Thursday

Wrap up warm if you're heading to the see the opening tee shots. It's struggling to reach 40 degrees for the first hour of play.

As is typical of the area, it warms up in the afternoon and the p.m. wave get temperatures in the 60s but with perhaps a tad more wind (6-9mph for p.m. v 5-6mph for a.m.).

But with such cool conditions and the ball not flying far for the morning starters, I'll go for three picks with an afternoon tee time.

Tommy Fleetwood @ 50/1

Tommy Fleetwood has the desired afternoon tee time, the Englishman heading off at 1.25pm on Thursday.

Fleetwood hasn't managed to crack a Major over 72 holes but he's certainly pulled out some excellent single laps.

In this event he was third after day one at nearby Bethpage in 2019 while a Friday 64 lifted him from 48th to second at halfway a year later at Harding Park.

A fast finish in last year's PGA Championship at Southern Hills took him to fifth place.

Fleetwood was also fourth after round one and fourth at the finish in the 2017 US Open and he closed with a stunning 63 to be runner-up a year later at Shinnecock.

In the Open Championship he was third after the first round at Royal Portrush, ninth following the opening lap at Royal St George's and closed 66-67 at St Andrews to leap from 36th at halfway to finish fourth.

His game looks in excellent shape for this latest attempt to land a Major and he was the first-round leader at the Wells Fargo Championship on his final warm-up thanks to a 65.

You'll also find rounds of 65 in Fleetwood's scorecards at Hilton Head and TPC Sawgrass so hopefully he'll sign for his low one late on Thursday afternoon.

Back Tommy Fleetwood each way

50/1

Golf... Only Bettor - Watch Here!


Patrick Cantlay @ 33/1

I didn't manage to get Patrick Cantlay into my each-way preview because you can only pick so many and others were slightly preferred at the prices.

But I do think he has a heck of a chance this week and this could be a good way to play him.

Cantlay looks a great fit for the course and will tackle it first on Thursday afternoon from his 1.58pm tee time. That likely puts him in the right half of the draw for this market.

What's more, the American is 3rd for Late Round 1 Scoring this season which further suggests the planets are aligned.

Comments from the course suggest driving is important and it reminds many of other famed layouts in the region such as Winged Foot and Bethpage.

Cantlay is 3rd for Strokes Gained: Off The Tee and was in the top 10 after the first day at Bethpage in the 2019 US PGA Championship.

Fifth after round one at Bay Hill and seventh on the closing Thursday leaderboard at Quail Hollow, I'll take Cantlay at 33s.

Back Patrick Cantlay each way

33/1

Patrick Reed @ 80/1

Patrick Reed looks a fascinating contender this week.

Always best with a chip on his shoulder, he'll want to show that he can still make waves in the Majors despite moving over to LIV.

He did just that when fourth in last month's Masters and he's ticked over nicely enough since then.

Reed has an exceptional record in north-east of America and particularly seems to revel in the company of New York/New Jersey crowds.

He was the first-round leader of the 2016 Barclays at Bethpage which he won and second after 18 holes and first after 36 in the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot.

A winner of the 2019 Northern Trust in New Jersey and also fourth in the 2020 US Open at Shinnecock, we even got a recent reminder in LIV golf when a 66 gave him the first-round lead at Trump National in NJ.

There are plenty of good signs that he thrives from his 1.03pm tee time and 80/1 seems a nice price.

Back Patrick Reed each way @

80/1

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