US PGA Championship

US PGA Championship 2024 Each-Way Tips: Picks from 25/1 to 200/1

American golfer Max Homa
Max Homa has turned his fortunes around in the majors

It's the second major of the season and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets for Valhalla...

The market for year's US PGA is dominated by two figures and understandably so with both coming into the event with form figures of 1-1.

That actually undersells Scottie Scheffler as his form since March reads a remarkable 1-1-2-1-1, one of those victories coming in the US Masters.

No wonder he's 7/24.50 favourite although becoming a new dad since his victory at the RBC Heritage the week after claiming a second green jacket could just put a few doubts in minds. Is he getting enough sleep? Will his focus be diluted? The usual overthinky stuff.

Rory McIlroy has been chopped to 7/18.00 after kick-starting his season on American soil with a win alongside Shane Lowry in the Zurich Classic pairs event followed by a stunning five-shot win (he was 11 strokes clear of fourth place) in the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday.

That was his fourth triumph at Quail Hollow and if feeling comfortable and winning again at the scene of a previous victory is a key part of Rory's psychological make-up (he also captured his fourth Dubai Desert Classic title back in January), a US PGA at Valhalla bodes well.

McIlroy was the champion the last time the Kentucky venue staged this event in 2014. Almost incredibly, it remains the scene of his last major win.

The Northern Irishman topped the Driving Distance stats that week - as did Tiger when winning the 2000 US PGA winner at Valhalla - and being able to give it a good biff from the tee on the Jack Nicklaus-designed 7,457-yard par 71 should again be important.

This is certainly not bomb and gouge though. The rough looks on the thick side and Rory and Tiger were also in the top dozen for Driving Accuracy when hoisting that massive Wanamaker Trophy.

Rory won with 16-under 10 years ago and US PGA tests have generally gotten tougher. Winning scores since Brooks Koepka secured the first of his three in 2018 show: -8, -13, -6, -5, -9.

The 2004 and 2011 Senior PGA Championships at Valhalla were both won with 8-under while Mark Brooks triumphed after firing 11-under there in the 1996 US PGA (Kenny Perry backers still shudder).

Back Max Homa (8 Places) @ 28/129.00

Like many, I was probably too eager to will Max Homa to a first major title.

His record in them was dreadful but because of his stellar record in other big PGA Tour events it was tempting to try and anticipate his first serious challenge for a major rather than react to it.

But now the timing looks right.

Homa missed the cut in seven of his first eight majors up until the 2021 US Open. The improvement from there was slow - he made the cut in six of the next eight although only once finished better than 40th - even though he was racking up PGA Tour wins at stellar events, his tally of six including two at the Wells Fargo and victories at Riviera and Torrey Pines.

Finally he put some yellow on his Wikipedia majors board with a slightly unexpected 10th place in the Open Championship at Hoylake last summer. "Finally played well in a major. Feels good," he said later.

The problem prior to that?

"Trying too hard, I guess, and kind of caring about the outcome instead of just trusting that over the course of 72 holes I'm a very good golfer and I will show that if I let myself. I think that's what I learned (at Hoylake)."

It proved a real confidence booster. From there, Homa was the top US points scorer in their Ryder Cup loss in Italy and won the DP World Tour's Nedbank Golf Challenge in November.

The Californian didn't set the PGA Tour alight in the opening months of the season but when he got the chance to show his new-found confidence in the majors he took it with third at the US Masters last month.

Homa's Augusta record before that was MC-MC-48-43; it was a significant improvement.

His assessment: "I feel like I took a big leap. The rhetoric on me, and this is from myself, as well, is I have not performed in these things, and I performed for all four days. I didn't throw a 65 in there and sneak my way in. I had to sleep on this every single day, this feeling and kind of this monkey on my back.

"I know I can play in these things well now."

It's the arc of Homa's journey in the majors that appeals most to me rather than thinking Valhalla is perfect for him.

But there are good reasons to believe that this lenghty course will suit.

He's long enough (averaging over 300 yards off the tee on the PGA Tour this season), has performed well at Jack's Muirfield Village (fifth and sixth on his last two starts at Memorial) and has form of 3-1-7-5-10 on the last five occasions he's played courses with Bentgrass the sole strain or at least in the mix.

A top eight at the Wells Fargo last week (Eighth Strokes Gained: Tee To Green) was a nice warm-up and perhaps now there's almost a feeling that his career has flipped having once been a regular PGA Tour winner who flopped in the majors.

While those wins have dried up a little, Homa has now become a challenger in the majors. After 10th and third in his last two, this could be his time.

I'll take the biggest price on offer and back him at 28/1 in the 8 Places market.

Back Bryson DeChambeau (10 Places) @ 25/126.00

Trying to pretend LIV golfers are losing a competitive edge while counting their cash is folly and Brooks Koepka showed that when winning last year's US PGA.

Koepka has to be a factor again at around 14/115.00 but at twice the price I like his fellow LIV defector, Bryson DeChambeau.

It's broadly true that major leaderboards tend to be populated by the same cast list when looking over a three-or-four year period and DeChambeau is definitely one of the current ensemble.

Fourth in the 2020 US PGA, he followed that with a breakthrough six-shot win in the US Open at Winged Foot.

In the last three seasons, DeChambeau has finished eighth in the 2022 Open Championship, fourth at the 2023 US PGA and sixth in last month's US Masters.

Since moving to LIV his form in US majors shows fourth, 20th, sixth and here we are on another track that will suit big hitters.

The Scientist's sixth at Augusta was his best Masters finish and, ironically given his power, he bemoaned later the fact that he hadn't cashed in on the par fives.

DeChambeau had four LIV top 10s in the build-up to the year's first major and, although he's not been as strong since with 26th and 27th in events in Australia and Singapore, back on familiar US turf he can hit the heights again.

The 30-year-old is a past champion at Nicklaus' Muirfield Village and his two LIV wins last season came on Bentgrass surfaces so he should fare well on these putting greens.

He's 28/129.00 for 8 Places or 25/126.00 for 10 and I'll take the latter.

Back Taylor Pendrith (12 Places) @ 200/1201.00

With a 12-place market on offer, it's worth perusing those much further down the odds and Taylor Pendrith has to be work a look at 200/1201.00 with form of 10-1-11-11.

The win came at the CJ Cup Byron Nelson two weeks ago and the 10th at Quail Hollow on Sunday.

The Byron Nelson triumph came on Bentgrass greens while he's made the top 15 in three of his last five starts on Nicklaus courses.

Pendrith is a huge hitter (ninth in Driving Distance) which looks a key asset for Valhalla and he's sixth this season for Strokes Gained: Putting.

He likes Kentucky too having finished sixth, 13th and 11th at the Barbasol Championship over the last three years.

Good enough to make the Internationals' Presidents Cup team in 2022, the only real question to ask about the 32-year-old is does he have any form in majors?

Well, he kind of does. Pendrith has played in just four but he's managed tied 23rd in the 2020 US Open at his first while he posted tied 29th on his US PGA debut last year.

For a guy who won two weeks ago, maybe this has Rich Beem vibes about it (Beem landed the 2001 US PGA a fortnight on from capturing The International).

In the major most similar to a regular PGA Tour stop, Pendrith (also 13th in the 2022 Players) has to be given consideration as a lively outsider at enormous odds.

Listen to Golf...Only Bettor US PGA Championship special

Now read Dave Tindall's 10 Year trends piece

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