USPGA Championship 2019: Two-ball tips for round four

Golfer Sung Kang
Sung Kang is tipped to maintain his good run
Join today

Looking for a way to make the final round entertaining in the likely event of a Brooks Koepka runaway? Check out Paul Krishnamurty's three-ball plan, involving bets on 11 of today's groups...

"Sam Burns is precisely the sort of outsider that appeals in this scenario. He has bundles of talent and potential and still everything to prove."

Back Sam Burns 2u @ [3.3] (v Rose) (Starts 17.45)

With Brooks Koepka seven shots clear going into the final round and rated 90% likely to win his fourth major title at odds of [1.11], the race for the Wanamaker Trophy is all but settled. Happily there are plenty of alternative bets available to increase the entertainment value.

Four-way tie in the race without Koepka

The Betting Without Koepka market, for example, is a cracker. Four players are tied for second - three of whom were massive outsiders pre-tournament. The other is Dustin Johnson - available to back at [3.25].

We're already on two of the trio on -3, two shots behind. I'm hoping Adam Scott and Patrick Cantlay will drive each other forward in their two-ball and am not adding any new bets on this market, other than a couple of lay orders to cover the stake. A Cantlay place would also deliver that.

Updated Betting Without Koepka Positions

Place order to lay Adam Scott 10u @ [2.5]
Place order to lay Patrick Cantlay 10u @ [2.5]

Already advised

4u win Adam Scott @ 15/2
1u e/w Patrick Cantlay @ 40/1
1u e/w Louis Oosthuizen @ 33/1

Stick with those up with the pace

However if you're entering this market now, the best value may lie with those three currently tied with Johnson - Harold Varner, Luke List and Jazz Janewattananond. I suspect they will all trade a little shorter early in the round because few, if any, have made the early headway required to catch them.

Of course Dustin Johnson has a huge edge on them in terms of pedigree but perhaps we should be less dismissive of the rags than we would otherwise be in the final round of a major. There is of course nothing like the pressure in pursuing second so don't be surprised to see one of them rise to the occasion.

I certainly don't fancy those coming from further than two back, because it has been painfully apparent throughout that low scores are rare and catch-up golf extremely difficult at Bethpage. That trend also lies behind today's two-ball strategy.

The Tie could be better value than usual

Backing the tie rarely appeals from either a value or entertainment perspective. However with so little variance in the scoring - more than half of the field shot between -2 and +2 yesterday - 15/2 about the tie looks more generous than usual.

Especially in the two-balls which already look hard to call. My plan is to enjoy the earlier coverage cheering on the tie in eight matches with a 0.5 unit bet. See the list below - one tie will secure a profit.

Back the Tie 0.5u @ [8.8] in these eight matches

Kevin Tway v Kurt Kitayama (Starts 13.05)
Ross Fisher v Andrew Putnam (Starts 13.15)
Billy Horschel v Webb Simpson (Starts 16.05)
Emiliano Grillo v Joel Dahmen (Starts 16.15)
Aaron Wise v Tyrrell Hatton (Starts 16.35)
Jimmy Walker v Scott Piercy (Starts 17.35)
Lucas Glover v Lucas Bjerregaard (Starts 18.05)
Danny Lee v Danny Willett (Starts 18.25)

Back Paul Casey 3u @ [2.0] (v Mickelson) (Starts 14.15)

Three further singles are recommended. First, Paul Casey has finished many a major strongly from off the pace and rated much likelier to do so today than Mickelson. Pre-tournament I much preferred the former's long game accuracy and I reckon Phil might just have had about enough after yesterday's 76.

Back Sam Burns 2u @ [3.3] (v Rose) (Starts 17.45)

Sam Burns is precisely the sort of outsider that appeals in this scenario. He has bundles of talent and potential and still everything to prove. Obviously Rose is an extremely formidable opponent but today's round is ultimately neither here nor there for him.

Back Sung Kang 2u @ [3.1] (v Fowler) (Starts 18.35)

Ditto last week's winner as opposed to Rickie Fowler. Kang obviously likes Bethpage as he made the top-20 here in the 2016 Barclays, shooting 64 on Sunday. Coming off four sub-70 scores at the Byron Nelson, the Korean has yet to shoot over par this week.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

Paul Krishnamurty,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles