The outsiders to keep an eye on at Bethpage
Here are my PGA Championship outside bets. You can see my outright tips here.
PGA Championship outside bets: Jason Kokrak (140/1)
With four top 10s in his last seven starts, and some Bethpage Black form to boot, it’s hard to see why Jason Kokrak is this big a price.
But the bookies’ lethargy here might provide an opportunity for us – by backing a player who hasn’t missed a cut all season.
Tied 9th at the Honda, tied 10th at the Arnold Palmer, tied for 2nd at the Valspar and in the top 10 at the Texas Open, those aren’t the results of a no-hoper.
Strong from tee to green, it’s only on the putting surface that Kokrak has proved in any way mediocre on the stats.
So it’s probably a good job that Bethpage’s greens aren’t the most contoured – as long as you can find them.
He was 7th on this course in 2016 and has PGA Championship form that’s continued to improve in each of the last three years.
He was tied for 19th at Bellerive last August and I’m hopeful a decent return might be coming our way.
PGA Championship bets: Jorge Campillo (250/1)
This is a speculative punt, given it’s only the Spaniard’s third major appearance and he has yet to make a cut.
But I’m a big believer that form builds confidence and there can’t be too many players with a bigger strut than Jorge Campillo at the moment.
He’s been on quite a run, which continued with a podium performance at the Volvo China Open.
That 3rd place in Shenzhen followed hot on the heels of his victory in Morocco at the Trophee Hassan II.
Third at the Indian Open, and tied 2nd in both Qatar and Oman, his worst finish on the European Tour in his last six starts has been a very creditable tied 20th at the Maybank Championship.
Now he’s going toe-to-toe with the best in the world on an exceptionally difficult golf course. But I’ll be slinging a pound or two his way.
PGA Championship outside bets: Ryan Moore (150/1)
Ryan Moore may only have enjoyed two top 10s this year but both boosted the bank balance considerably – the first at the Safeway Open when he finished tied for runner-up and the second much more recently at the Texas Open.
He’s not the longest driver in the world by any stretch (ranked 191st on the PGA Tour), which you think would be a negative at this 7,500 yard monster, but he’s very accurate with a long stick in his hand.
Moore hits more than 72% of his fairways and that’s an attribute at Bethpage, where the challenge is as much about getting it on the short stuff as anything.
Moore’s consistently played well at Bethpage in the past. Tenth at the US Open in 2009, he was 24th and then 7th on the two occasions the course hosted the PGA Tour Play-offs.
The course is never set up that much differently from event to event. So I will forgive his lacklustre week at Trinity Forest last time out and hope he’ll be inspired by a layout that’s going to cause many of his fellow competitors a great deal of pain.