Rory McIlroy is in great form heading into the USPGA Championship.

McIlroy is no Hollow USPGA Championship Favourite

Rory McIlroy is in great form heading into the USPGA Championship.

The USPGA Championship rounds out the year’s golf majors and it is mighty hard to get away from Rory McIlroy in the light of the Briton’s course form data and recent performances.

McIlroy loves Quail Hollow, the USPGA Championship venue that has featured on the USPGA Tour for many years, most recently as the home of the Wells Fargo Championship. Quail Hollow was the site of McIlroy’s maiden USPGA Tour victory when he finished four strokes clear of Phil Mickelson in 2010. And McIlroy shot a remarkable 21-under-par total at Quail Hollow in 2015 to beat everyone by at least seven strokes. McIlroy’s seven Quail Hollow appearances have resulted in two firsts, one second, one fourth, one eighth, one 10th and one missed cut. No-one in the 156-man USPGA Championship field can match McIlroy’s Quail Hollow form figures – one will give honourable mentions to Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Lucas Glover and Phil Mickelson.

Quail Hollow is extremely long for a par-71 layout and, with rain forecast to fall both before and during the event, it is going to play even longer than its raw yardage. Two of the last three Wells Fargo Championship winners – JB Holmes in 2014 and McIlroy in 2015 – ranked first for driving distances and none of the Quail Hollow victors since 2010 have been lower than 25th on that particular statistic. Yes, Furyk has performed well at Quail Hollow and he is not long off the tee but the golfer with the famously strange swing has missed the cut on each of his last two starts there.

McIlroy, whose last two efforts have produced fourth- and fifth-place finishes, seems to have rediscovered his mojo leading into a major tournament on one of his favourite courses. McIlroy is trading at odds of +700  with Ladbrokes to win the USPGA Championship and that is a decent offer.

Turning to USPGA Championship 72-hole match bets, Mickelson has to be of interest given his Wells Fargo Championship results at Quail Hollow in reverse chronological order are fourth, fourth, 11th, third, 26th, ninth, second, fifth, 12th, third, 35th, seventh and fifth. Mickelson’s five major titles demonstrate that he is rock solid on the big stage, which is what one wants from a match betting prospect.

Marathonbet is listing odds of -103  about Mickelson getting the better of Matt Kuchar in the USPGA Championship. The USPGA Championship will be Kuchar’s first major since The Open in which the likeable American had no answer to the burst of brilliance that Jordan Spieth produced in Royal Birkdale’s back nine during an unforgettable final round. Kuchar has missed the cut on each of his last two Quail Hollow appearances, losing to Mickelson in each of their five Wells Fargo Championship clashes at the venue.

Finally, Thorbjorn Olesen is worth supporting at odds of +120  with several bookmakers, including BetVictor, Bwin and Unibet, to be the USPGA Championship’s top Danish performer.

Olesen missed the 2014 Wells Fargo Championship cut at Quail Hollow but he has made the weekend in each of his last seven tournaments – including two top fours – and one is unwilling to place too much emphasis on just one piece of course form. His Danish compatriots with USPGA Championship entries are Soren Kjeldsen and Thomas Bjorn. Kjeldsen has not seen Quail Hollow, his recent numbers are not quite as good as those of Olesen and driving distance is not his strong suit. Bjorn is another Quail Hollow debutant and, having slipped out of the world’s top 500, his best days are long gone.

Tips Summary

Rory McIlroy to win the USPGA Championship
Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th August
Odds:  +700

Mickelson to beat Kuchar at the USPGA Championship
Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th August
Odds:  -103

Thorbjorn Olesen to be the top Danish performer at the USPGA Championship
Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th August
Odds:  +120

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