US PGA Championship latest odds, news and free bets

Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els have been the three surprise winners of the first three majors of 2012 and we’re likely to see another big-priced winner at Kiawah Island this week when the 2012 PGA Championship is played

This golf course was the scene of the 1991 Ryder Cup and features some tricky holes including the par-3 17th where the green is an island delicately surrounded by water which is sure to suck in a few balls over the coming days.

It certaily hasn’t paid to back the favourites in the majors this year and the bookmakers are happy to take on the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald, while Lee Westwood is the biggest price he’s been to win any tournament this year.

Woods is a best price 10/1 (Paddy Power free bets) to claim his fifth PGA title although the American’s purple patch came five years ago and his last major success was the US Open in 2008. Sure, he’s been in contention a few times since but the standard is just significantly higher now.

McIlroy is a 20/1 chance (William Hill free £25 bet) and has been out of sorts for a few months, while Donald is also a 20/1 chance and at least found himself in contention at the Open Championship even if he rarely threatened the top of the leaderboard.

One player who has shortened dramatically in the betting is Keegan Bradley, last year’s US PGA winner who claimed victory in a play-off against Jason Dufner. The 26-year-old will arrive in South Carolina brimming with confidence after winning the Bridgestone Invitational last week and can be backed at 40/1.

Dufner is another who has to be respected and the American seems to be in contention nearly every time he plays which explains why he is shorter in the betting than most compatriots at a best price of 30/1 (BetVictor).

Nevertheless, it was the old-timers of Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker that chased Bradley home last week and both are sure to handle the difficult conditions in this last major of the year, with Stricker having yet to win a major despite the 45-year-old having had a seriously impressive career to date. He’s a 40/1 chance this time around.

Perhaps this is the major where Westwood surprises everyone although punters will have grown tired of backing the Englishman who has had so many chances to win a major tournament on the final day.

Webb Simpson is back in the saddle after becoming a father but might be a little ring rusty, while Open winner Ernie Els is available at 66/1 following his dramatic win at Lytham which left poor Adam Scott wondering where it had all gone wrong.

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