Shane Lowry.

A confident USPGA eachway at 30-1

WARREN TODD’S 2022 USPGA PREVIEW:

Oh, we are onlyyyyy 50 odd hours from Tulsa…!

Yep, agreed, my remix doesn’t cut it at all against the timeless, amazing Gene Pitney original.

However, the USPGA Remix this year, changing from Trump Bedminster to Southern Hills, Tulsa could well be a welcoming light for us all this week.

Last year we were blessed with Kiawah for the USPGA, and was, for me, the most enjoyable Major of 2021. This year it could well be the same again at Southern Hills.  

With a set up similar to Augusta, and expected windy conditions usually seen at The Open, this year’s USPGA could feel like a fun hybrid of other Majors that we normally see in a golfing season.  

Whilst Southern Hills could measure up to 7,500 odd yards, the smaller-than-usual greens with severe run offs will require a focus on solid approach play and a very tidy short game to lift The Wanamaker Trophy Sunday evening.  

The bullet points below were the primary determining factors I took into account before deciding who to pick this week:

•             Solid recent form, a must for any potential USPGA Champion.

•             Decent wind player. Forecasts are for winds up to 30/40mph over the first 3 days.

•             Strong Strokes Gained Approach stats.

•             Exceptional short game stats, both greenside and bunker play.

Selections (20 point Staking Plan)

Shane Lowry 4pts EW at 30/1 Top 8 1/5th Odds (Betfred)

I make no apology for putting Shane Lowry in my staking plan again after a 50/1, 3rd-placed finish at Augusta won us some decent place money.

Checklist …
In form? 13th,3rd,3rd ,12th ,13th ,2nd last 6 strokeplay tournaments.

Decent wind player? Probably the best out there.

Approach Play? Very tidy this season.

Short game? Again, probably one of, if not the best out there, uses a lob wedge to devastating effect from anywhere within 100 yards and has an insane amount of shots in his repertoire. Shano is in the form of his life, conditions should suit him perfectly this week. Ignore at your peril, a very confident Main Selection.

Cameron Smith 3pts EW 25/1 Top 7 1/5th Odds (Unibet)

Before picking golf, you could have a thousand guesses as to what profession Smith excelled at if you saw him, but make no mistake, this kid has some game. He is very tidy from tee to green, but it is from within 100 yards out and on the actual putting green is where Smith really puts the after-burners on.

The best example I can give of that was when he needed to get up and down from around 90 yards on the 72nd hole at TPC, Sawgrass. The winner’s cheque was $3.6m and it was a hellish chip. He stiffed it, bagged the Win and did me a favour too with a nice profit on the week. Absolute nails!

He clearly loves the big occasions, as a 3rd place finish this year at The Masters will testify.

Most Aussies are more comfortable than their peers on Tour in windy conditions, and Smith is no exception. As with Shano, it is a lot of ticked boxes on the checklist for Smith at Southern Hills this week.

VALUE LONGSHOT: Anirban Lahiri has good, current form.

Anirban Lahiri 1pt EW 250/1 Top 10 1/5th Odds (General)

Lahiri is in the form of his life right now, and 250/1 is simply too big for a player that has some decent placed finishes the past few months. My idea of a lively outside bet this week.  

Max Homa 1pt EW 80/1 Top 8 1/5th Odds (b365)

It was a toss-up between Tyrell Hatton and Max for my final USPGA selection, and I decided to favour the cool, chilled persona of Max over Hothead Hatton. Twitter Legend Homa will be heading to Tulsa brimming with confidence after winning the Wells Fargo a fortnight ago in Maryland. Form has been rock solid all season, and is a player who really knuckles down when the going gets tricky.  

Collin Morikawa 2pts WIN 20/1 (Unibet)

Despite his patchy form this season, I cannot leave Morikawa out of The Staking Plan. His iron play is known by everyone to be by far the best out there, and is another player who seems to save his best golf for the Majors. We just need the putter to behave and he should be seen near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday evening. 

After a couple of runner-up selections the past fortnight with Main Selections Keegan Bradley (33/1) and Jordan Spieth (22/1) just falling short and finishing 2nd overall, let us hope we can go one better with my picks this week.

Good luck!

Wozza (golfbore71 on Twitter)  – IRC.

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