USPGA Championship Betting Tips From Steve Palmer

Prolific Racing Post tipster Steve Palmer has joined BoyleSports on golf tipping show The Sweet Spot to pick out his fancies for this week’s USPGA Championship.

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The Venue

Southern Hills can stretch to 7,556 yards and it’s a par 70. They can fiddle with the yardages as the week goes on depending on the weather, but it can be that long and there are only two par 5s. It has hosted majors in the past, the most recent of which was the 2007 USPGA won by Tiger Woods.

But the course is a lot different to how it was back then as it was completely redesigned in 2019. It used to be really tight, with heavy rough around the greens, now it’s completely open with no rough around the greens.

The toughest test this week will be on approach. The greens are like upturned saucers; they will repel mis-hit approaches and send them down sharp slopes. Approach is key, as is scrambling.

The weather can change, but as things stand you’d want an early tee-time on Thursday as a calm morning is forecast, but Thursday afternoon is expected to be very windy. Friday morning is also expected to be windy, but it tails off a bit in the afternoon.

Southern Hills has hosted ten significant events and the 36-hole leader has won all of them, which is an incredible stat, so the first two days could be all-important.

Headline Tip

I can see Scottie Scheffler (10/1) completing the second leg of a grand slam on Sunday. He should be clear favourite. He’s undoubtedly the best player in the world at the moment, he’s won four of his last seven tournaments as an individual. Last week he cruised through the Byron Nelson with four rounds in the 60s for 15th place.

He had a triple bogey last week at the 13th in round two, but aside from that he was excellent, working the ball both ways with ultra comfort and there are loads of dog-legs this week at Southern Hills. He was superb on approach and that’s the key to success here.

He was a bit sloppy with the putter last week, but the competitive instinct will kick in this week as he tees it up at his favourite golf course. He won a college event here in 2015, he says he loves the changes and they’ve actually made his favourite track suit him even better.

He shot 64 here in a practice round the other day and reports say he hardly holed a putt, so he knows how to play this course which is only four hour’s drive from his house.

Next Best

Patrick Cantlay (18/1) is the Fed-Ex Cup champion, a PGA Tour player of the year, a six-time PGA Tour champion on his own and last time out he won the Zurich Classic pairs event with Xander Schauffele. Cantlay was the key to their success there and he is good at everything; mentally as strong as he’s ever been.

He’s been beaten in two play-offs this year and one of them came a week before the Zurich Classic, but the following week he led the team superbly. He’s been touted as a major champion and I think he goes close this week to a breakthrough. He was world number 1 amateur and has had his injury problems, but he’s a complete player now and his USPGA record is consistent (33, 27, 3, 43 and 23).

It’s important to make your Ryder Cup debut, particularly if it goes well and he made a superb debut, unbeaten throughout and easily won his singles match. It’s natural career progression now to go on and win his first major, just as Scheffler did after his Ryder Cup debut.


I think Shane Lowry (22/1) will lead the European challenge this week. He’s been in rock solid form all year and while people go on about the luck of this Irish, he’s had none this year. He was runner-up in the Honda Classic but was really unlucky to get caught in a heavy burst of rain and it made the 72nd hole very difficult.

He went well in the Players Championship to finish 13th, four rounds in the 60s at the Valspar, then he contended at The Masters, finishing 3rd despite a triple bogey on the Sunday. He was 3rd the week after at the Heritage, so his game is in fantastic nick.

Lowry is 4th on the PGA Tour for strokes gained approach, a really eye-catching stat. His peers worship his ability around the greens and there’s a bit of win in the forecast, another positive for Lowry. He can deliver in the big events.

The best outsider in my opinion is Cameron Young (50/1), a rising star of the PGA Tour. He was 2nd the Genesis Invitational in February in a world class field, 3rd in the Heritage in April and 2nd in the Wells Fargo the week before last.

Can his first ever PGA Tour win come in a major? It’s entirely feasible, in 2003 Ben Curtis did it in The Open and Shaun Micheel done it in the USPGA in the same year.

Cameron Young is better than those two, he’s got loads of power and the rest of game is getting more polished. Keegan Bradley won the USPGA on his tournament debut, Collin Morikawa did too and Cameron Young is capable of doing likewise.

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More about the author

Steve has been a Racing Post columnist, golf tipster and punter and is one of the most well-known tipsters in the country.