Some of the best in the business have won the USPGA Championship over the years, including back-to-back triumphs for Tiger Woods in 2006 and 2007. However, this is also a major golf tournament which is capable of producing surprises, including victory for Korean player Yang Yong-eun in 2009, followed by Martin Kaymer of Germany in 2010.
Matsuyama aims to continue his rise
Hailing from the land of the rising sun, Hideki Matsuyama also raised many eyebrows when he won the 2021 Masters Tournament, becoming the first Japanese golfer ever to win one of the four major championships. After winning the first major golf tournament of the year, the 29-year-old is now looking to repeat that feat at the USPGA Championship.
Despite the excellent Masters triumph at Augusta, the latest golf betting odds price Matsuyama as a 28/1 shot for victory at the 2021 USPGA Championship. Due to be held at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, the early favourite is Rory McIlroy at 11/1 odds following his recent success at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
Amongst the leading challengers to lift the huge Wanamaker Trophy will be American golfers Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas, along with John Rahm of Spain. They all feature at 14/1 odds, although the best golf tips indicate there could be more surprises in store at Kiawah Island, when the tournament is held between 20th and 23rd June.
Can Morikawa challenge to retain his title?
Having already made an exceptional start to his promising professional career, 24-year-old Collin Morikawa upset the odds to win the 2020 USPGA Championship, beating fellow American Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey of England by two strokes. That landed Morikawa the $1.98 million winner’s share of the overall $11 million prize fund.
Taking his 25/1 odds into account, defending champion Morikawa is considered to be an outsider to retain his title this year. The only tournament victory so far in 2021 came at the WGC-Workday Championship in February, followed by a disappointing display at the Players Championship in March, where Morikawa finished tied at 41st on the leaderboard.
Morikowa just couldn’t find his rhythm on the iconic TPC Sawgrass course, with Justin Thomas narrowly beating Lee Westwood to take the Players Championship title. Since then, Morikowa has finished T56 at the Dell Technologies Match Play, T18 at the Masters Tournament. However, indications of a return to form came with a T7 finish at the RBC Heritage recently.
USPGA packed with top golfing talent
In the world of professional golf, it’s all about hitting peak form at just the right time. According to the latest Official World Golf Ranking, the best player around right now is Dustin Johnson, who also ended 2020 rated as the top golfer. That said, his form in 2021 has been somewhat shaky, since winning the Saudi International in February.
Johnson is followed by Justin Thomas at second and Jon Rahm at third in the rankings, who have switched positions since the end of last year. Clearly, they will be the trio to beat for anyone hoping to win the 2021 USPGA Championship, while Japanese golfer Matsuyama will clearly fancy his chances, having climbed up to 15th in the rankings.