LPGA PGA Championship Preview
By Ryan Hamilton – @Golftipster5
Its Major week on the LPGA this week. The Atlanta Athletic Highlands Course in Johns Creek, Georgia will host the 67th Edition of the PGA Championship. The world’s best 156 Golfers will bid to win the $675,000 1st prize as well as their place in history as the PGA Champion. Can anybody stop the Asian dominance in Majors? 13 of the last 16 Major winners are from Asia, 7 of them from South Korea. Quick PGA Winners Stat – 4 of the last 5 winners have all won their maiden Major at the PGA so could this week see another 1st time Major winner?
The Highlands course was designed by Robert Trent Jones & Joe Lee; however, Rees Jones was brought in in 2006 to redesign the course. The course measure 7,613 yards at its maximum but will play a little bit shorter this week at 6,831. The par 72 is made up of 4 par 3s,10 par 4s & 4 par 5s. The course hasn’t held an LPGA event since 1990 so there won’t be any course form this week. Keegan Bradley won his only Major here in 2011 & that was the last time this course held a major event. Keegan won with a score of -8 so I’d expect the course to be set up very similar to back in 2011 where shooting -2 for a round should be considered a very good round. The weather could play a part on Saturday & Sunday with Thunderstorms predicted similar to what we get for the Master’s so we could have a few lightning/storm Delays.
2020 – Sei Young Kim – Score -14
2019 – Hannah Green – Score -9
2018 – Sung Hyun Park – Score -10
2017 – Danielle Kang – Score -13
2016 – Brooke Henderson – Score -6
Nelly Korda – 14-1 SkyBet 6 Places
Nelly comes into this event off the back of her 2nd victory of the calendar year the only person to have multiple victories this year. The 14-1 odds back up the fact that she is currently even if not officially the best female golfer on the planet. Her scoring average this year is 69.41 over 34 rounds which ranks 2nd this year. The putting stats are where she can make up shots on the field this week, averaging 29 putts per round which is 16th on tour. As per most of the ladies on tour her driving accuracy & greens in regulation are in the 70s so when she gets the ball in play, she can use putting to her advantage this week. Nelly’s last 5 results are 1-MC-25-10-2
Shanshan Feng 28-1 Unitbet 6 Places
After taking over a year out of the game due to covid Shanshan returned at the ANA where it was like she hadn’t even stopped played competitively. In her 1st 2 majors this year she has finished 3rd & 4th so there is nothing to stop her believing she can win this week. Her solo Major win was the PGA back in 2012 but form suggests she’s peaking for this week. Recent finishes of 29-4-4MP-27-43 show she is closing on adding to her 10LPGA titles & Major No2. She isn’t the longest of hitters but if you hit 77% of fairways like she does it really doesn’t matter if you’re not a modern day bomber, this added 72% of greens in regulation should put her in a promising position come Sunday afternoon.
Hannah Green 40-1 Unibet 6 Places
The world No. 14 is due a win any time soon. Her form in recent weeks has been incredible it’s just missing that win. She won the PGA back in 2019 for her maiden Major & this week she can win it again. She was defending champion last year & still managed a top 25 finish so with the defending champion pressure gone she can play without the additional media duties. Her last 6 Strokeplay results are 45-3-62-7-2-3. There is no way she should be 40-1 this week. She is 7th this season in scoring average & ranks 1st in Putts per green in regulation. Her fairway hit percentage is relatively low at 63.6% but that is countered by her greens in regulation at 72.53% which ranks 42nd on tour.
Xiyu Lin 66-1 Betfair 6 Places
Lin is another golfer I feel this week is overpriced considering the form she is in. Her last 6 results are 15-26-7-MC-13-3. She is still waiting for her 1st LPGA victory which might be why the odds don’t give her the respect she deserves. Lin is still an 8-time winner on other tours such as Ladies European tour & the China LPGA which at only 25 years old is already a great career. Her best finish in a Major was last time out at the US Open where she finished 7th. She is another one of my picks this week which has an excellent scoring average this season, 70.37 which ranks her 18th on tour. All the other stats are solid & the main ones such as putting, Greens in Regulation & driving accuracy are all ranked 40th or better this year. Can she win her 1st LPGA title this week? Yuka Saso did it a few weeks ago in the US Open so there is no reason why she can’t do the same.
Matilda Castren – 90-1 Unibet 6 Places
After her breakthrough win at the Medihead Championship Matilda will be full of confidence heading into her 2nd PGA championship. She finished 23rd in her debut major last year & looks to improve on that in her 1st official year on tour. She ranks 2nd on the tour in Greens in Regulation with 77.8% & 44th in driving accuracy with 76.07% which should be vital to producing a winnable score if the putter can behave. The world no 71 last 5 results are 1-30-63-MC-12 which considering she has only had 15 starts is excellent form.
Leona Maguire 60-1 – another Top 5 last week to add to her growing top 10s on the LPGA, she will pick up her 1st win sooner rather than later
Angel Yin – 70-1 – Yin already has 16 top 10 finishes in her career, 3 of them in the last 4 weeks but she is also still waiting for her 1st LPGA title.
Good Luck with all Bets