PGA Championship First Round Leader

The first day of a Major Championship is a real treat and always an opportunity for punters to get ahead for the week after the first day. Sitting back with some profit already tucked away with hopefully a contender or two over the weekend is the ideal scenario and we'll try part one of that equation with a couple of bets on the first round lead.

The wind will certainly play more of a part on Friday it seems but gusts do appear on Thursday very late on and possibly the final number of groups out on day one will get the worst of the weather. Nevertheless, there doesn't appear to be any significant advantage to any part of the draw on day one and not many can be eliminated.

Corey Conners at 66/1 (Seven Places)

I'm looking for players here in round one who have a habit of hitting plenty of greens and who could put together a strong first round without necessarily being confident about contending the event. Corey Conners doesn't fit the bracket of someone who isn't capable of winning as he has shown real ability in majors lately, but he could be one to side with during round one also.

He has managed five top 20s in his last six majors and can clearly raise his game for these occasions. He ranks 10th in GIR on tour and has gone well lately with two top 7s in his last three round one efforts. I mentioned in the podcast he could be one of the shorter hitters who would have the long game to still compete here should he manage to hole a few putts across the week.

He is capable on any given day, but stringing four days of good putting together remains a task. He did exactly that last year at Kiawah Island when ranking 4th on the greens on day one on route to landing the first round lead by shooting 5-under and two clear of the likes of Koepka and Hovland. If he has another hot day on the greens he may just land that prize for the second year running.

0.5pt each-way C.Conners 66/1 (1/5 7)

PGA Championship First Round Leader

Henrik Stenson at 250/1 (Seven Places)

Finally, I'll have a small bet on Henrik Stenson. The Swede appears to have sorted out his long game and with that under extreme pressure this week I feel he could outplay his odds. It has been that long since he has contended an event though I find it hard to see him sticking around, but the first round lead is a possibility. Last time out at the Byron Nelson he missed the cut on the number (-4) whilst hitting 31 of the 36 greens (86%). He also hit 24 of 28 fairways.

His work on and around the greens was mighty poor though and he ranked near the bottom in both those categories. Previous to that he combined with Rose for 20-under par and 14th spot at the Zurich. At Harbour Town he was ranked 9th for GIR at 70%. Again the putter let him down. There are signs that a very tough approach test may just suit the Swede and he is more than capable of putting one round together and surprising plenty at a tasty 250/1.

0.5p each-way H.Stenson  250/1  (1/5 7)