2016 USPGA Championship: Can the ‘Big Three’ end their drought this year?
Simon Sinclair | July 27, 2016
2016 USPGA Championship
- Thursday, July 28th – Sunday 31st
- First tee-off: 12:00 BST
- Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
- Live on Sky Sports 1
‘Big Three’ must up their game
It has been a down year for Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy as neither of the world’s leading stars have been able to add to the Major collection in 2016.
Day and McIlroy have endured underwhelming seasons as both players have been unable to lift their games on the grand stage.
Spieth appeared to be closing in on the third Major title win of his career at The Masters, only to collapse on the back nine to finish second behind Danny Willett.
However, the three men now have the opportunity to end their struggles in the final big competition of the season in the USPGA Championship.
Big Three to end Major strife
Day returns to the competition that saw him break his Major duck last year as a result of his triumph at Whistling Straits.
The Australian will now aim to defend his crown at Baltusrol Golf Club, and become the first man since Tiger Woods to win the tournament in back-to-back years.
He has been inconsistent this season with wins on the PGA Tour at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play and The Players Championship.
However, Day has failed to translate that into success at the Majors, despite top 10 finishes at The Masters and US Open.
The 28-year-old will be determined to take his game back to its peak level in New Jersey, and is backed at 10/1 with Coral to join Woods as a successful defender of the title.
Spieth has displayed signs that his confidence was shattered in his horror-show at The Masters, putting in mediocre performances at the US Open and The Open Championship.
The American has lost his spark around the greens, although on his day he can still blow the rest of the field away due to his brilliance.
He now faces a major challenge to regain his belief and a return to home soil following his underwhelming effort in Scotland could be just what he needs to reinvigorate his charge for his third major title.
Spieth finished second in the competition last season, narrowly beaten out by Day, but has been backed at 14/1 to go one step further and clinch the crown this time around.
McIlroy has enjoyed himself at the USPGA Championship, winning the tournament twice in his seven attempts at the title, while also notching another two finishes inside the top three.
The Northern Irishman is overdue to add to his Major collection, with his last success coming in the competition back in 2014.
He did show signs of returning to his best at The Open, finishing in tied-fifth following a fine round of 67 on the final day, atoning for missing the cut at the US Open.
Like Spieth, if he manages to get on a roll there are few players in the field who are capable of keeping pace with him.
However, he may need to learn to curb his aggressive approach should he trail at any stage, which has cost him in the past, as his three wood will attest to Muirfield.
McIlroy is backed at 9/1 to win the crown for a third time and end his two-year drought, which could be a worthy bet, but a 15/8 punt to finish inside the top five due to signs of his rival in Scotland.
Dustin Johnson alleviated the pressure on him to break his duck by winning the US Open with an excellent performance last time out on home soil.
Expectations of the world number two will be high as a result of his form as he followed his maiden Major victory with another title at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, as well as second place at the RBC Canadian Open.
He fared well at Muirfield placing in ninth courtesy of a two-under display, and has been backed to shine once again at the Baltusrol Golf Club, with odds of 8/1 to win the competition.
Fresh off his outstanding display at The Open few would not put it past Henrik Stenson to notch his second Major crown.
The Swede put on a show for the spectators at Muirfield on the final day, racing towards his maiden success on the big stage and appears to be in prime form for another assault on a title.
Stenson has odds of 16/1 to triumph in New Jersey, although a prudent bet of 5/1 for him to finish as the top European may be a wiser move.
Since his victory at The Masters, Willett has struggled to match his exploits of the final day at Augusta.
He failed to make the cut at The Players Championship, or record an under-par score at the US Open and The Open.
The 28-year-old is in need of a performance to end the Majors in 2016 on a strong note, although he may settle for a place inside the top five at odds of 16/1.
A stronger punt option could be for him to finish as the highest-placed Englishman ahead of the likes of Justin Rose and Lee Westwood at odds of 11/2.
Keegan Bradley has not lit up the stage since he won the PGA Championship back in 2011, with only two top-five finishes in the Majors since his maiden title.
However, his odds of 150/1 could be quite intriguing to take on, or an even as the highest-placed American at 66/1.
At odds of 70/1 Martin Kaymer has a challenge to repeat his title feat of 2010 when he won his first Major crown.
The German has struggled for form this season, but did start The Open with a round of 66 before crumbling away in the final three days to end tied-36th in the competition.
Kaymer could present a good punt to lead the tournament after the first day at odds of 66/1.
Coral’s top tip: Back McIlroy at an enticing 8/1 price to win this year’s USPGA Championship.