A share of the low round on the final day of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, a bogey-free four-under-par 66, was enough to leapfrog Shane Lowry over Bubba Watson and Justin Rose to claim a maiden PGA Tour title.
That fact alone was enough to bring a broad smile to the Irishman’s face, that it came one week out from the final Major of the year provided a sizeable dollop of icing to an already sweet cake.
Although rated a 50/1 shot to win the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, Lowry’s chances of victory at the Pete Dye-designed course got a considerable shot in the arm thanks to his Bridgestone victory.
Trends over the past nine editions of the year’s final Major suggest that finding form the week before the tournament is key to triumphing.
All of the previous victors in that span of PGA Championships have finished no worse than 22nd at the Bridgestone in preparation. Three of those winners – Rory McIlroy last year and Tiger Woods in 2006 and 2007 – also got their hands on the Bridgestone trophy.
Lowry’s game, then, couldn’t be getting into shape at a better time. A two-week break following a missed cut at the Open Championship looks to have done the world number 19 the power of good and his confidence will be sky high heading to the Badger State.
At 50/1, the 28-year-old is a perfect candidate to be backed each way, with Ladbrokes paying out at a quarter of the price for the first six finishers.
The bookmaker hasn’t stopped at extending those terms by two places either, pledging to give losing bettors their money back if their selection misses the cut.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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