Familiar tale awaits PGA C’ship leader Westwood as big guns lurk

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Lee Westwood shifted seamlessly from his inspired final-round 63 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to earn himself a three-way tie for the lead at the PGA Championship after the first 18 holes at Valhalla.

The Englishman carded a 65, equalling his lowest round at a major in 67 appearances, to finish on six-under-par alongside Americans Kevin Chappell and Ryan Palmer.

Westwood has understandably shrunk in the betting to win the tournament, with Ladbrokes now labelling the Ryder Cup veteran a 14/1 chance.

However, the Worksop native has been in and around the top of leaderboards at majors many times before and in the end has always come up short, finishing in the top-three slots on seven separate occasions.

It�s usually his work on the greens that lets him down and considering he ranks 83rd on strokes-gained putting from 16 PGA Tour events this season and 58th in putts-per-round on the other side of the Atlantic, this is likely to prove his Achilles Heel again.

But even more ominously is the queue of in-form players lining up behind him, namely world number one Rory McIlory who birdied five of the last seven holes to finish one-shot back on -5.

McIlroy�s birdie-filled recovery from a double-bogey at the 10th and further dropped shot at the 11th made sure his heavy pre-tournament favouritism has now crystallised at just 13/8 for the win.

Alongside the Northern Irishman on -5, bang-in-form Jim Furyk (14/1) and last season�s double Money List winner Henrik Stenson (7/1) will both draw plenty of backing.

As to will Rickie Fowler (20/1), tipped up as number two in our pre-PGA Championship Power Rankings (link) as the colourful American shot a 69 to finish two-under-par.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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