Stricker fancied as PGA Championship nears thrilling finale

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Many of golf’s most illustrious names are out of contention heading into the final day of the PGA Championship but there is plenty to look forward to and money to be made with the margins separating the leading contenders so thin.

An American hasn’t won the final major of the year since Tiger Woods triumphed in Tulsa four years ago but there are five at the top of the leaderboard on this occasion and those are clear of the chasing pack in the betting.

Rather surprisingly it is the furthest back of those, day one leader Steve Stricker, who is joint-favourite at 9/2 despite being three shots off the pace, presumably as a result of the fact he is more experienced than the majority of his rivals.

Also at 9/2 is joint leader Brendan Steele, who has the momentum after posting a score of 66 on Sunday that was at least two strokes better than the other chief challengers. He is also the only of the quintet to have improved with each round.

Steele’s companion at the top of the pile, Jason Dufner, is 5/1 to hold on, with Keegan Bradley, who trails by one, 6/1 and Scott Verplank, who is one further back, 12/1.

The only former major winners within five of Steele and Dufner are Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (25/1) and another American, David Toms, who was victorious in the PGA Championship precisely a decade ago.

Unless Schwartzel wins, this will be the third straight year in which all four majors have been claimed by different players, with the last to land two in a year being the out-of-form Padraig Harrington in 2008.

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