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

| 08.08.2014

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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Author

Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.