With the Australian PGA Championship looming, there are a number of contenders with a big chance of securing victory at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. UBET’s market opened with Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Sergio Garcia as the $7.50 favourites but since then there have been a number of movers. Since then, local hope Cameron Smith firmed into the only other player listed in single figures.
On the back of the Australian Open last weekend, Smith is the only one of the leading contenders to have played in the event. The likes of Scott, Leishman and Garcia are massive names on the world tour and have added a great deal of hype and expectation to the event. Last year’s winner Harold Varner III is good value to go back-to-back and there are numerous other roughies worth checking out including Andrew Dodt, Samuel Bazil and Wade Ormsby.
Marc Leishman is, behind Jason Day, Australia’s highest ranked golfer and opened as joint favourite alongside countryman Adam Scott and US Masters champion Sergio Garcia. Leishman has enjoyed his best year since turning pro in 2005 as he already has two title victories to his name; winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the BMW Championship on the US Tour. With vioctory comes expectation and in front of his home crowds, there is plenty expected of the 34-year-old from Warrnambool in Victoria.
South Australian Scott is not having his most successful season and is yet to win a title so far in 2017 so the 37-year-old will be keen to impress his home crowd. Scott’s recent results are not reflective of just how impressive a player he is; the 2013 Masters champion’s last two tournaments have seen him finish 25th in the CJ Cup and tied for 50th at the World Golf Championships. If there is an area that Scott will need to improve on, it is his short game, in particular his putting.
Since winning his first career major; the US Masters back in April, Sergio Garcia hasn’t experienced a great deal of success. The talented Spaniard’s best finishes since winning the Green Jacket was tie for ninth at the World Golf Championships and a tie for 10th at the TOUR Championship. The 37-year-old has three top 10 finishes this year and is a huge drawcard for event organisers because he is the biggest international name partaking in the tournament.
Like his rugby league namesake, Cameron Smith is enjoying an outstanding year! The classy Queenslander emerged successful at the Zurich Classic in May alongside Sweden’s Jonas Blixt and has since maintained consistent form right throughout the year. In majors his best return was a tie for fourth at the US Open while he tied for 25th at the PGA Championship. Smith is one of the most gifted young Australian golfers and in his home state, it is fair to assume he will be difficult to beat.
Former Australian Open champion Matt Jones hasn’t experienced victory on tour since November 2015 but is a leading contender to add to that title at Royal Pines Resort. Joones has also experienced success on the US Tour but that was more than three years ago when he won the Shell Classic against Matt Kuchar on the first playoff hole. At double digits to win the tournament, the 37-year-old offers plenty of value as he enters the Championship in decent form.