PGA Championship 2024 First Round Leader Tips: Collin can fly out the gate

 | Wednesday 15th May 2024, 13:36pm

Wednesday 15th May 2024, 13:36pm

jamie worsley pga tour

Jamie Worsley has already given us his PGA Championship Betting Tips but he's also picked out four players who he expects to go low on Thursday

Here are Jamie's PGA Championship First Round Leader Betting Tips:

PGA Championship First Round Leader Tips

  • 1 pt Collin Morikawa each-way (1/4 - 5 places) @ 40/1
  • 0.75 pts Akshay Bhatia each-way (1/4 - 5 places) @ 70/1
  • 0.5 pts Cam Davis each-way (1/4 - 5 places) @ 100/1
  • 0.5 pts Jake Knapp each-way (1/4 - 5 places) @ 100/1

*Click on the linked odds to add the selections directly to your betslip on betfred.com (or app)

The PGA Championship begins tomorrow and it’s time to concentrate our attention on which players can top the leaderboard after Thursday’s opening round.

There has been some rain in the buildup to the event which will have softened up the playing surfaces, and with conditions for the first round looking pleasant – dry, generally bright and with nothing more than an 8mph breeze – scoring should be decent to start.

The conditions are reasonably even throughout the day and I wouldn’t want to be too dismissive of players from either side of the draw. Having said that, with this lengthy course playing even longer due to the softened turf, it may be a bit of a slog early doors in the cooler temperatures; therefore I’m going to focus on the later starters in the morning, as well as the afternoon starters, who will play the bulk of their round in warmer conditions.

1 pt Collin Morikawa each-way (1/4 - 5 places) @ 40/1

Start time: 13:51

I’m going to begin with Collin Morikawa, who has been starting quickly of late and though giving away something in terms of length, he should be benefited by his afternoon tee-time.

Morikawa comes into this week following three straight top-20 finishes, which started with a 3rd-place finish in The Masters and carried on into a 9th at the RBC Heritage the following week, before finishing 16th in last week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

He has made a quick start in each of those events, shooting a 71 to sit 14th after round one at Augusta; a 65 saw him finish day one in 2nd place at the RBC Heritage; and last week, a 67 was enough to again take him to 2nd after 18 holes at Quail Hollow. A sequence of results that contributes to him ranking 4th in round one scoring on the PGA Tour this season.

Whilst Morikawa hasn’t been at his blistering best in approach this season, he has started each of those events with his best approach round of the week, and as the 10th-best player from 175-200 yards on tour, he does have the weapons to fire him to another fast start at Valhalla.

morikawa FRL 40-1

0.75 pts Akshay Bhatia each-way (1/4 - 5 places) @ 70/1

Start time: 08:59

Though teeing off in the morning, Akshay Bhatia will start his championship just as the temperatures are starting to heat up. With a recent first-round lead to his name and possessing some winning form at Valhalla from his amateur days, this strong all-rounder looks a decent price for a quick start.

Akshay has had a good year on tour, especially excelling over recent starts. Just four starts ago, he won the biggest event of his career in the Texas Open and has gone on to finish 35th on his Masters debut, 18th in the RBC Heritage and 42nd in the Wells Fargo Championship.

His win in Texas saw him shoot a stunning 63 in round one to take the first-round lead by three strokes and though failing to break 70 at Augusta, his opening 72 was his best round of the week.

Bhatia won the Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla in 2018 when 16-years-old, shooting three rounds in the 60s, including a 65 in round three. Hopefully he can draw on this experience – along with his much improved putting and quality long iron game – to shoot a low one tomorrow.

bhatia frl 70-1

PGA Championship Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main PGA Championship on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this tournament.

0.5 pts Cam Davis each-way (1/4 - 5 places) @ 100/1

Start time: 13:07

Cam Davis produced his best major finish in this event last year and as a largely fast starter in 2024, he can make a bold start at repeating or even bettering that performance this week.

Davis has been consistent this year, missing just two of 11 cuts and has recorded several top 25s; the best of which was his admirable 12th-place finish at Augusta.

His best round of the week there came with a 69 in round one and this has been a theme of the season, with him ranking 63rd in round one scoring. He fired a 62 to sit 1st after round one of the Sony Open; a 6-under 65 saw him move into 2nd place at the close of play after the opening round of the Genesis Invitational; whilst he again started solidly last week, with a score of 70 taking him to a first-round top 20.

Davis made his tournament debut at Kiawah Island in 2021, opening with a 3-under 69 to sit 2nd thru 18 holes. He then fired a superb 65 the last time we saw him in this championship last year, which helped him to a 4th-place finish at Oak Hill. With the recent solidity of his ball-striking and putting, this big-hitter can fire another low one in the PGA Championship on Thursday.

Cam davis frl 100-1

0.5 pts Jake Knapp each-way (1/4 - 5 places) @ 100/1

Start time: 13:35

Jake Knapp possesses a skillset that should make him a good fit for Valhalla and firing low round after low round this year, he has the explosive scoring ability to shoot another low one in tomorrow’s first round.

Knapp enjoyed an excellent start to his rookie season, gaining a first PGA Tour win in the Mexico Open and also recorded top 4s in the Farmers Insurance Open and Cognizant Classic over his first six starts.

Whilst he had some decent starts across those events, his best first-round finish came just two starts ago in the CJ CUP Byron Nelson, as he shot a 7-under 64 to sit 2nd after round one; following with further rounds of 64 and 67.

We’ve seen this kind of scoring on offer all season, as he scored a pair of 66s in the Cognizant and shot rounds of 63 and 64 on his way to that victory in Mexico. Very much a continuation of what we saw on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, as he ranked 3rd in sub-par rounds.

Knapp’s scoring talents are engineered by his powerful ball-striking game, ranking 23rd in driving distance and 38th in approach this season, whilst he’s also an eye-catching 24th in proximity from 200yds+. Add into that a generally sound putter and it’s easy to see why he’s able to frequently take it low, something I’m hoping he can do as he makes his PGA Championship debut tomorrow.

jake knapp frl 100-1

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

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