Women’s PGA Championship 2024 Tips: 100/1 one of five for Washington

 | Tuesday 18th June 2024, 20:28pm

Tuesday 18th June 2024, 20:28pm

jamie LPGA

After the drama of the men's US Open last weekend, it's time to see what the third women's major of the year can offer!

Let's get started with star golf tipster Jamie Worsley's Women's PGA Championship tips, which range from 30/1 to a massive 100/1...

Women's PGA Championship Betting Tips

  • 2 pts Hannah Green  each-way (1/4 - 5 places) - 30/1 
  • 1.5 pts Ruoning Yin each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 35/1
  • 1.25 pts Linn Grant each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 40/1 
  • 1 pt Patty Tavatanakit each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 66/1
  • 1 pt Maja Stark 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)

From Nelly Korda’s dominance to Patty Tavatankit’s resurgence and Linnea Strom’s incredible record-breaking final round in the Shoprite Classic, there have been many admirable performances on the LPGA this season. We can add Lilia Vu’s name to that list after her victory in Michigan last week.

Having been absent for around two-and-a-half months nursing a back injury, last year’s star performer and two-time major champion, Vu returned to action in last week’s Meijer LPGA Classic. Just making the cut and recovering some sharpness was the aim and she did just that, firing rounds of 69-70-68 to sit eight shots off the lead entering the final round.

Though Strom had managed an even more sensational comeback the previous week, Vu couldn’t have predicted she’d have a chance in the final round, but following a superb bogey-free 65 she suddenly found herself atop the leaderboard, and into a playoff against Lexi Thompson and overnight leader, Grace Kim.

All three players birdied the first two holes of the playoff on the par-5 18th, before moving to the par-5 4th for the third playoff hole. With Kim and Thompson only able to make par, Vu made birdie for the third hole in succession and completed an inspiring return win; the fifth LPGA victory of her career.

Vu will be hoping for more of the same as we move on to the third major of the year in the women’s game this week, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club in Washington State.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

First played in 1955 as the LPGA Championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is the second-oldest of the five majors currently played in the women’s game.

13-time major winner, Mickey Wright, is the most successful golfer in the event’s history, winning the event four times (1958, 1960, 1961, 1963).

Wright is then followed by a group of six players with three wins each: Kathy Whitworth (1967, 1971, 1975), Nancy Lopez (1978, 1985, 1989), Patty Sheehan (1983, 1984, 1993), Annika Sorenstam (2003, 2004, 2005), Seri Pak (1998, 2002, 2006) and Inbee Park (2013, 2014, 2015).

The three successive victories for Annika Sorenstam and Inbee Park puts them in an exclusive three-woman list in women’s majors, along with Patty Berg, who won the now defunct Titleholders Championship in 1937, 1938 and 1939.

Last five winners:

  • 2023 (Baltusrol) – Winner: Ruoning Yin (-8); runner-up: Yuka Saso (-7)
  • 2022 (Congressional) – Winner: In Gee Chun (-5); runners-up: Lexi Thompson, Minjee Lee (-4)
  • 2021 (Atlanta Athletic Club) – Winner: Nelly Korda (-19); runner-up: Lizette Salas (-16)
  • 2020 (Aronimink) – Winner: Sei Young Kim (-14); runner-up: Inbee Park (-9)
  • 2019 (Hazeltine) – Winner: Hannah Green (-9); runner-up: Sung Hyun Park (-8)

Ruoning Yin capitalised on some excellent early-season form last year to become the second-ever Chinese major winner (following Shanshan Feng) at Baltusrol, defeating recent US Women’s Open winner, Yuka Saso by one stroke. She returns this week and looks to become the first player since Inbee Park in 2015 to successfully defend the title.

THE COURSE

Course history/renovations

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has held a nomadic status (much like the US Women’s Open) since 2014, changing host course every year. They return to Sahalee Country Club for just the second time this week, following Brooke Henderson claiming the first major success of her career here in 2016, when she beat Lydia Ko in a playoff.

Originally designed by Ted Robinson in 1969, Sahalee - a Chinook phrase meaning ‘High Heavenly Ground’ - was then renovated by Rees Jones in 1996 in preparation for the 1998 men’s PGA Championship, that saw Vijay Singh win his first major title.

Jones has continued working with the club in the intervening years, most notably beginning an ongoing tree-removal program prior to the 2016 renewal of this event.

Further extensive work was completed in 2023, with the bunkers at the course completely overhauled; some removed, some added and others repositioned to improve strategy. Whilst some fairway landing areas have also been widened/repositioned slightly.

Course info

Sahalee Country Club consists of three nine-hole courses (North/South/East) and it’s the South/North combination that makes up the championship course.

The tournament setup has been lengthened compared to the 2016 renewal, and with the final hole playing as a par 5 instead of a par 4, this now par 72 measures 6731 yards, as opposed to playing as a 6624-yard par 71 in 2016. It possesses 10x par 4s (370-433 yards), 4x par 5s (496-543 yards) and 4x par 3s (155-181 yards).

A dense population of tall evergreen, fir and cedar trees imposingly frame every hole on the course, lining the narrow fairways and enclosing the relatively large (6000 sq. ft) poa annua greens. Creating a somewhat claustrophobic feeling.

The majority of the fairways dogleg and aside from the trees, are protected by strategic bunkering and some tricky rough, which is usually poa annua, but overseeded with perennial ryegrass this week.

There are moderate elevation changes throughout, which provides added pressure onto approaches into these uniquely-shaped greens. Many are open-fronted, which encourages play along the ground if needed, whilst they usually run pretty quick. Having said that, they’re not littered with elaborate contours and are simple enough to read; more sloping and tiered than excessively-undulating.

Short-grass chipping areas are few and far between here and the putting surfaces largely rely on rough and that newly-strategic bunkering for protection.

Water comes into play on six holes in total, including three of the four par 3s. The last of which is the signature hole on the course - the 181-yard 17th - with water protecting front and right.

When Brooke Henderson won this event in 2016, -6 was enough for a playoff and this tough scoring has been evident throughout most events staged at Sahalee. This tight venue looks like a real test of ball-striking and it will be interesting to see how the most recent renovations, or indeed that change in par/yardage, will impact scoring.

THE WEATHER

The players will be thankful that the weather doesn’t look set to play a big part this week. Pleasantly warm, sunny and dry conditions are forecast throughout the event, and with little more than a 7mph breeze (with gusts of 10mph) on show, the conditions look ideal.

KEY STATS

  • SG: Off-the-Tee/Driving Distance
  • SG: Approach/Greens-in-Regulation
  • SG: Putting (poa annua)
  • Par 5 Scoring

The course screams long, strong ball-striking types and with Brooke Henderson winning the event here in 2016, that certainly seems to fit.

I’d be especially keen to side with quality drivers of the ball. Long and straight works just about anywhere but with the length of this course and the narrow fairways, it feels even more pertinent here.

Precision iron play into these often tiered putting surfaces looks another key component. There should be nothing stopping them from getting to their firmest this week, and it will be important for players to keep the ball below the hole on approach.

Finally, poa can often be the most difficult surface to master and players with a good putting record on the surface should carry plenty of respect. Whilst with scoring opportunities not overly obvious, it feels important to make the most of the par 5s at Sahalee.

CORRELATING EVENTS

We’re not blessed with any real comp form for this week’s course. Having said that, there are a number of venues that really struck me as great comps for Sahalee.

First of those is 2023’s CPKC Women’s Open host, Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club. Situated close to the Pacific Coast on the Canadian side of the border, this lengthy course is similarly framed by tall fir and cedar trees, with narrow fairways, gentle elevation changes, poa/ryegrass rough and quick poa annua greens. It ticks most boxes and looks a potentially perfect indicator for this week.

I’m going to stay in the north-west of the USA for my next one. Portland Classic host, Columbia Edgewater Country Club, is another densely tree-lined course with comparably-sized and quick poa annua greens. Whilst the course is protected by poa/ryegrass rough throughout.

Finally, we’ll head a little south to California for three final events: the LA Championship at Wilshire Country Club, the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship at Palos Verdes Golf Club and the host of the JTBC/Kia Classic from 2013-2022, Aviara Golf Club. All three are somewhat tree-lined, have poa annua greens – speedy in the case of Wilshire – and feature moderate elevation changes.

TOURNAMENT TRENDS

  • Eight of the last 10 winners had previously recorded a top-25 in the event; five had a top-5.
  • Seven of the last 10 winners had recorded a previous major top-5; six had finished inside the top-2.
  • Eight winners since 2014 were already winners on the PGA Tour; six had recorded more than one victory.
  • Five of the last 10 winners had already won earlier that year.
  • Nine of the last 10 winners had recorded at least one top-25 in their three previous LPGA starts; six had a top-10 and only one went into the week having won in recent weeks.
  • Six of the last 10 editions have gone to first-time major winners.
  • Nobody has won on debut since Anna Nordqvist in 2009.

THE FIELD

This is a major in name but ultimately, the field is an elite LPGA one with a few players from other tours mixed through. In a field that includes every member of the world’s top-25 and 44 of the top-50.

Nelly Korda is the top-ranked player in the world and will be eager to bounce back after recording her second successive missed cut in last weeks Meijer LPGA Classic. Last week’s winner, Lilia Vu comes next at #2 and the current world #3 is our defending champion, Ruoning Yin.

Korda and Yin make up the nine-strong group of former winners in attendance, joined by Sei Young Kim (2020), Hannah Green (2019), Danielle Kang (2017), Brooke Henderson (2016), Yani Tseng (2011, 2008), Cristie Kerr (2010) and Anna Nordqvist (2009).

The leading player from the Ladies European Tour last year, Trichat Cheenglab and the top-ranked player in Japan in 2023, Miyu Yamashita will both tee it up; four-time LET winner, Alexandra Forsterling will make here debut in the event; and as always, there are eight LPGA professionals in the field, who qualified via the LPGA Professionals National Championships.

SELECTIONS

Women's PGA Championship Odds

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

Market leaders: Nelly Korda 17/2, Atthaya Thitikul 14/1, Ayaka Furue 18/1, Lilia Vu 22/1, Jin Young Ko 28/1, Brooke Henderson 28/1

Nelly Korda’s two missed cuts mean she’s now starting to drift out to a more tempting price and I could really see her bouncing back at this type of course, where her exceptional driving game can shine.

Having said that, the two missed cuts are an obvious concern at such prices and on a course that is unfamiliar for many, I prefer to look elsewhere.

There is a player who I’ve been keen to back in this due to her strong winning form at the beginning of the season and combined with her propensity to putt poa superbly, Hannah Green goes in as the headline selection this week.

2 pts Hannah Green  each-way (1/4 - 5 places) - 30/1 

Green won on her second start of the year in the HSBC Women’s World Championship and has remained in largely strong form since. She recorded an impressive second win of the year in the LA Championship at Wilshire CC and has recorded three further top-20s across her next four starts, including a runner-up finish in the Mizuho Americas Open.

She’s excelling with her irons this year, ranking 6th in greens-in-regulation and 14th in approach, whilst this excellent putter sits inside the top-25 on the greens. Though the driver hasn’t been quite as strong as the last two seasons, she has recorded two of her three best driving performances of the season across her last three starts, something I’m hoping she will carry over into this week.

Green didn’t play here in 2016 but claimed a breakthrough title in this event in 2019 at Hazeltine. She has since gone on to record four more tour victories, three of them on poa, having twice won at Wilshire CC and once in Portland. Finishing top-5 in the CPKC Women’s Open last year and possessing a top-5 at Palos Verdes, her comp form is the best in the field and convinces me that she’ll go close to claiming a second KPMG Women’s PGA Championship this week.

1.5 pts Ruoning Yin each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 35/1

This event has seen several back-to-back winners and hitting the ball excellently this year, I think Ruoning Yin could be the latest player to complete this feat at Sahalee CC.

Yin’s admirable level of consistency last year has transferred into the early part of 2024. In 12 starts so far, she’s missed just one cut, recorded seven top-25s and went best when 4th in the Founders Cup. Two of those top-25s came in the opening two majors of the year, finishing 23rd in the Chevron Championship and when we last saw her, she finished 12th in that brute of a US Women’s Open at Lancaster CC.

The key to her game is her superb ball-striking. She ranks 13th in approach and is 18th off-the-tee, where she is both long and accurate. Whilst the putter would be described as a weakness, each of her two wins have come on poa, and it was no surprise to see her produce her best putting performance of this season on the poa surfaces at Palos Verdes, ranking 11th.

That effort came in defence of the title Yin won last year, before she went on to pick up her first major trophy at Baltusrol a couple of months later. With top-5 finishes in each of last year’s CPKC Women’s Open, Portland Classic and LA Championship, Yin has eye-catching form at four of the comp courses mentioned and can make that count to successfully defend her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship title this week.

1.25 pts Linn Grant each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 40/1 

Linn Grant recorded that incredible win in the Scandinavian Mixed just two weeks ago and having already won on the LPGA, this superb driver and putter looks primed for major championship success.

Grant has been in consistent form this year, missing just one cut in 13 starts and recording seven top-25s. Just the one LPGA top-10 came in the Founders Cup four starts ago but undoubtedly the best moment of her season so far came as she regained the Scandinavian Mixed. Shooting a 7-under-par final round to make up an 11-shot deficit and capitalise on the collapse of compatriot, Sebastian Soderberg.

She drove the ball superbly there and indeed that is where her biggest strength lies. She ranked 2nd on the LPGA in this area last season and is 5th so far this, generally combining a high level of power with decent accuracy. Also strong on the greens and ranking top-50 in GIR, she has many of the skills required to perform this week.

Grant finished 20th in her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship debut last year and has recorded top-25s in each of the five majors, including a best of 8th in the 2022 Evian Championship. Her first win on the LPGA in last year’s Dana Open came on poa and having finished top-7 on her debut in both the Portland Classic and CPKC Women’s Open last year, she looks well suited to the test that awaits this week.

1 pt Patty Tavatanakit each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 66/1

Patty Tavatanakit’s return to the winner’s circle was one of the stories of the early part of the year and with her consistent form since seemingly going under the radar, she looks an appealing price to become a two-time major winner at Sahalee.

After enduring a torrid time in the previous two seasons, Tavatanakit showed a sparkling return to form at the start of 2024, cruising to victory in the Saudi Ladies International on the LET by an incredible seven strokes and then recording an emotional victory at home in Thailand in the Honda LPGA Thailand on her next start.

Whilst not up to the standard of those performances, Patty has continued to look strong, finishing inside the top-25 in six of her last eight starts. Though missing the cut on her last start in the US Women’s Open, I’m happy to forgive that, such was the difficulty of the challenge.

The main reason for her revival has been a return to her high-quality driving. This big-hitter ranks 11th on tour off-the-tee this season and has only failed to gain strokes with the club in one start.

Also possessing a sharp short game, it’s the irons that are usually the main weakness but a ranking of 55th this season in approach is perfectly solid, and producing two of her four best performances in this area in her last three starts, she arrives in good form with the clubs.

Tavatanakit’s major pedigree was well on show when she drove her way to success in the 2021 Chevron Championship. She also recorded a top-5 in this event in 2021 and with a 3rd-place finish at Palos Verdes to her name, this still young and huge talent has plenty in her favour to perform well this week.

1 pt Maja Stark each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 100/1

Maja Stark’s biggest strength is with the driver and after looking ready to win a major at the Chevron Championship earlier in the year, she was the standout of those at three-figures this week.

Stark had enjoyed a steady start to the year but burst into life with that runner-up finish behind Nelly Korda in the Chevron Championship, where she finished just two shots shy of the world #1. She then occupied the runner-up spot again on her next start at Wilshire CC in the LA Championship and though missing her last two cuts, I’m hoping the three-week break since the US Women’s Open will have given her time to recharge the batteries for this week.

The Swede combines power with accuracy to rank 24th off-the-tee this season, though will have to recover from struggles in approach and on the greens on those last two starts.

That’s a risk I’m happy to take at the price and with that runner-up finish at Wilshire, along with a top-10 in the Portland Classic, suggesting she will enjoy this setup, she looks a good bet to improve considerably on her missed cut on debut in the event last year.

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

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