Expert picks for the second men’s major of 2024

Expert picks for the second men’s major of 2024

Sporting Life’s team of experts and some special guests provide their insight and best bets from the US PGA side-markets.

Patrick Cantlay for a top-20 finish

By Matt Cooper

Matt Cooper is a golf journalist and long-time Sporting Life contributor who previews the women’s majors for the website and provides tips for multiple tours for and others.

PATRICK CANTLAY has underwhelmed in the major championships, struggling to get into contention never mind come close to winning. But five of his last seven starts have been top-20s and Valhalla might suit his game very nicely.

It’s a Nicklaus design, the rough is gnarly, there is an emphasis on approach play, and the greens are quick, undulating, and on the small side. It sounds a lot like Muirfield Village and Cantlay has five top-10s there including a pair of wins (the second a little fortuitous after Jon Rahm’s forced withdrawal).

He’s also won at the Nicklaus-crafted Sherwood CC and can make it six top-20s in eight majors at a nice price.

Ryan Fox for a top-30 finish

By Dave Tindall

Former Sky Sports Golf editor Dave Tindall is a regular contributor to and various other publications.

RYAN FOX is becoming a solid performer in the majors and has made the cut in each of the last five. That run includes tied 38th and tied 26th in the last two Masters and tied 23rd in this event 12 months ago.

The Kiwi heads to Valhalla on the back of two top-fours in his last three starts, the first in the Zurich Classic pairs event and the second in the Myrtle Beach Classic in South Carolina, which finished on Sunday.

Valhalla should suit him for a couple of reasons. He’s a big hitter (1st for Driving Distance at Myrtle Beach) and has plenty of good form on Jack Nicklaus courses, including when runner-up in the 2022 Irish Open at Mount Juliet.

Getting north of 3/1 for a top 30 seems good business.

Hideki Matsuyama top Japanese player

By Ben Coley

Ben Coley is Sporting Life’s golf columnist and tipster.

HIDEKI MATSUYAMA hasn’t been seen since he was a popular 22/1 shot for the Masters and backers must always accept that he comes with a health warning, hence last week’s late withdrawal from the Wells Fargo.

But that was reportedly due to tightness in his back, precautionary rather than alarming, and we are more than compensated by even-money that he’s the pick of four Japanese players this week. Granted a clean bill of health he’d be long odds-on.

Matsuyama has not missed a cut in a US major since 2016. Throughout this period he’s dealt with back and neck problems, yet come the biggest events, he’s never failed to deliver in a run of 23 consecutive cuts made. By contrast, his three rivals here have played in 14 majors and made one cut between them.

Taylor Pendrith for a top-40 finish

By Tom Jacobs

Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words podcast and also provides tips and previews for Oddschecker.

I’m going conservative here to back TAYLOR PENDRITH for a top-40 finish, even if he might reasonably set his sights higher.

The Canadian has finished 11th, first and 10th in his last three individual starts and his record in the majors is encouraging as well. He made his debut in this event last year, finishing T29, he was better placed going into the weekend, sitting in eighth place. If he finds himself in a similar spot at halfway this week, he may have the confidence to step forward after picking up his first win at the Byron Nelson.

Pendrith also finished T23 on his US Open debut and I always like it when a player backs up their first win with another top finish like Pendrith did last week at Quail Hollow. It’s just a question of whether or not he can extend that for one more week on the biggest stage.

I’m prepared to back him to do just that at a course that should suit, and in the process

Lucas Glover for a top-40 finish

By Martin Mathews

Martin Mathews is a golf tipster who provides weekly betting previews for the PGA Tour via his own website, and major previews for Paddy Power.

Cast your mind back nine months or so and there was one American player whose name was on everyone’s lips: LUCAS GLOVER.

After tearing it up with back-to-back wins at the Wyndham and the FedEx St Jude, Glover was overlooked by captain Zach Johnson for a US Ryder Cup pick and, Indian Summer potentially over, he duly headed back in to the recesses of everyone’s mind as the 2024 season kicked off.

Despite this though the 2009 US Open champion continues to play some sneakily good golf and after a slow start to the year he has posted top-40 finishes in eight of his last nine starts, including top-20s at the Masters and last week at Quail Hollow.

At the age of 44, a second major is most likely beyond Glover’s grasp but with his trademark tee-to-green game flourishing he looks a knocking good bet to post another solid week and comfortably crack the top 40.

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