USPGA, Atlanta Athletic Club

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by Alan Barbour

The final Major of the year sees the U.S. players trying to avoid a whitewash with no one from their shores being successful in the first three Majors played so far.

The honours have gone to: Charl Schwartzel – South Africa (Masters), Rory McIlroy – Northern Ireland (U.S.Open) and Darren Clarke – Northern Ireland (Open).

Even with the return of Tiger Woods, the Americans don’t have any players in the first four in the betting.

McIlroy starts as favourite, just ahead of World Number One Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and the resurgent Aussie Adam Scott, who played some scintillating golf to win last week at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Scott now has the services of Tiger Woods ex-caddie Steve Williams and has found new confidence with his long putter.

Donald is desperate to improve on his poor form in this year’s Majors and there are a number of similarities between the 33 year old from Hemel Hempstead and David Toms who won the last time the event was played here in 2001.  Toms himself has been in good form of late and will fancy his chances of a repeat win.

In looking for the winner it might be worth noting that the USPGA has had a history of maiden winners at big prices and with that in mind I think Bo Van Pelt at odds of 125/1 could be worth considering.

Van Pelt scores highly in the stats for Total Driving, Greens in Regulation and All Around Ranking.

The 6ft 4, 36 year old from Richmond, Indiana, has had six-top 15 finishes since the end of May and could collect his first Tour win since the 2009 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.