With Hideki Matsuyama’s victory at the Masters signed and sealed, attention is already starting to turn to the next major championship of the season, the PGA Championship.
Taking place on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina this year, the tournament returns to its May slot in the calendar having been held in August last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s set to be a hugely exciting tournament, so let’s take a look at some big names who will be among the 2021 USPGA Championship contenders in the golf betting odds, and will be highly motivated to do well.
It’s been seven years since Rory McIlroy last won a major, but perhaps returning to the scene of one of his most impressive triumphs will inspire him to end that drought.
It was on Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course where McIlroy won the 2012 PGA Championship, the second major of his career, by a magnificent eight-stroke margin over second-place David Lynn.
Having missed the cut at Augusta for the first time in 11 years, McIlroy looks bereft of confidence at the moment, but the memories of that fine victory might just spur him on to recover some of his best form.
It’s fair to say that Dustin Johnson’s Masters defence ended with a bit of a whimper. Just like McIlroy, the World No. 1 missed the cut at Augusta as he failed to produce the stunning golf that earned him the Green Jacket back in November.
Johnson will be furious with himself that he gave such a meek display, and that could make him a dangerous animal when he heads to first tee at Kiawah Island.
Bryson DeChambeau may well regret his assertion in the build-up to November’s Masters that Augusta National was a par-67 course.
Two limp displays in Georgia have followed for the big-hitter, and he’ll be desperate to rediscover the form that saw him tame Winged Foot last year in winning the US Open.
If weather conditions prove difficult, then DeChambeau’s style could come into its own, and he’ll be desperate to work some magic and give a more spirited showing at a major.
While Matsuyama was stroking in his final putt to win the Masters, his playing partner Xander Schauffele was pondering what might have been.
Heading into the 16th hole, Schauffele had reduced the gap between the two players to just two shots, but an inexplicable triple bogey on 16 left his hopes of landing a first major title dashed.
Schauffele will be itching to get back out there at a major championship and go one better, and he could be a dangerous prospect and one of the 2021 USPGA Championship contenders at Kiawah Island.
The Masters was a similar tale of a chance gone begging for Justin Rose. The Englishman carded a majestic 66 in the first round despite extremely challenging course conditions, but over the next three rounds he failed to capitalise on his early advantage and ultimately finished seventh.
You feel that Rose won’t get too many more opportunities to win majors, and having come close on a few occasions in recent years, he’ll be desperate to add another big win to his CV.