May 22, 2013

Luke Donald Aiming to Defend PGA Championship Again

golf betting oddsBy Mark Rawlinson

Luke Donald will be aiming to defend his BMW PGA Championship title for the second year in a row as the European Tour returns to Wentworth on Thursday.

The 35-year-old is favourite with the majority of bookmakers to win the PGA Championship for the third time in as many years with a number of sites offering odds of 8/1, such as Paddy Power and William Hill.

The world number 6 has had a fairly good season so far, with particularly good finishes in the US PGA Tour. In the RBC Heritage he finished third and secured fourth place finish in the Tampa Bay Championship.

He’s not been quite as successful on the European Tour in 2013, with a best finish of tied 17th in the WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship. Whilst at the Masters in Augusta in April he finished at tied 25th with a final score of two over par.

But Donald has always seemed to enjoy playing at the PGA Championship which is less than 25 miles away from his British home in High Wycombe.

In his first appearance at the tournament, back in 2005, he finished a respectable tied 18th and in 2008, came close to winning the title, eventually finishing tied third as Migel Angel Jiminez went onto take the championship.

He came even closer in 2010 and was just a stroke behind winner Simon Kahn but his breakthrough year at the tournament came 12 months later when he lifted the trophy after defeating Lee Westwood in a play-off.

A strong first round of 64 put Donald into the lead on day one at seven under par but a 72 on the following day allowed Alvaro Quiros and Matteo Manassero to close with the three tied at -6.

He bogeyed the third round too meaning he shared the final overnight lead with Manassero  but an improved round of 70 on the final day left him at -6. An excellent closing round from Westwood also allowed him to pull him into contention at six under.

But an excellent third shot from Donald on the opening play-off hole allowed him to putt for birdie and secure a maiden PGA Championship.

And Donald managed to defend that title a year later as he finished four shots ahead of nearest rivals Paul Lawrie and Justin Rose, who tied for second on 11 under par.

He hit a -4 in the opening round and hit further rounds of 68, 69 and 68 to finish some way ahead of the rest of the field and secure the €750,000 winner’s prize.

His excellent form over the past two years justifiably sets him as favourite ahead of Thursday’s opening round and would be a decent punt at 8/1.

Other favourites for the tournament are world number two Rory McIlroy who is 11/1 with a number of bookies, including Totesport and Betfred and Justin Rose and Lee Westwood who are both at 12/1 with Coral and Ladbrokes.

Don’t forget, you can claim free bets with Coral on the BritBets website, by clicking HERE.

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