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Euro Tour players to monitor

With a significant championship comes many unknowns. One of that are players from the European contingency making their method throughout the Atlantic Ocean to come play right here within the United States. While a few of you could be unfamiliar with the European Tour, belief me once I say that they will maintain greater than their very own.

It wasn’t too way back that Brooks Koepka bought his toes moist over in Europe, beginning on the Challenge Tour, Europe’s equal of the Korn Ferry Tour. Then there’s Patrick Reed who makes it a behavior to take the journey over a number of occasions a 12 months, particularly for Rolex Series occasions such because the BMW Championship, as he isn’t solely a PGA Tour member, but additionally a European Tour member.

And in fact, there’s the early season swing within the desert the place we now have seen the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, and Tony Finau compete. Or even on the DP World Tour Championship, their model of the Tour Championship, the place we noticed Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland compete final season.

While a few of these tournaments might have grabbed your consideration due to the headliners, the remainder of the sector are additionally worthy of your recognition. There are a lot of players that golf spectators will likely be launched to for the primary time this week. Below, I’ll spotlight three of the highest players to be careful for as they fight to make their names identified right here within the United States.

Garrick Higgo:

The younger South African is arguably the most popular golfer on the planet, but common golf followers have but to discover. In his final 4 begins, Higgo has two victories to go together with two top-10 finishes on the European Tour. For his profession, the 22-year-old has three European Tour titles and has most not too long ago jumped up to No. 51 within the official world golf rankings, placing him above the likes of Bubba Watson, Jason Day, and Ian Poulter.

The PGA Championship and the Ocean Course particularly will likely be a beast that Higgo will likely be encountering for the primary time in his profession. In order to see the weekend and preserve the heater alive, Higgo will want to discover the brief grass from off-the-tee as he’s solely hitting fairways at a charge of 44.86%.

The remainder of his sport ought to maintain up to the brute, Pete Dye take a look at. Higgo is a lot lengthy from the tee field and intensely competent on the greens. There’s an opportunity he may trip a sizzling putter into the weekend given his skill to make birdies in bunches as evidenced by going a mixed 52-under par in his two victories.

Per the oddsmakers at PointsBet Sportsbook, Higgo is +600 to end as Top South African on the PGA Championship. Of the 11 within the area, Higgo has the third shortest odds, behind solely Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, implying {that a} good week could possibly be in retailer for the sleek swinging lefty.

John Catlin:

The American has made his house over on the European Tour and has been fairly profitable in doing so. A 3-time winner on the European circuit, the California native has moved his method up to No. 80 within the official world golf rankings forward of European staples akin to Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer.

The sense I get when watching Catlin is that when he will get sizzling, he will get actually sizzling and tends to string high quality begins collectively. His first profession victory on the Andalucia Masters in 2020 was adopted up with one other victory simply three weeks later on the Irish Open, the place he defeated Aaron Rai.

It can be a stretch to say that one thing related may occur at this week’s PGA Championship. Catlin’s most up-to-date win occurred simply over a month in the past on the Austrian Open the place he was victorious in a five-hole playoff over Maximilian Kieffer. He has since adopted it up with two made cuts, considered one of which was a top-5 end in his final begin on the Tenerife Open.

Unlike Higgo, Catlin has the next mountain to climb when it comes to beating out his fellow countrymen. With 86 Americans within the area this week, Catlin is +15000 to take house the crown of Top USA Player. For reference, that places him in the identical neighborhood as Kevin Streelman and up to date PGA Tour winner, Joel Dahmen.

Sami Valimaki:

The 2020 European Tour Rookie of the Year has had a sluggish begin to his 2021 season as he makes his PGA Championship debut this week. This received’t be the younger Finn’s first main nonetheless as Valimaki appeared within the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot the place he posted a two-day complete of 152 and missed the lower.

His different notable look right here within the United States got here earlier this 12 months on the WGC Workday Championship at The Concession. Valimaki struggled as soon as once more as he completed the event in a tie for sixty fourth at 9-over par and 27-strokes behind eventual winner, Morikawa.

One of the very best putters on the European Tour, Valimaki has struggled with the remainder of his bag in 2021. However, as of late the 2020 Oman Open champion seems to be discovering some type. He has quietly reeled off three consecutive top-30 finishes on the European Tour, together with final week on the British Masters the place he completed at 6-under and in a tie for twenty first. He’ll hope to proceed this development heading into Kiawah Island the place he will likely be making his second main championship look.

Valimaki would be the lone participant from Finland on the 2021 PGA Championship. However, his odds to end contained in the top-40 are the identical as two former PGA champions. At +300, Valimaki is alongside each Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer, indicating a powerful weekend exhibiting isn’t out of the realm of potentialities.

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