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Steve Palmer's ISCO Championship free predictions & golf betting tips

Golf tips, best bets and predictions for the ISCO Championship, a co-sanctioned PGA Tour and DP World Tour event.

When to bet on the ISCO Championship

By noon on Thursday

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Where can I watch the ISCO Championship

Live on Sky Sports Golf from 9.30pm on Thursday

Steve Palmer's ISCO Championship predictions

Michael Thorbjornsen
4pts each-way 16-1 Hills

Pierceson Coody
1.5pts each-way 80-1 bet365

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Steve Palmer's ISCO Championship preview

Luke Clanton has been chalked up as favourite for the ISCO Championship, despite the fact he is still an amateur, underlining the strength of modern Stateside college golf. No longer, it seems, do youngsters have to serve a PGA Tour apprenticeship.

Nick Dunlap won The American Express in January when still an amateur and Clanton will be hoping to follow that example. The difference is that Dunlap was 300-1 for the AmEx, whereas Clanton is as short as 10-1 for the ISCO.

Steve Palmer's top tip

Michael Thorbjornsen 16-1

ISCO Championship favouritism should arguably be the status of Michael Thorbjornsen, who has been destined for greatness from a young age. It is a surprise to find him below Clanton in the market.

Thorbjornsen won the US Junior Amateur in 2018, then made the cut in the 2019 US Open, starring as a college player for Stanford University, where Tiger Woods first made his name. While Clanton is this week making only his fourth start in a professional event, Thorbjornsen has been active in pro company for much longer.

When still an amateur, Thorbjornsen finished fourth in the 2022 Travelers Championship and was 20th in last year's Dubai Desert Classic. This year, the Ohio-born starlet finished 11th in the Dubai Desert Classic – part of the DP World Tour Rolex Series – before 39th spot in the Travelers Championship, a PGA Tour Signature Event.

Thorbjornsen turned pro last month to enjoy the financial rewards of the PGA Tour card he earned by topping the tour's University Rankings. Ludvig Aberg was the first player to use this new qualification route to the big time – and Thorbjornsen is the second.

The 22-year-old appears to be going places fast. A missed cut by a shot in the Rocket Mortgage Classic was followed by second place last week in the John Deere Classic, where he closed with a 63 to chase home Davis Thompson.

Keene Trace looks set to be destroyed by Thorbjornsen – a complete player with the ability to card super-low rounds – and he looks a big price in a weak field.

Next best bet

Pierceson Coody 80-1

Another rising star of the sport is astonishingly low in the betting given the weakness of this grade. 

Pierceson Coody is a class act. A former world number one amateur triumphed in the John Deere Classic on Sunday and another one could do likewise at Keene Trace.

Coody has already won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour at the age of 24 and he appears to have settled in the higher grade. An encouraging 18th place in the Corales Puntacana Championship was followed by fifth spot in the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Last week, Coody signed off with a bogey-free 64 in the John Deere, showing his power and a purring putter. He launched a 379-yard drive at Deere Run and possesses all the tools to make merry at a soft Keene Trace.

Punters will need to watch their bets because Pierceson's twin brother Parker is also in the ISCO Championship field.

Course guide for the ISCO Championship

  • Course Champions Course, Keene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, Kentucky
  • Prize money $4m ($684,000 to the winner)
  • Length 7,328 yards
  • Par 72 – four par-fives; ten par-fours; four par-threes
  • Field 156 The cut Top 65 and ties qualify for round three
  • Highest-ranked players in field (world ranking in brackets) Alejandro Tosti (107), Chan Kim (113), Ben Silverman (117), S.H Kim (121), Michael Kim (129)
  • Course records - 72 holes 262 Jim Herman (2019) 18 holes 61 Kelly Kraft (2019)
  • Course winners taking part Troy Merritt, Jim Herman
  • When to bet By noon on Thursday
  • When to watch Live on Sky Sports Golf from 9.30pm on Thursday
  • Time difference Kentucky is five hours behind the UK and Ireland
  • Last week – John Deere Classic 1 D Thompson (25-1), T2 M Thorbjornsen (75-1), L Clanton (45-1), C.T Pan (125-1), T5 B Griffin (60-1), Carson Young (175-1), T7 D McCarthy (22-1), A Novak (75-1), H Springer (150-1), E Cole (45-1), A Rai (20-1)
  • Course type Parkland
  • Course overview Keene Trace has staged this event since 2018 (previously called the Barbasol Championship). The 2020 edition was cancelled. The layout has wide fairways, large greens and is easy for professionals, with winning scores of 21 under par or better in every edition
  • Story of last year Vincent Norrman defeated Nathan Kimsey in a playoff to land a maiden PGA Tour title
  • Weather forecast Sunny, warm and calm throughout
  • Type of player suited to the challenge A hot flat-stick seems essential at such a low-scoring course, especially as the greens are large and demand strong lag putting
  • Key attribute Touch/putting

Steve Palmer's ISCO Championship key stat

All five winners at Keene Trace finished in the top 30 of the driving-distance statistics.

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Steve Palmer is now on Members' Club
Steve Palmer is now on Members' Club

For those looking for even more extensive golf coverage don't miss Palmer's extra pointers every Wednesday in the Racing Post newspaper. 

As well as his tips and insight you will also get expert spotlight comments for all players in our extensive PGA Tour and DP Tour price comparison grids which include course and recent form, plus Palmer's unique attribute icons to help identify the type of players likely to be suited to conditions each week.   

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