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Steve Palmer's US PGA Championship second-round advice, tips, when to watch

Early starters can close on pacesetting Brooks Koepka

Jason Kokrak has featured on leaderboards all season
1 of 1

Sky Sports Golf, 1pm Friday

Story so far
Brooks Koepka produced one of the greatest rounds in Major history to take control of the US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, the pre-tournament 11-1 chance shortening to a general 6-4 after a barnstorming seven-under-par 63.

Koepka, who has won three of the previous seven Majors in which he has competed, is in position to make that incredible statistic four from eight after immediately finding top gear in New York.

The pacesetter carded a bogey-free round on a notoriously difficult layout that humbled many of his title rivals. He was 11 shots better than Sergio Garcia, for example, and only 16 of the 156 competitors managed an under-par round.

The top two in the betting on tournament-eve remain at the head of the market, with Dustin Johnson behind Koepka. Johnson, a late starter, fell eight shots adrift of Koepka after bogeying the opening hole, but the world number one slowly but surely fought his way back to a respectable one-under-par score, sharing ninth place with a six-shot deficit, and a best-price 11-1 for Bethpage glory.

Tiger Woods made two double-bogeys in a two-over-par first-round 72, the Masters champion leaving himself a mountain to climb in his quest for back-to-back Major success.

Leaderboard
-7 Brooks Koepka
-6 Danny Lee
-3 Tommy Fleetwood
-2 Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Chez Reavie, Luke List, Sung Kang, Pat Perez
-1 Rickie Fowler, Matt Wallace, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Si Woo Kim

Selected others
Par Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, Tony Finau, Jon Rahm
+2 Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy
+4 Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed

Best odds
6-4 B Koepka, 11 D Johnson, 12 T Fleetwood, 20 R Fowler, 22 J Day, 25 J Rahm, 33 J Rose, P Cantlay, R McIlroy, 35 D Lee, 40 X Schauffele, T Finau, 50 T Woods, 55 bar

Round-two advice
Brooks Koepka was the only one of the US PGA Championship market leaders who competed in the AT&T Byron Nelson last week, so was perhaps entitled to make a sharper start than the others, but a 63 was a ludicrously impressive effort at Bethpage Black.

It remains to be seen whether the exertion of a pre-tournament spin in Texas has any negative impact on Koepka later in the week, but the fact he arrived in New York with his swing in mint condition has laid the foundation for a strong US PGA title tilt.

There is no urge to take any of the 6-4 Koepka at this stage – that seems an awfully short price with only a quarter of the event completed and with the day-two morning starters set to get calm conditions with which to play catch-up.

Koepka is out in the afternoon, when some breeze is forecast and there is the potential for showers and a thunderstorm. Early starters like Tony Finau (12.18pm UK and Ireland time), Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm (both 12.51pm) could force their way closer to Koepka. Danny Lee – in the first group out from the tenth tee at 11.45am – has a great chance to overtake Koepka if he can maintain his surprising form from day one.

Second-round threeballs punters are pointed towards Jason Kokrak (11.45am from the first tee), who settled down nicely after a horror start in round one. Kokrak, who has been impressive all season and is well suited to Bethpage, was three over par through six holes, but stayed on that score to the hut. Expect a faster start today and for Kokrak to leave Adrian Otaegui and Ryan Vermeer behind.

Aaron Wise is swinging well again and the super-talented youngster can account for Ryan Fox and Shugo Imahira in the 7pm contest, while Luke List can outmuscle Abraham Ancer and Casey Russell for the second day running (7.11pm), and Joaquin Niemann looks an equally solid wager against Adam Long and Craig Bowden in the final match of the day (7.22pm).

Threeballs recommendations
J Kokrak
2pts 21-20 bet365

A Wise
2pts 6-5 Sky Bet

L List
1pt 10-11 general

J Niemann
1pt 6-5 Betway


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The leader seems an awfully short price with only a quarter of the event completed
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