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Only this American duo can catch McIlroy at Valhalla

| 08.08.2014

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Rory McIlroy’s one-shot lead heading into the final day of the PGA Championship is that the world number one has not even been at his best in the past couple of days.

The Open winner left a few out there on day two and was all over the course at times on Saturday, just managing to hold his round together before notching three birdies in the final four holes.

With his best perhaps yet to come in the year’s final major, McIlroy is 4/6 to win his second PGA Championship, but there is value to be found in a large chasing pack.

There are eight players within four shots of the lead, and four within three, including American duo Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, who will play together on the final day.

Both men carded rounds of 67 on the third day, and although Austrian Bernd Wiesberger is the man closest to McIlroy, the American pairing stand the best chance of catching him, especially if the leader fails to hit his best form again.

No player has a better score overall than Fowler’s -29 in the 15 competitive rounds of the majors so far this year, with the 25-year-old finishing T5 at the Masters, and then T2 at the US Open and the Open.

At the last two majors, Fowler has entered the final day chasing a distant leader, but just two shots back on McIlroy this time around, he is a great bet to top the leaderboard at 5/1.

In contrast to Fowler, Mickelson has had a torrid time of it at the majors this season, missing the cut at Augusta before finishing well down the leaderboard at the US Open and the Open.

However, his rampant finish to yesterday’s round, where Lefty carded four birdies in five holes, has perhaps set up him up for a trademark back nine surge on Sunday. Just three shots off the lead, the six-time major winner’s 10/1 odds look too good to ignore.

For those who cannot believe McIlroy will stumble, Fowler and Mickelson can both be backed in the top American market, where it’s difficult to see them being usurped.

Fowler is the market leader at 1/1, while Mickelson is a very generous 9/4 considering he is just one shot behind his playing partner.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune