PGA Championship Favourites
Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas lead the betting here and have claimed each of the past three PGA Championships between them.
They finished the top two in Memphis last weekend, though Brooks was a whopping 28/1 then after coming off the back of some poor form, though he’s much shorter to make it three PGA championships in a row.
JT stumbled over the line, thanks in part to his short game over the final few holes, though at such a short price this week, we’d like him to be more consistent off the tee on what is an extremely long par 70 at Harding Park.
We haven’t seen any professional golf here since the World Matchplay all the way back in 2015, though the fact that that was won by Rory Mcilroy shows valuable strokes gained off the tee will be this week, and that will form the basis for our first pick.
PGA Championship Betting Tips
Bryson DeChambeau has ranked first on the tour for strokes gained of the tee in his last eight events, leading to six top eight finishes in that time.
His last two have gone CUT-T30 since he won at the Rocket Mortgage Classic over a month ago, though he still ranked first in driving distance at Southwind last week, and we’re happy to put his iron play down to a bad day in the office, and we’d forgive him for having one eye on this event.
His monster drives put him in control of the scoring holes, and at 16/1 looks decent value to pick up his first major here in California.
By the same logic, Xander Schauffele looks another solid shout at 16/1. The American came in at T6th at Southwind last week on a course that doesn’t exactly suit his game.
He’s ranked in the top seven for strokes gained off the tee in four of his last six outings, including a first at the Memorial and 7th last week at the St Jude Invitational.
While he hasn’t won a single event since the Tournament of Champions back in January last year, he’s only finished outside the top 25 on two occasions since October 2019 and is rarely far away in the majors.
Our final pick of the weekend goes to a former winner who looks to be finding their feet again since lockdown. That man is Australian Jason Day, who has an impressive record of six top-five finishes in California dating back to February 2017.
He finished tied with Schauffele in sixth in Memphis last week to complete a trio of top 10 finishes on the bounce, the first time he’s managed that feat since March last year.
He’s got good pedigree in this competition, winning in 2015 before following that up with a runner up in 2016 and ninth in 2017.
He’s looked more like his former self on the greens of late, too, ranking 13th, ninth and sixth in putting average over the last three tournaments, and you’ll have to go as far back as June 2018 to find Day putting better than a 1.621 as he did in Southwind last week. At 33/1, he looks well worth getting behind.
PGA Championship Outsiders
Rory McIlroy is yet to find his feet since the restart, and until he does there doesn’t seem much sense in backing him.
It’s been a six-year drought for the Northern Irishman since his last major win, and with form of seven consecutive top 5 finishes before the break, and then a 32-41-11-32-47 run since, he’s definitely not carrying the kind of momentum he’d have hoped for heading into this.
Daniel Berger is another who needs consideration here at the prices. Six top 10s in his last seven tournaments is impressive form, including a win at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
However, his game has relied a lot on his work around and on the green, and on such a long course he may struggle to capitalise on the scoring holes. We’d expect a strong week from the American and for his momentum to carry him through, though he may need to wait for a more suitable course if he wants to claim the first major of his career.
The same can be said for his compatriot Collin Morikawa, who excels in finding greens in regulation. He’s had three top 10 finishes in his last seven events which includes a win at the Workday Charity Open, although he isn’t the longest driver on the circuit by any stretch of the imagination.
His iron play will undoubtedly keep him away from the bottom end of the leaderboard though, again, he may need to gain some more experience before realistically challenging for a major.