Will It Be a Classic PGA Championship?
What chance do defending champ Phil Mickelson, four-time champ Tiger Woods or two-time champion Brooks Koepka have to win the PGA Championship? What about Rory McIlroy, reigning king of the majors?
Last year was a banner year for the PGA Championship. Phil Mickelson came out of his years-long slump to become the oldest player to win the tournament at 50 years old. So who’s to say another older player can’t make the same leap?
The course, Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been lengthened to more than 7,500 yards, so long hitters are going to like it.
Top 3 to the Tee
Tiger Woods, for one. His drives are still legendary, and he’s the main reason they’ve extended tournament golf courses. He’s still trying to catch Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors (Tiger has 15), but he’s been hampered this year by injuries suffered in a car crash in 2021. Woods made the cut at the Masters, but faded during the weekend, marking his worst showing at that event. If you decide to take a chance, shop around for odds. At BetMGM, Woods is 40-1, but at Caesars/William Hill, he’s 60-1. Big difference. Woods hasn’t played since the Masters, and his judicious choice to play in the majors and a select few other tournaments may work against him.
Mickelson, however, has been out of circulation for quite some time after some badly received comments about the PGA Tour late last year. This Championship with actually be his first PGA event since January. Last year, you could get 125-1 prior to teeing off, and this year, it’s 80-1—still a rather hefty price for a defending champion.
Of course, Rory McIlroy is still an elite player on the tour and still competitive. He finished second at the Masters to Scottie Scheffler last month, and is one of the favorites at the PGA at 12-1. But he’s never played Southern Hills, and it’s been eight years since he last hoisted a major trophy—ironically, at the PGA Championship.
So if not those three, who should your favorite be?
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Contenders to Consider
The Masters champion and the world’s No. 1 golfer Scheffler is paired with Jon Rahm, who finally broke through to win the Mexican Open three weeks ago, at 11-1. Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas come in at 14-1, followed closely by Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith at 16-1 and Brooks Koepka at 18-1.
But how about Jordan Spieth? He’s endured a very tough two-year stretch where he’s struggled to even make the cut. He did win the RBS Heritage last month, but admitted he wasn’t at the top of his game. Maybe a slight adjustment in his game will be what he needs to win his fourth major after the long dry spell. At 20-1, he’s worth a look.
There are some seriously good golfers who will surely contend at that level, as well. Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay both get the same odds at 20-1 with Xander Schauffele coming in at 22-1.
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How about some longshots? Keegan Bradley had a great first three rounds at last week’s Wells Fargo, and you’re getting 80-1. Sungjae Im is 45-1, and let’s reach for one more into the triple digits for Matthew Wolff at 100-1.
As is often the case, one of the current top golfers will win a major, as demonstrated by Scheffler’s victory at the Masters. So bet accordingly.
The PGA Championship tees off Thursday, May 18. For a complete schedule, click here.
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