This year in golf has been a difficult one to predict compared to years passed. There have been no repeat winners at any major, the jockeying for first overall in the world has been a seesaw battle between Jason Day and Dustin Johnson, and more importantly the previous three major winners this year are all first timers. The PGA Championship will be held in Springfield New Jersey at the beautiful Baltusrol Golf Club with $10 million on the line.
If recent history is any indication of what will transpire this week, it should be noted that five of the last six PGA Champions have won their first professional major there. Many may recall last year at Whistling Straits Golf Club where eventual world #1 Jason Day finally overcame his biggest career hurdle and won his coveted first major with an impressive showing of 20 strokes below par, three better than second place winner Jordan Spieth.
Below are the odds for the sportsbook favorites to win from Bet365 Canada
Dustin Johnson (9-1): The hottest golfer on tour right now has also been the most consistent and it’s none other than Dustin Johnson. DJ was one of three golfers to finally capture his first major title by winning the US Open at Oakmont with some extremely accurate wedge play and putting. Not exactly two of Dustin’s strong suits however if he can even get fifty percent of the efficiency that he showed last month coupled with his driving off the tee, he could very well capture his second major.
Jason Day (10-1): World #1 Jason Day is always a favourite to contend in any event, and for the Australian he will be looking to successfully defend his place at the podium for a PGA Championship. Day has already won twice on tour this year and finished last week’s Canadian Open in strong fashion, carding weekend rounds of 69 and 67, which may be a sign of things to come this week in New Jersey.
Jordan Spieth (15-1): It was always going to be a tough task for 22-year old Jordan Spieth to improve on his tour success from a year ago and translate it into further success this year. However Spieth has won two titles this year and 6 top 10 finishes, and with his putting ability and touch around the green, should always be considered a threat at a major.
Henrik Stenson (17-1): What Henrik Stenson showed us two weeks ago is that even at age 40 he still has all of the ability in the world to own a golf course. The smooth swinging Swede put on an absolute clinic at the Open Championship with an impressive round of 63 on Sunday in what proved to be a match-play event on Sunday with Phil Mickelson. Like Dustin, Stenson earned his first career major this year and will be looking for an encore performance this week.
Phil Mickelson (21-1): Much like Stenson, Phil Mickelson put on a show two weeks ago in Scotland at the Open Championship and played arguably his best four-round golf in years. Though it wasn’t enough to win the Claret Jug, Lefty looked to be in fine form and will no doubt be riding that momentum into this week at Baltusrol.
Justin Rose (31-1): So Justin Rose hasn’t exactly had his best year on tour this year making the cut in only 10 of his 13 events thus far. Most players would kill for that kind of efficiency although Rose has set the bar fairly high for himself in recent years. The odds he’s paying are totally worth a look as the Englishman finished in fourth place in this event last year with a very solid minus 14.
PGA Championship Longshot Sleeper Picks
Matt Kuchar (46-1): It’s hard to believe that Matt Kuchar has yet to taste victory in a major golf tournament in his professional career. At 38 years of age he is still very much in the prime of his career and in great form. Kooch is the model of consistency and has made 18 of 19 cuts this season with an impressive eight top 10’s. Kuchar’s best ever showing at a major came last year in this event when he tied for 7th at 12 under.
Branden Grace (56-1): South African Branden Grace continually flies below the radar and is seldomly on the watch list of players likely to win a tournament. Grace is having himself another fine season with 16 of 18 cuts made. He’s also won two events and boasts and impressive 10 top ten finishes on the season. You may recall Grace was very much in contention at this event last year and found himself alone in third place at a cool 15 under par.
Brooks Koepka (56-1): Koepka is back in the field for this week’s PGA Championship after missing the last two events with an ankle injury. Prior to his ankle injury Koepka was on a bit of a run. He finished tied for 13th at the US Open and before that had consecutive second place finishes at the St Jude Classic and the Byron Nelson. With these odds it might be a smart bet to dabble on the 26-year old.
Tony Finau (141-1): This selection may be a bit of a long shot but Finau is one of the longest hitters on tour and with the yardage of Baltusrol coming in at 7400 yards from the tips, the length of the 26-year old off the tee will be a huge factor to his success this week. Add that to the fact that Finau finished last years PGA Championship in 10th place at 11 under par means this week may just be a recipe for an upset