PGA Championship Tees Off: Thursday, August 7
Valhalla Golf Club – Louisville, KY
Odds to Win Tournament(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.com)
The final major of the year begins this weekend in Louisville as the tour's best players converge in an attempt to grab PGA Championship glory. As with most majors, the past winners at this tournament are some of the best in the world as each of the past four victors are currently in the top-27 of the current world rankings; including newly-crowned No. 1 player, Rory McIlroy. Last season at this event, Jason Dufner earned his first major win as he shot 10-under par and defeated veteran Jim Furyk by two strokes. Tiger Woods has won this major four different times in his career, including back in 2000 when it was last played at this course, but is doubtful to even play after withdrawing from this past week’s Bridgestone Invitational after reinjuring his back. Let’s take a look at a few players in the strong field that can either continue recent dominance or make a name for themselves on the tour’s biggest stage.
Golfers to WatchRory McIlroy (11/2): There is no debating McIlroy being the top player in the world after winning in each of the past two tournaments, The British Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitation; both against all of the top players. He has placed in the top-8 in all three majors this year and has also finished in the top-8 in four of the past five PGA Championships while winning it in 2012. McIlroy is crushing his driver to the tune of 310.3 yards per (3rd on tour) and has hit 68.8% of greens in regulation (10th on tour). Even though the payout on McIlroy will not be tremendous, it is hard to bet against him coming into this week.
Adam Scott (12/1): Scott lost his position as the No. 1 golfer in the world this week, but has not been playing poorly with top-9 finishes in each of his past five tournaments. He has also been one of the best in majors, producing five top-10 finishes in the past two years (7 starts). He ranks as the best on tour in scoring a birdie or better on par-5’s (55.9%) and also has a solid combination of great driving (301.6 yards per, 18th on tour) with .538 strokes gained putting (13th on tour). Scott should be an easy bet to put himself in contention come Sunday in Valhalla.
Graeme McDowell (45/1): McDowell has not been playing quite as well as the past two years, but comes into this week with momentum after finishing in the top-9 in each of his past five tourneys between the PGA and European Tours. He already has a major under his belt (2010 U.S. Open) and has top-15 finishes in four of his past six PGA Championships. His .872 strokes gained putting (5th on tour) always keeps him in the running to compete, and should allow him to do well again this week.
Marc Leishman (60/1): Leishman has looked great over the past two events while chasing McIlroy. He finished third last week at the Bridgestone Invitational while tying for fifth at the British Open the week prior to that. His best career finish at this particular tournament was a 12th-place showing last year, but his great scoring average (69.8, 14th on tour) and current momentum should allow him to continue playing at a high level.
Chris Kirk (150/1): Kirk has flown under the radar while ranking 10th in the FedEx Cup Rankings due to 10 top-25 finishes in his 23 tournaments on the year. He missed just one cut in that time and was solid in the first majors this year; finishing no worse than 28th place. Kirk has steadily been improving since becoming a pro in 2007, and is a great longshot pick come this weekend to take down his first major.