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Thread: Betting Guide To The PGA Championship

  1. #1 Betting Guide To The PGA Championship 
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    How to bet the PGA Championship
    Chris Fallica
    ESPN INSIDER
    8/8/17

    After hitting the U.S. Open with Brooks Koepka, our luck ran out in The Open, as Rickie Fowler never got it going. Marc Leishman finished a respectable sixth, but that was about it. We'll give it one more shot in the final major of the year at Quail Hollow this week.

    While we all expect a big-name player to win a major, this course has served up some unlikely winners in PGA Tour events (see James Hahn, Derek Ernst and Sean O'Hair). Each of those wins has come since 2009, and while the course has undergone some significant changes, players still have an idea what to expect here.

    Will it be Rory McIlroy or a first-timer? Six of the last eight PGA winners were first-timers. The lone exception was Rory -- twice. McIlroy won majors number two and four at the PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014. As mentioned above, Quail Hollow has seen some lesser known names win the Wells Fargo Championship, and that would go hand in hand with some of the unpredictable winners of the PGA Championship. Of the eight players who have won majors while being ranked outside the top 100 in the world, four of them have done so at the PGA Championship, and two of those (Keegan Bradley in 2011 and Y.E. Yang in 2009) have come in the previous eight editions of this event.


    Jimmy Walker's win last year at Baltusrol snapped a streak of 16 straight majors won by players ranked in the top 30. Still, after Jordan Spieth's win at Royal Birkdale, 19 of the past 20 majors have been won by players in the top 30, and 10 of the past 13 have been won by players ranked in the top 12. Four of the past eight winners of the PGA, though, have been outside the top 20.

    Whoever wins will have to start fast. Each of the past 17 major winners has broken par in the opening round, and none of the past 15 has been outside the top 10 on the leaderboard after 18 holes. In addition, the past four majors have been won by a player who led or shared the lead after 36 holes, and each of the past six majors have been won by a player who was first or second through 54 holes.

    The early forecast calls for rain, so that could help long hitters that have a lot of carry, making those second shots easier with a shorter iron. And if the greens are soft, it could be target practice.

    Top picks

    Rory McIlroy (7-1 Westgate and Ladbrokes)

    In seven trips to Quail Hollow, he has gone T-4, win, T-8, T-10, T-2, cut, win. I normally would not take single-digit odds on a golfer, but a pair of wins and six top-10s in seven trips to this venue, added to the fact that he has won this event two of the past five times he has played it and has three other top-10s in that span, makes him a smart play for a win wager at 7-1. Then, try to find a top-10 finish price which would cover your win wager. It looks like McIlroy's game is really rounding into form, as shown by his T-4 finish at The Open and four rounds in the 60s at WGC Bridgestone.

    Tommy Fleetwood (50-1 Westgate, 66-1 Ladbrokes)

    I liked him at 125-1 at the U.S. Open where he finished fourth. The local son was everyone's favorite at Birkdale in The Open, and after an opening-round 76, he played pretty well, finishing T-27. Here, there's a lot less pressure and a lot better pricing. He has four top-10s in past six starts. Don't be surprised if he's again in the mix come Sunday.

    Branden Grace (60-1 Westgate, 66-1 Ladbrokes)

    In his past 10 majors, he has five top-six finishes, including great PGA performances the past two years. He finished fourth at Baltusrol last year and third in 2015 at Whistling Straits. Factor in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay (T-4), and he has really been on the cusp lately. Plus, he is putting together a sneaky good season with seven top-15 finishes. People might bet him down some, as they are well aware of the 62 that he shot last month at The Open.

    Daniel Berger (50-1 Westgate, 66-1 Ladbrokes)

    Berger finished 28th in his first trip to Quail Hollow in 2015, then finished 17th in his second go-round. His career has taken off this year, and he certainly has the ability to go low. He has never really contended in a major (just one top-20, a T-20 in last year's Masters), but he did open with a 68 and close with a 67 in The Open last month. Prior to The Open, he went win, cut, runner-up, T-5 in his previous four events and then posted a top-20 at Firestone. And of course, he would continue the trend of first-time major winners.

    Thomas Pieters (40-1 Westgate, 50-1 Ladbrokes)

    I've been calling for him to win a big event all year, and he nearly pulled it off last week before a Sunday 71 took him out of the mix. I'm actually glad he didn't win last week -- he played so well for the first three rounds before fading, and that could serve as a driving force for him this week. Sure, maybe I'm playing him on the blind, but if he wins a big event when I'm not holding a ticket on him, I'll never forgive myself. He claims just one top-25 in majors, fourth at the Masters this past April.

    Other contenders

    Hideki Matsuyama (12-1 Westgate, 12-1 Ladbrokes)

    I was all set to make him my top pick, but then he went out and won at Firestone last week. Will he really win a WGC and a major in consecutive weeks. That's a tough ask. He hasn't been worse than 14th in his past four majors, a stretch that includes two top-fours, one of which was a fourth-place finish at last year's PGA Championship. He also finished 11th at the Wells Fargo last year. Matsuyama struggled after his win at the Waste Management, but broke out of that slump in the U.S. Open with a T-2 finish, and as evidenced by his win at Firestone, he obviously hasn't slowed down. How much added pressure will there be from home now in his quest to win that first major? That remains to be seen, but while it will be very hard to back up last week's win, I'd be surprised if he didn't finish in the top 10.

    Rickie Fowler (15-1 Westgate, 18-1 Ladbrokes)

    Fowler won the Wells Fargo in 2012 and finished T-4 last year. Yet, it has been an odd run at the PGA Championship for Fowler -- just one top-15 finish, T-3 in 2014. He has six top-fives this year and seriously contended in both the Masters and U.S. Open before never threatening in The Open. I don't think he'll win this week, but his affinity for the course has him pegged for another top-10.

    Justin Thomas (35-1 Westgate, 40-1 Ladbrokes)

    Thomas struggled at Baltusrol last year, but was seventh at the Wells Fargo in 2015. After a T-9 in the U.S. Open after his third-round 63, he missed the cut at The Open after an opening-round 67 (he drew the worst of the weather in the second round and shot 80). With the removal of a lot of trees, this course should be much more to his liking, and he comes in after playing well on the weekend at Firestone. If Thomas is to win a major, the PGA Championship feels like the one that he's most likely to capture.

    Price plays

    Danny Lee (200-1 Westgate, 200-1 Ladbrokes)

    Lee played to a T-9 and a T-13 in last two events at Quail Hollow. He's actually opened his past four stateside majors with a round in the 60s, but he hasn't been able to string consecutive solid rounds together. Maybe his past good play at Quail Hollow will give his confidence a little bit of a boost. Remember, he was a top-40 player as recently as last July and has four top-10s in his past eight events, padded by not missing a cut since The Players. You could do a lot worse at this price.

    Lee Westwood (100-1 Westgate, 150-1 Ladbrokes)

    Westwood missed the cut in 2014 at Quail Hollow, but posted top-five finishes in 2012 and 2013. Still, since finishing second to Danny Willett at Augusta last April, he has just one top-20 finish in a major. Maybe the former world No. 1 catches lightning in a bottle at age 44, just as Darren Clarke did at age 42 in the 2011 Open.
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    No opinion on this material fellas, just posting for others to read...
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