Golf’s final major of the season, the PGA Championship, is slated to start next Thursday (August 13) at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Heading into the tourney, the odds are heavily skewed towards two players: youngster Jordan Spieth (5/1) and world no. 1 Rory McIlroy (7/1).
The pair are deserving favorites. Spieth has been by far the best golfer on tour this year, winning the Masters and the US Open and finishing tied for fourth at the British (just one shot back of the eventual winner, Zach Johnson).
McIlroy, meanwhile, hasn’t been all that the impressive this season and is just coming back from an injury. You might think his odds would have grown a little longer, but they haven’t and with good reason: McIlroy has two PGA Championship titles under his belt already and has also performed well at Whistling Straits in the past (finishing third when the PGA was held there in 2010).
Add in the fact that he’s been the best golfer in the world over the past couple years, and 7/1 looks pretty reasonable.
But we’re not here to play the favorites. This is the PGA Tour, after all, where favorites haven’t been a good bet since Tiger’s hay day. So who in the field is offering the best value?
For my money – which is what I’ll be betting with – it’s Zach Johnson at 38/1.
You might be hesitant to take Johnson just because it would look strange to have two different guys win two majors in the same year. But, after his British Open victory, the 39-year-old has to be feeling confident.
Johnson also has a Green Jacket to his name (from 2007), proving he’s not a one-hit-wonder when it comes to majors. And, like McIlroy, he was excellent the last time the PGA was played at Whistling Straits, finishing one stroke back of champ Martin Kaymer who bested Bubba Watson in a playoff.
But, if you’re still reluctant to take Johnson for the win, consider taking him for a top-ten.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)
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