2018 PGA Championship: Can Tiger End Major Drought?

This week will be the PGA Championship held in August as it has been moved to May starting next year. The 100th PGA Championship starts Thursday at the Bellerive Country Club outside of St. Louis.  Let’s discuss the favorites and the dark horses as well as the corresponding odds for each.

Top Guns

Dustin Johnson (+900) – A quick check over to Sportsbook Review, the bettor’s bible displaying up to date odds from all the best online sportsbooks, tells us that the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world, Johnson, is the favorite to win the PGA Championship despite the fact that he has only one major championship to his credit (2016 US Open). The 34-year-old has won three PGA Tour events this year and came third in the U.S. Open. In addition to his punishing driver, Johnson is ranked No. 3 on the PGA Tour in something called the three-putt avoidance category, which should assist greatly on the big dishes at Bellerive.

Rory McIlroy (+1100) – A two-time winner of the PGA Championship with a total of four major victories on his resume, McIlroy tied for second at the British Open last month but has been without a major win since 2014.

Justin Thomas (+1350) – Another young gun, hailing from Louisville, Thomas is poised to defend his PGA Championship title from last year when he shot an 8-under par at Quail Hollow in Charlotte on the way to earning the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year Award. The odds spiked on Thomas this past weekend after he shot a blistering 15 under par at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to best his nearest rival, Kyle Stanley, by four strokes.

Jordan Spieth (+1400) – The 25-year-old Spieth has won three majors in his career with the latest coming at the British Open in 2017 followed by a ninth-place finish in that event this year. A third-place finish at the 2018 Masters preceded a disappointing U.S. Open where he failed to make the cut, the first time since the 2014 US Open that he failed to do so at a major event and now over a year since he has finished first at any tournament. Spieth looks to complete the career Grand Slam.

Tiger Woods (+1600) – The legend is back … or at the very least getting close to something resembling the old Tiger. Woods held the lead heading into the back-nine of the final round at the British Open before he did something he very rarely did back in his glory days – wilted. Still, a tie for sixth place is about as close as he has come to winning a major, something he hasn’t done since capturing US Open title way back in ’08.

Rickie Fowler (+1800) – Fowler is a perennial contender in most tournaments but never a winner at a major. He tied for fifth last year at Quail Hollow and took second at the Masters this year. After checking out his odds over Sportsbook Review, we see that he is an 18-1 shot to win the PGA Championship and secure his first major. Not bad odds on a guy that always seems to hang around.

Justin Rose (+2000) – The 38-year-old South African has played well this year with a T- 12 finish at the Masters, a T-10 at the US Open and a T-2 at the British. But this game is about winning and Rose has only done that once at a major, the 2013 US Open.

Brooks Koepka (+2000) – Koepka has won the US Open two years running and tied for 13th in last year’s PGA Championship. He has five Top 10 finishes in the 10 majors over the course of his career and has never missed a cut in any of them. Like Fowler and Rose, Koepka is always a consideration when plunking a few bucks down at the best online sportsbooks on a player to win an event.

Dark Horses

Francesco Molinari (+2500) – The Italian won his first and only major at the British Open this year and bested McIlroy by two strokes with a 17 under par at the BMW PGA Championship in May. He also finished second at Quail Hollow in last year’s PGA Championship. Nice odds on a hot golfer who may be dipping under the radar at this event.

Sergio Garcia (+5000) – At one time, many years ago, Garcia was being hailed as the next wunderkind after Tiger Woods. Those lofty expectations never quite panned out for the now 38-year-old Spaniard with his first major win coming at the 2017 Masters but suffering missed cuts at all three majors this year. Nevertheless, Garcia could surprise and the healthy odds make him a somewhat attractive value wager here.

Phil Mickelson (+5000) – The winner of five career majors can never be completely discounted despite his advancing age. The 48-year-old Lefty defeated Justin Thomas in a playoff at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March but has failed to make the Top 10 at the PGA Championship in seven of the last eight years.

Tony Finau (+5000) – Finau has hit his stride with Top 10 finishes in all three majors this year heading into the PGA Championship. His lone PGA Tour title was the 2016 Puerto Rico Open but his game might just be on par with claiming his first major this time around.

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