Golf specialist Rob Taylor (@RobTaylorSport) previews The PGA Championship and provides us with his best bets for this week’s event.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +45.5pts
2019 PGA Championship Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st
- Venue: Black Course, Bethpage State Country Club Farmingdale, New York
- Channel: Sky Sports Golf
The 2nd major of the golfing calendar is upon us, in what could be one of the most open major championships in many years. With nearly all of the top 100 in the world all present (Justin Thomas has withdrawn with an injury) and the top of the world rankings as deep as it’s ever been, this has all the hallmarks of an epic golfing battle.
Bethpage Black hosts this week’s US PGA Championship, scene of the 2002 and 2009 US Opens, which were won by Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover respectively, with Nick Watney and Patrick Reed winning the 2012 and 2016 renewals of The Barclays Championships.
Major Championship specialist and defending champion Brooks Koepka, comes in as joint favourite, alongside Dustin Johnson, with Masters Champion Tiger Woods and double PGA Champion, Rory McIlroy close behind.
In a switch in the schedule, the PGA Championship has changed from its usual spot in late August, which could have an impact on how the golf course plays. There has been a lot of rain in the state of New York recently and with more forecast this week, instead of being firm and fast, with the summer sun beating down, it may be even more suited to the longer hitters, as well as strengthening the challenge from the rough, should tee shots miss the short stuff.
When you think of the PGA Championship, memories flood back to long priced winners such as YE Yang, Rich Beem, Keegan Bradley and Jimmy Walker, but there has of course been a fair share of short price winners.
So let’s look at what is in store this week.
Key Stats & Facts
The Black Course at Bethpage State Park will play as a 7,459 par 70 course, with a very challenging and technical test awaiting the players. Famed for being one of the toughest courses around, long and accurate driving will be paramount this week, in order for players to avoid the numerous and challenging sand traps, with around 4 inches of rough awaiting tee shots should they stray. Bethpage also has undulating and relatively small poa annua greens awaiting the approach shots, giving players a true and complete test of their skills.
Therefore, I’ve looked at some of the key statistics to compile my shortlist, including; Total driving, strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained tee to green, strokes gained approach, all around and strokes gained on poa annua surfaces (courtesy of future of fantasy).
- 2018: Brooks Koepka: 22/1
- 2017: Justin Thomas: 45/1
- 2016: Jimmy Walker: 150/1
- 2015: Jason Day: 16/1
- 2014: Rory McIlroy: 5/1
- 2013: Jason Dufner: 66/1
- 2012: Rory McIlroy: 20/1
- 2011: Keegan Bradley: 200/1
Betting Odds – the top 10 in the market (from SkyBet and Paddy Power – paying 10 places)
- Dustin Johnson 11/1
- Brooks Koepka 11/1
- Rory McIlroy 12/1
- Tiger Woods 12/1
- Justin Rose 18/1
- Jon Rahm 18/1
- Rickie Fowler 20/1
- Jason Day 22/1
- Francesco Molinari 25/1
- Tommy Fleetwood 28/1
Whilst the very top of the market is incredibly strong, with each of the top four players having very strong credentials, there are 10 places on offer by firms such as Paddy Power and Sky Bet, which gives us some room to look a bit further down. All of my four picks have been in great form this season, and rank highly in the key statistics I’ve analysed. I’m therefore looking to build on my 45.5 pts profit so far this year.
- Jon Rahm 20/1
Jon Rahm is going to win a major championship. I don’t think any golf fan will argue with that. His talent is clear to see and his rise to the very top of the game has been quick. I’ve earmarked Rahm for this major for a while, as I it really plays to his strength off the tee.
Rahm ranks, 2nd off the tee, 7th total driving, 13th tee to green and 7th in the all-around ranking. He’s also gained 2.4 strokes on poa annua surfaces, ranking him 13th on this surface. Whilst his approach play hasn’t been quite as sharp as some others so far this season, I fancy his game off the tee and imagination around the greens to see him challenge strongly this week.
His record this year so far is ridiculous. A winner at the Zurich Classic and the Hero Challenge, 9th at The Masters, 5th at the Farmers, 6th at the Valspar and the Desert Classic, 8th at the Sentry and 9th at the Genesis Open. He has been a top 10 machine. Obvious question marks remain about his temperament, but those results don’t come from someone that isn’t super talented and I can only see good things.
- Jason Day 22/1
Another high profile performer, 2015 champion Jason Day, comes into this week in very decent form and looks a great value each way pick. A disappointing 3rd round, took him out of serious contention whilst leading the Masters for my preview last month, but I’m keen to stick with the Australian, with his game also very well suited to the challenge that awaits. Day is also familiar with Bethpage, having finished 4th at the 206 Barclays Championship.
Day is phenomenal putting machine on poa annua greens, gaining a huge 2.9 strokes and ranking 2nd. His also sits 8th in the all-around ranking, 5th off the tee, 32nd from tee to green, 26th in gir and 18th total driving. His driving will be a key strength this week.
In other results this season, he finished 8th at The Players, 4th at Pebble Beach and 5th at the Farmers. Day is primed for a win and this could certainly be his week.
- Xander Schauffele 28/1
Readers of my preview will know that I’m a huge fan of Schauffele. Ranked 9th in the world, I see some great value in his price again this week, as he looks to secure his maiden major championship. Already a two time winner this season, Xander came very close to winning at Augusta and was brilliant in his challenge over the weekend. He is a serial contender and with a game to match.
He currently sits 5th in the all-around ranking, 19th from tee to green, 34th off the tee and 18th in approach. Schauffele has also gained 2.1 strokes on poa annua surfaces, putting him in the top 20 for that stat. He is the man for the big event.
- Patrick Cantlay 45/1
Cantlay’s price has come in from and early 55/1, but I’m still happy to be on board at 45’s. His form has been sneakily good this year. His challenge at Augusta was excellent, shooting 64, 68 over the weekend to secure a top 10. He’s also had six further top 10 finishes including 2nd at The Shriners, and 6th at the WGC Mexico.
The American is 17th in the all-around ranking this season, whilst also being 10th from tee to green, 21st off the tee and 29th in approach. He has also gained an impressive 2.3 strokes on poa annua greens, ranking him 16th.
Cantlay is another who is looking set to win his first major and I think he can go well here this week.
I’ve listed some longer priced shots that you may want to consider. These players all rank highly in the stats mentioned above and have some decent form at either Bethpage or during this season.
- Gary Woodland 66/1
- Keegan Bradley 125/1
- Jason Kokrak 125/1