PGA Tour Odds and Predictions: PGA Championship
by Alan Matthews - 8/10/2011
You want to know how it’s easy to call the PGA Championship the least important of golf’s four majors? Because they have to give it a nickname: “Glory’s Last Shot”. That’s because most casual sports fans start to forget about golf pretty much after the British Open because NFL and NCAA football camps start to open.
And the scary thing about this year’s PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club is that arguably the biggest story line heading into the tournament is about a dang caddie. Of course, last weekend Steve Williams “won” the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron on Adam Scott’s bag. And then Williams essentially stole the spotlight from his boss by saying it was the greatest win of his life despite the fact he won 13 majors, more than 60 tournaments overall and some $10 million while caddying for Tiger Woods before he was fired. The fact that we are even talking about a guy who does a job of a 12-year-old at your local country club is disturbing. But I guess I am just as guilty here.
Williams eventually backed off his jab at Tiger, no doubt at Scott’s prodding, but it would just be tremendous to see Scott and Woods (a four-time PGA Championship winner) paired over the weekend. But that means Tiger would actually have to play well. He was an irrelevant T37 last week in Akron at a course he had won at seven times. Woods finished 18 shots behind Scott. This obviously will be his last chance to go three straight years without winning a major as Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Grand Slam wins looks more and more safe.
PGA Tour Odds: PGA Championship Betting Favorites
For the second straight major, Rory McIlroy is the betting favorite at Bodog at 10/1. Oh, and for what it’s worth, McIlroy says Steve Williams went too far in his comments – see, it’s hard to let that stupid story go. As is the usual custom, McIlroy, the U.S. Open champion, will play his first two rounds with the Masters champion (Charl Schwartzel) and British Open champion (Darren Clarke). The 22-year-old McIlroy has the chance to become the youngest player to win two majors since Gene Sarazen nearly 90 years ago. McIlroy has had good fortune at the PGA Championship in his previous two appearances, finishing third both times. But, obviously, neither was at this course. And Rory has been largely a non-factor in the few tournaments he has played since winning the U.S. Open.
If Lee Westwood, the second-favorite at Bodog at 14/1 with world No. 1 Luke Donald, can win this weekend it would accomplish two things: take Westwood off the list of best golfers to never win a major and complete the “Chubby Slam.” Chubby is Chubby Chandler, the 58-year-old founder and head of International Sports Management. His clients won the first three majors of the year. Westwood was a massive disappointment at the British Open, but did finish in the Top 10 last week. Donald, meanwhile, also looks for his first major. I’m starting to think Donald is the new Colin Montgomerie in that he’s a great player who seems to fail in majors for whatever reason. Donald is now 0-for-33 in Grand Slam tournaments.
And don’t bother betting on Scott at 20/1. He was terrific last week, but it’s almost impossible to win a major the week after winning a tournament.
PGA Tour Odds: PGA Championship Interesting Long Shots and Predictions
You can’t really call Jason Day a long shot at 25/1, but he is tied for only seventh in terms of lowest odds. A lot of people like him this week after finishing runner-up at the Masters and U.S. Open and T4 last week. Day has never won a major, and the past six majors have been won by first-timers.
David Toms at 50/1 seems worth a look. At the 2001 PGA at the Atlanta Athletic Club, Toms beat Phil Mickelson by a stroke for his only major title. With his 15-under-par 265, Toms holds the record for the lowest stroke total in a major. This course is about 270 yards longer than it was a decade ago, but Toms is playing well, having shot four straight rounds of 68 or better last week to finish T9.
If you really want to bet on a long shot, consider Davis Love III at 125/1. In the last two majors, Love finished T11 at the U.S. Open and T9 at the British Open. Love played well in the 2001 PGA at this course (sixth through three rounds) until blowing up with a final-round 77.
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