2019 PGA Championship Expert Betting Picks with Odds and Predictions
For the second Sunday in a row on the PGA Tour, we saw a relative unknown win his first Tour event as Sung Kang was the victor at the AT&T Byron Nelson in the Dallas area - where the South Korean lives. In his 159th career PGA Tour start, Kang shot a final-round 4-under 67 to finish at 23 under and beat Matt Every and Scott Piercy by two strokes.
Thanks to a brilliant 61 on Friday, Kang entered Sunday's finale with a three-stroke lead over Every and at least five on everybody else in the field. Kang's only previous pro wins were on the Korean Tour back in 2013. There were a few close calls on the Web.com Tour. At the 2017 Houston Open on the PGA Tour, he had a six-shot lead through 36 holes but couldn't hold it.
I went with Kevin Na to win at +4000, but he finished T35 at 10-under. Not much positive from the Nelson, so let's move on to this week's 101 st PGA Championship, which is being held in May for the first time since 1949 when it was still a match-play tournament. It switched to stroke play in 1958.
The PGA is being held at the very tough Black Course at Bethpage State Park on Long Island. It's the first time the Black hosts this event, but it hosted the U.S. Open in 2002 & '09. Tiger Woods won the former at 3-under 277 and Lucas Glover the latter at 4-under 276. It probably won't play that tough this week but more like it did when it hosted the Barclays in the 2016 FedEx Cup playoffs when Patrick Reed won at 9-under. The Black will play at par 70 this week. It measures around 7,450 yards and will host the 2024 Ryder Cup. It's the 13th time the state of New York has hosted the PGA Championship, the most for any state for that major.
We almost had history being made this week with every single member of the world Top 100 set to play in a major for the first time. Alas, that is no longer the case as 2017 champion Justin Thomas (he won at Quail Hollow in Charlotte) withdrew due to a wrist injury on Monday. The world No. 5 injured his wrist and shoulder while hitting a tree when trying to hit a shot at the Honda Classic in March but did play the Masters and finished T12. Kelly Kraft will fill Thomas' spot in the tournament. Any player in the Top 60 of the world rankings after this tournament automatically earns a spot in the U.S. Open if not already qualified.
Dustin Johnson is the current world No. 1 but could lose that spot to a few guys this week depending - including No. 6 Tiger Woods. Truly never thought he would get back to No. 1. If Woods wins this tournament, Johnson finishes outside the Top 10 and No. 2 Justin Rose and No. 3 Brooks Koepka DON'T finish second then Tiger is back at No. 1.
Finally, if you are watching this week, you will see something unusual on the PGA Tour: A golfer allowed to use a cart. That would be former PGA Championship winner John Daly. The 53-year-old former requested to use a cart, which the PGA of America approved under its American with Disabilities Act guidelines.
Golf Odds: PGA Championship Favorites
Johnson is the +1000 Bovada favorite as he looks for his first PGA Championship victory and second all-time major. DJ was tied for second at this year's Masters and hasn't played since a T28 the next week at the RBC Heritage. Johnson was 40th at the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage and 18th at the 2016 Barclays.
Defending champion Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Tiger are all +1100. Some books have Woods favored, and I promise you that every book on earth is hoping he doesn't win because they took a beating when Woods won the Masters last month. He hasn't played since. Tiger was runner-up last year at the PGA Championship, two behind Koepka, and has won it four times overall, one shy of the record held by Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen (his all in match play).
Koepka played last week at the Byron Nelson and was T4. Koepka is 55-under in the last 10 majors held, 15 shots better than anyone else in that span. Last year, he became only the fifth player to win the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year, and the first since Woods in 2000. Tiger in 2007 was the last player to repeat at the PGA Championship. McIlroy won this tournament in 2012 & '14.
Struggling Jordan Spieth is +4000 to complete the career grand slam, but his game is a mess right now. Phil Mickelson is +6600. His lone PGA Championship win was in 2005. He was a runner-up at both U.S. Opens at Bethpage Black.
Golf Odds: PGA Championship Picks
Americans have won seven of the last eight major championships. The lone international player to win a major in that span is Italy's Francesco Molinari (+2500) at last year's British Open. He's playing with Koepka and Woods the first two days.
I don't like Tiger for a Top 10 as he might be rusty and there are rumors he might have tweaked something since his Masters win and that's why he hasn't played. Do like Koepka (+110), Johnson (+110) and Rickie Fowler (+185) for Top 10s.
Go Sergio Garcia (+225) as top Spaniard and Tommy Fleetwood (+350) as top Englishman. Head-to-head, go Adam Scott (+145) over Woods (-185), Johnson (-125) over Woods (-105; you can bet about 20 guys vs. Woods), Fleetwood (-105) over Jason Day (-125), and Matt Kuchar (-120) over Paul Casey (-110).
My winner is Sergio at +4000. Yes, he missed the cut at the Masters (site of Garcia's lone major win) but comes off a T4 at the Wells Fargo and has Top 10 finishes at Bethpage in 2016 and both U.S. Opens.
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