If you're a casual golf fan and sports bettor, the PGA Championship is probably one of the few events per season where you probably wager some money.
And when you're betting golf just a few times a year it's easy to want to place your bets on major winners and golfers you're familiar with. While that can be a winning strategy at times, this week's PGA Championship at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island may not be the best time to bet a few guys who you've seen win majors recently.
Here are three big names you shouldn't spend big money on to win. If you want to throw a dollar or two down, go for it. But your bigger bets are better served elsewhere.
Justin Thomas (+1400 to win)
Thomas hasn’t played well in three starts since winning The Players in March. He was 21st at the Masters and shot even par after a 75 in the third round. He was 13th at the Valspar Championship to kick off May and then finished 26th and at even par at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow two weeks before the PGA.
Thomas’ finish at the Wells Fargo was due largely to his struggles with the putter. His iron play should keep him in the top third of the leaderboard throughout the PGA, but Thomas won’t live up to his No. 4 favorite status if he hasn’t corrected his putting issues.
Dustin Johnson (+1600)
DJ’s going to be a popular pick this weekend because he’s playing near his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, and went to Coastal Carolina. Oh, and because he’s one of the best golfers in the world and the 2020 Masters champion.
But Johnson hasn’t scored a top-10 finish since he was eighth at the Genesis Invitational in February. Johnson missed the cut at the Masters and bounced back with a final round 66 for a 13th-place finish at the RBC Heritage the next week. Johnson has played just once in the last month and was 48th at the Valspar and was just 2-under.
Brooks Koepka (+3300)
Koepka still isn’t fully healthy and is looking for his game as a result. Koepka played the Masters after right knee surgery and said last week that it will be “a while” before he’s back to 100 percent. As a result, he’s still reading putts unconventionally with his right leg stuck out to the side as he gets down toward the green.
Last week’s tournament at TPC Craig Ranch was also the first time Koepka had played since missing the cut at the Masters. And he missed the cut at the Byron Nelson too after shooting just 3-under through the first two rounds. Koepka had two top-two finishes in his first three events of 2021, but he’s still looking to regain that form post-knee surgery.
Long shots to look at
After pouring cold water on those three players’ betting odds, we should probably tell you who to look at for the weekend. And why not look at players who are looking for their first major titles?
Abraham Ancer (+5000) has played well in majors recently and has some tantalizing odds. If you believe that Will Zalatoris’ Masters performance was legit, he’s also at +5000. Marc Leishman struggled around the greens at the Byron Nelson last weekend but still finished 21st. He’s at +6600 along with Sungjae Im. If you want a real big long shot, Robert MacIntyre (+12500) was 12th at the Masters and tied for 8th in the British Masters just a few days ago.
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