The PGA Championship has arrived to provide fans and those looking to wager on the action with their first taste of major-championship golf in 13 months.
TPC Harding Park in San Francisco will test the 156-man field - which includes 95 of the top 100 players in the world - in every aspect of the game. Cool, wet, and windy conditions will give these players all they can handle, and that's without the risk of narrow fairways and thick rough penalizing errant shots.
From a betting perspective, this PGA Championship should resemble last year's at Bethpage Black, as well as courses played along the west coast, such as Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach. Driving the ball well will be the key to success because if you aren't finding the fairways with regularity, good luck making par.
2019: Brooks Koepka (-8)
2018: Brooks Koepka (-16)
2017: Justin Thomas (-8)
2016: Jimmy Walker (-14)
2015: Jason Day (-20)
2014: Rory McIlroy (-16)
2013: Jason Dufner (-10)
2012: Rory McIlroy (-13)
Tiger Woods will get his fourth crack at claiming a 16th major title, and if you bet on him, you'll get +2500 on your money if he accomplishes the feat.
Woods should be considered a threat - especially at a course he's won at in the past - even though he came up well short in his last three attempts (MC, T21, MC) whenever a major trophy is on the line. Majors are the only tournaments that matter to him at this point in his career, with Jack Nicklaus' record within reach.
Woods' main concern this week is the weather. The forecast predicts wet and windy conditions with a high temperature of 65 degrees all week. Tiger's nagging back is going to need a lot of work to get warm and stay loose, and he even admits he won't have his full range of motion.
If you want to take a chance on his body holding up for 72 grueling holes of golf, +2500 is fair value. Another option may be to wait and see how he performs after two days and bet on him if he's around +1200 and only a few shots off the lead going into the weekend.
Justin Thomas - now the No. 1 golfer in the world - opens as the favorite at +600, coming off his win in Memphis. The price is short, but the fear of Thomas running away with the PGA Championship is also very real. Nonetheless, winning majors is very hard, and going back-to-back is even rarer, so despite his ability to win, fading Thomas is the better play.
Brooks Koepka (+800) is peaking at the right time for a third-straight PGA Championship win. After striking the ball beautifully last week, he looks primed to contend for another major championship.
The other three favorites can be considered the forgotten ones after last week's display by Thomas and Koepka.
Rory McIlroy is in a slump with his approach play, so he's a pass at +1000. Bryson DeChambeau might be able to overpower the course, but his length might be a bit neutralized due to the cold conditions. Plus, he's yet to record a top-10 result in a major.
If forced to choose from the top, it's Koepka, with Jon Rahm as the next option at +1200. Rahm loves California golf with two PGA Tour wins in the state and a recent victory at Memorial under his belt.
This tier is where the value starts to open up, starting with Dustin Johnson at +2000. His strong tee-to-green effort in Memphis showed that his rounds of 80 at the Memorial were a complete fluke. If TPC Harding Park plays anything like last year's PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, where Johnson came second, the 35-year-old should be in the mix for his second major title.
Xander Schauffele (+2000) and Patrick Cantlay (+2500) will garner a lot of attention this week as two players on the brink of earning their first major trophy. Both are elite ball-strikers who can get red hot with their irons. Backing either of them is worth serious consideration.
It would be a big ask for Collin Morikawa to win his first major in only his second attempt, but there aren't many players in the world who can hit the ball as well as the 23-year-old. He's long and straight off the tee and precise with his irons, which is a recipe to winning any tournament.
This is Scott's first event since the restart, so rust is a concern. But he did win the Genesis Invitational earlier this year after an eight-week break, so coming in cold won't be anything new for the 40-year-old. Plus, based on his form in recent majors - with three top-10's in the last five starts - he appears to gear up around the season's biggest events.
If it's going to be cold, wet, and windy all week in San Fransisco, taking a couple of shots on the Englishmen isn't a bad idea. Fleetwood and Hatton thrive in tough conditions and are playing well coming to TPC Harding Park. Fleetwood was brilliant in the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude, and Hatton has a win and two top-fives in three of his last four PGA Tour starts.
It would be farfetched to see anyone beyond +4000 winning the PGA Championship, but Daniel Berger (+5000) and Abraham Ancer (+5500) are reasonable options. If the weather is going to resemble an Open Championship, Shane Lowry - the Claret Jug's current owner - is a very good value at +8000.
Brooks Koepka (+800)
Koepka showed that he deserves backing at a short +800 number in Memphis. His iron play was elite, consistently hitting approach shots to inside 10 feet. His driving and putting will need to be slightly better to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy, but he's been working tirelessly on both aspects and can surely bounce back.
Patrick Cantlay (+2500)
Cantlay turned a slow start around in Memphis with two solid days of approach play and putting, en route to rounds of 65 and 67 on the weekend. He hits it dead straight off the tee and is long enough to compete with the bombers on Tour. The California native should have no problem dealing with the expected cooler temperatures and will be a contender come Sunday.
Tommy Fleetwood (+4000)
Cold, wet, and windy are the ideal conditions for Fleetwood. His finish last week won't jump off the page, but he closed the week with 65 thanks to a good day off the tee and the resurgence of his world-class iron game. He hasn't been priced this high at a major in quite some time, placing fantastic value on a player who has a runner-up result in a major each of the last two years.