With the final major of the year quickly approaching, it is time for my 5 Tips for the PGA Championship. After Phil Mickelson’s triumphant win at Muirfield, it has been a busy two weeks of golf which will culminate with the crowning of the PGA Champion and the handing over of the biggest monstrosity of a trophy in golf (maybe sports? There must be worse….surely).
My tips will be based not necessarily who I think is the most likely to win, but rather the bets which will give the most value. I’d recommend betting any of these each way as you can get 6 places at quarter odds which are generally good value.
The odds are atrocious for the PGA, with very few value bets available, which is odd when you consider that Tiger Woods is the overwhelming favourite at 3/1. It has made it harder to pick 5 value picks, but I somehow managed anyway.
All odds are from Bet365 and are subject to change.
Jason Dufner 40/1
I tipped Dufner as a good value bet in the Open a couple of weeks ago, and commented that I thought the winner may back into it, and Dufner has the ability on the last day to go out and shoot a very low score. Dufner kindly followed that up by doing exactly that on the last day of the Open but still managed to only finish T-26th…..go figure.
Dufner has kept his best for the majors this year, with respectable finishes of 20th and 26th in the Masters and Open respectively, add onto that a 4th position in the US Open and you have a solid year. Dufner has the ability to go out and play aggressive golf and score very well. I said it at the Open and I’ll say it again here, if Dufner can put himself within around 4 or 5 shots on the last day he could very well shoot himself to the trophy.
However Dufner has never won a major, and could quite easily play himself out of contention with one sloppy round (like he did in the Open).
These are concerns with Dufner, but he is becoming one of those players who you feel that it is only a matter of time till he wins a major. This is reflected in his odds, where he was 66/1 in the Open but has dropped to 40/1 for the PGA. At 40/1 he is still good value in a betting field which has very few value bets out there.
Zach Johnson 60/1
I was surprised to see Johnson’s odds being as low as 60/1, and at that he is a steal. His play coming into the PGA has been incredibly consistent, his previous 3 tournaments he has finished 2nd (John Deere Classic), 6th (The Open) and 4th (WGC-Bridgestone). It is noteworthy and impressive that his last two top 10’s were against a full field. Johnson’s play has been really consistent; he is a steady player and is unlikely to do anything flashy but is general there on the last day. There are no concerns over Johnson’s bottle as he won the Masters a number of years ago.
If there is one concern about Johnson, it is that he is not a prolific winner. It is unlikely that Johnson will go out on the last day and play exciting birdie filled golf. What he will do instead is make as few mistakes as possible, but that doesn’t always win golf tournaments.
He is a good pick up and at 60/1 (especially each way) he is fantastic value, even more so when you take into consideration his form.
Francesco Molinari 80/1
Molinari (much like Dufner) is in that category of players who you think are ready to take that step up to winning majors. He is an accurate driver, accurate with the irons, a good chipper and a good putter, with the only blot on his copybook being his lack of driving distance. His best asset is his ability to play consistently, which is vital in a major.
The fact that Molinari hasn’t won a major is a natural concern, as is his lack of winning regular tour events and his distance off the tee.
His lack of distance is a concern, but Oak Hill isn’t the longest course. Molinari should be sitting at around 45/1, instead you are getting him at 80/1, it is great value and he is a perfect each way bet.
Branden Grace 125/1
Grace is another in the long list of promising young South African talents, and he will be looking to follow in the footsteps of players like Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel (recent young South African major winners). He’s had a solid season on the European Tour with a number of top 10 finishes.
It is unlikely that he will win the PGA Championship, but 125/1 at quarter odds he is a good bet to place, and who knows stranger things have happened, Grace certainly has the ability to win the PGA Championship and if he were to play well enough and hold his bottle, he could.
Paul Lawrie 200/1
I was amazed to see Lawire at 200/1. Lawrie hasn’t had the best of seasons (he hasn’t really challenged for a title) but he is a former major winner and is a capable winner on his day. He played very well in the Open, but a first round 81 took him out of contention straight away.
Lawrie is a perfect example of the problem that I am having in this year’s PGA, I like Lawrie (much like Grace) and wouldn’t be shocked if he won, but there are so few value bets out there that I pick him because at 200/1 because it is a good price and he is worth an each way bet.
So of the 5 guys I have picked, which one do I think will win? None of them, I think Tiger Woods will win. However at 3/1 (8/1 at the Open) there is absolutely no value in betting Woods at all. If you seen his form at Firestone you will understand why I think he will win, he was imperious. He shot two excellent scores on the first two days, followed by excellent course management over the weekend. His driving, irons, chipping and especially his putting were all excellent and if he were to carry his form over to the PGA then he will walk it.
If you are looking for some other players who I think have a good chance but aren’t good value, then Snedeker (22/1 [good chance of winning but not great odds]), Stenson (30/1 [although I don’t think he has the bottle to win, but his play coming into the PGA has been consistently challenging without actually challenging]) or Charl Schwartzel (35/1 [but playing too inconsistently to deserve those low odds]). If you are looking for another value bet whom I don’t think will win but could place then take a look at Angel Cabrera (80/1 [played very well in the majors this year, not so much outside the majors]) or Miguel Angel Jimenez (150/1 [very good odds when he is playing so well, but a was shown at the Open he doesn’t have the bottle to win but could back into it]).
So there you go, what do you think of the tips? Have you got any tips of your own? Let me know. All comments are welcome.