The Masters has springtime in Augusta, the U.S. Open has tight fairways and high rough, the British Open has windswept seaside locales. The PGA Championship has — what, exactly? Identity has long been the issue for a major that’s seen format changes and calendar moves over the course of its history.
What the PGA has had lots of recently, though, is scoring. Intentional or not, the PGA Championship has become the major where players are most likely to go low, which sets the event apart from a betting perspective.
In 2018, Brooks Koepka set an event record with a total score of 264. In 2015, Jason Day finished at 20-under, the lowest winning score ever in a major. Between 2010 and 2019, seven of 10 PGA Championship winners finished double-digits under par.
For players and bettors alike, that trend toward low scoring has become one of the tournament’s few constants. While course setups occasionally mirror those of the U.S. Open, the PGA of America is an organization run by professionals for professionals, and doesn’t want to embarrass its members. It may not produce the target golf of regular PGA Tour events, but sometimes it comes close.
Perhaps because it’s the most scoring-friendly major, the PGA Championship is more likely to produce long shot winners like +12500 Jimmy Walker in 2016, +15000 Keegan Bradley in 2011, +12500 Y.E. Yang in 2009, and other relative lightweights like Shaun Micheel and Rich Beem. If there’s a major to look deep in the field for a potential winner, this is it.
The event’s new springtime date can also prove vexing for bettors, given how some top golfers play a relatively light schedule early in the year. Tiger Woods, for example, had played just five tournaments in 2019 before arriving at Bethpage Black, where he missed the cut. So, take a longer view on player trends, rather than becoming enamored with perhaps more limited performances of the current season.
Tournament winner | The most popular type of golf wager, but also the most difficult to win given the size of the PGA Championship’s 156-player field. Look for candidates who are playing well in events leading into the week.
Each-way | A double wager that allows the bettor to hedge by picking a player not just to win the tournament, but also finish among a top number of places (such as top five) as determined by the sportsbook.
Head to head | A bet that pits two players against one another as chosen by the sportsbook (for example, Matt Kuchar against Patrick Reed), either for a round or for the tournament. All that matters is how they fare against one another, not how they place in the event.
Two- and three-ball | Picking a player out of a twosome or threesome to have the best score in that day’s round. Again, all that matters is how the players fare against one another. First- and second-round pairings are released a few days ahead of time, so study up.
Top 5, Top 10, Top 20 | Betting on a player to finish within a specified range of finishing positions, as set by the sports book. Some books feature all the way up to a top-20, although odds get considerably less favorable as that range widens.
Prop bets | An array of wagers that typically have nothing to do with the final outcome, such as betting a player to make or miss the cut, betting on whether the winner’s finishing score will be above or below a certain number, and betting on whether there will be a hole-in-one.
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First held in 1916, the PGA Championship was conceived as an event solely for professionals, as opposed to the U.S. Open which also welcomed amateurs. Begun as an exhaustive match-play tournament and moved around frequently on the calendar, the event didn’t find a true home until the 1960s, when it was switched to stroke play and became an August fixture.
Americans have dominated the tournament throughout its history, with only 13 players from outside the U.S. raising the Wannamaker Trophy through 2019. Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen share the record for most victories, with four each. The tournament was moved to May 2019 to accommodate the FedEx Cup playoffs moving into August.
|2021||Phil Mickelson (-6)||+25000||Kiawah Island Golf Resort|
|2020||Collin Morikawa (-13)||+3300||TPC Harding Park|
|2019||Brooks Koepka (-8)||+1000||Bethpage Black|
|2018||Brooks Koepka (-16)||+1800||Bellerive|
|2017||Justin Thomas (-8)||+3500||Quail Hollow|
|2016||Jimmy Walker (-14)||+12500||Baltusrol|
|2015||Jason Day (-20)||+1200||Whistling Straits|
|2014||Rory McIlroy (-16)||+600||Valhalla|
The PGA Championship is from May 19-22, 2022.
The 2022 PGA Championship is at the Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Yes, if you live in one of the states that has legalized sports betting.
The 2021 PGA Championship was won by Phil Mickelson.
The PGA Championship will be televised on Thursday and Friday by ESPN, and Saturday and Sunday by CBS.
"An experienced bettor with a decade writing about sports and gambling, Dan's expertise includes college football, college basketball, golf, the NFL and more."