PGA Championship Betting Preview: 3 Golfers to Target at Each Odds Level
Oak Hill Country Club is hosting the PGA Championship 10 years after it previously held the major. But the course has undergone wide-scale changes that will make it look and play vastly different than it did in 2013.
Reaction from participants, and PGA Tour betting sites are mixed.
“We’ve redone pretty much the whole golf course,” Jason Ballard, Oak Hill Club Professional said. “All of the green complexes have been rebuilt. Every single bunker has been rebuilt. We’ve taken out some trees over the course of time to give the golfers more playability off the tees and approaches into the greens.”
The new-look course has drawn a wide array of opinions, from some golfers noting in interviews they believe bombers could flourish by driving the ball as far down as possible and chopping it out, whereas others don’t see it as a bomber’s paradise and value accuracy off the tee.
Aaron Flener, the caddie for J.T. Poston, falls into the latter.
I like an accurate driver of the ball who can scramble when they need to. Rough isn’t the longest I’ve seen but it’s THICCC. Bunkering is amazing. Very steep faces. Most fairway bunkers are ok in the back half but not good if you get near the front. Bunkers around greens are well…— Aaron Flener (@AaronFlener) May 14, 2023
Based on what we’ve seen from the new version of Oak Hill, here are three players worth targeting at each level of the golf betting odds board: favorite, mid-tier and longshot.
Jon Rahm +800 WynnBet
Depending on the book, Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm are both the overwhelming favorites in this year’s PGA Championship field at around +700. Scheffler is even as low as +650 on Caesars Sportsbook.
There are enough stats and metrics to feed into the narrative of either one of them winning. Their form is great. Both are elite off the tee and with their irons. If you decided to use most of the betting allotment for this week on either of them instead of multiple players further down the board, it would be hard to blame you.
When it comes down to it, if there’s one of the two that I lean towards, it’s Rahm. How’s this for a stat? According to Justin Ray of the PGA TOUR, Rahm is the only player on tour ranked in the Top 20 in strokes gained: off the tee, strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: putting.
That’s all you need to know if you want to back Rahm.
Patrick Cantlay +2000 BetMGM Sportsbook
Cantlay has come under scrutiny for his timely pre-shot routines and has become the target of the slow-play discourse that has become more prevalent with the PGA TOUR. But don’t let your disdain for his pace discourage you from wanting to back him this week.
Cantlay is third this season in strokes gained: off the tee, fitting into the narrative of driving success being critical this week. He’s also one of the better bentgrass putters and has had success in this area. Two of his last three solo wins came in the Northeast on bentgrass greens.
Recent form has also been a positive for Cantlay. He’s finished no worse than T-21 in his last eight events and has recorded two-thirds during that span.
Tyrell Hatton +4600 FanDuel Sportsbook
Tyrell Hatton has been one of the most consistent and elite performers this season. He ranks fifth overall in strokes gained this season, trailing only Rahm, Scheffler, Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele.
Hatton has also been great at the marquee tournaments in 2023. He finished fourth at the Arnold Palmer Invite, second at The Players Championship and is coming off a T-3 at the Wells Fargo Championship and a T-5 at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
His recent placements and overall strokes-gained data puts him near the top of the field this year, but his betting number is much further down the board, making him worth consideration this week.
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