PGA Championship Sleepers: Henrik Stenson & Cameron Champ Among Best Longshot Picks
Sam Greenwood, Getty Images. Pictured: Henrik Stenson
- The first golf major of 2020 is finally (almost) here!
- In honor of the PGA Championship starting on Thursday, our betting analysts have made their sleeper picks.
- Find out why Cameron Champ, Henrik Stenson, Shane Lowry and Ryan Palmer are among the best longshot bets.
There’s nothing quite like falling in love with a longshot.
Even though the odds are, quite literally, stacked against you, there’s something to be said about the warm feeling you get when you find your guy down the board. You start to convince yourself that he’s got a chance. These odds are too good to pass up, you tell yourself. You even brag about your pick to your friends even though the tournament doesn’t start for a few days.
The warm feeling is, of course, fleeting as longshot bets rarely work out, but from the moment you find your sleeper to the time he tees off hope springs eternal.
Here are our favorite sleeper picks and longshot bets for the first Major Championship of the season, The 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park:
Ryan Palmer (+12500, $10 bet wins $1,250)
He was on my radar even before a final-round 64 in Memphis during which he put on a ball-striking exhibition. We obviously want players in strong recent form and Palmer has been a lot better than most people realize – not just over the past two months, but dating back to last year’s PGA in May.
He missed the cut that week, but since then has made 22 starts and has finished top-20 in half of ‘em. Palmer might not be the right sleeper for outright bets, but I love him for top-20s.
Cameron Champ (+17500)
I’m going to be weighing distance pretty heavily this week and Champ definitely fits that mold.
It also helps that he’s a California native and should be used to playing in these conditions. One of his two victories even came in his home state at The Safeway Open last fall.
Champ’s form has been hit and miss since the Return to Golf, but he’s got a couple of top-20 finishes and was 25th at last week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on a course that doesn’t really line up with his bomb and gouge style.
He’s definitely worth a longshot flier and a top-20 play.
Shane Lowry (+8500)
Lowry wasn’t able to defend his Open Championship this year, but he may get to add another major to the mantle this week after finishing inside the top 10 at TPC Southwind gaining the sixth most strokes tee-to-green on the weekend (+5.18).
Lowry is one of the best long-iron hitters on TOUR and should be feeling confident on this coastal course even if he doesn’t have a ton of distance off-the-tee.
The Irishman ranks first in proximity to the flag from 200-plus yard approaches over his previous 12 rounds and finished 12th in 2018 and eighth last season at the PGA.
Henrik Stenson (+12500)
Stenson made his return last week in Memphis and finished inside the top-35, gaining just under a stroke tee-to-green for the tournament. He hit his irons well in the first two rounds, gaining just under four strokes total but had issues on Saturday and Sunday losing 1.8 with the approach.
Stenson maybe felt some fatigue over the weekend, but it’s a good sign Henrik was able to play well in his first competitive rounds since March. Like Lowry, Stenson is terrific with his long-irons and one of the most accurate off-the-tee (with his 3-wood) ranking second in fairways gained over his previous 50 rounds.