2024 PGA Championship First-Round Leader Picks: 3 FRL Bets for Cameron Young & More

2024 PGA Championship First-Round Leader Picks: 3 FRL Bets for Cameron Young & More article feature image

Via Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Young looks over a putt on the second hole during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 12, 2024 in Clifton, North Carolina.

Here's everything you need to know about 2024 PGA Championship first-round leader picks — our expert's FRL bets for this week's major championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

After Rory McIlroy won the Wells Fargo Championship in dominant fashion, we now look forward to this week's 2024 PGA Championship. Valhalla Golf Club hosts this major championship for the first time since 2014.

Valhalla is a par-71, 7,609-yard track designed by Jack Nicklaus that benefits big hitters but also features the third-smallest greens on the PGA Tour thus far this season.

Find my 2024 PGA Championship first-round leader picks below.

2024 PGA Championship First-Round Leader Picks (FRL)

Cameron Young +5000 (BetRivers | 0.17 Units)

Thursday Tee Time: 2:02 p.m. ET

Analytically speaking, Cameron Young has been one of the best golfers on Tour this season to not possess a victory.

At this point, I trust him far more on a Thursday than I do on a Sunday, so that is why I especially like him in the FRL market this week at 50-1. Young hasn't missed a cut in 16 consecutive tournaments, boasting six top-15 finishes over that stretch.

He has also posted five top-10 finishes over his past eight major championships, so we know he can elevate his game against the highest level of competition, and that majors reward his skill set of long iron play and total driving.

Finally, Young has gained distance over the field in all eight of those majors, which bodes well when heading to a course like Valhalla.

Matt Fitzpatrick +7000 (Caesars | 0.14 Units)

Thursday Tee Time: 1:51 p.m. ET

Matt Fitzpatrick tees off in the group immediately prior to Young, and he enters this week in great form with six straight weekend appearances. He boasts three top-11 finishes over that stretch, so the recent form is there.

Fitzpatrick has gained distance over the field in 10 of his 12 tournaments this season, which, as alluded to earlier, is going to be key at Valhalla this week. Like Young, Fitzpatrick has also elevated his game at major championships, gaining true total strokes against the field in 15 consecutive majors.

He boasts eight top-25 finishes over that stretch, including his win at the 2022 U.S. Open. I am slightly worried about Fitzpatrick's ball-striking, but that is why I am more confident in backing him in the more volatile FRL market rather than across a four-day sample size this week.

Keith Mitchell +12500 (BetMGM| 0.11 Units)

Thursday Tee Time: 2:19 p.m. ET

Keith Mitchell is our final FRL target this week. I don't think Mitchell has what it takes to take down this field over a four-day sample size, but I've seen crazier things happen than him finding a way to lead after Thursday.

Mitchell has gained distance over the field in 12 consecutive tournaments, boasting seven top-20 finishes over that stretch. His driving and iron play are the primary reasons for that trend, which is the recipe for success at Valhalla.

He ranks among the top 10 on the PGA Tour this season in both Strokes Gained: Approach and SG: Off the Tee, which is territory where only Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele join him.

Mitchell's short game is much more questionable, but that is something he can get away with on Thursday if his elite ball-striking gets hot as the round progresses.

Here's my full betting card for the PGA Championship, and you can find more of my thoughts on this week's tournament on the Links + Locks Best Bets podcast:

  • Ludvig Åberg Outright Winner (+2100 at bet365) – 0.36 Units
  • Bryson DeChambeau Outright Winner (+2800 at BetRivers) – 0.33 Units
  • Will Zalatoris Outright Winner (+7500 at FanDuel) – 0.3 Units
  • Min Woo Lee Outright Winner (+8000 at BetRivers) – 0.27 Units
  • Cameron Davis Top 20 (+500 at FanDuel) – 0.24 Units
  • Harris English Top 20 (+500 at bet365) – 0.20 Units
  • Cameron Young FRL (+5000 at BetRivers) – 0.17 Units
  • Matt Fitzpatrick FRL (+7000 at Caesars) – 0.14 Units
  • Keith Mitchell FRL (+12500 at BetMGM) – 0.11 Units

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