PGA Championship Predictions: 3 Outright Bets, Including Scottie Scheffler
Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Scottie Scheffler.
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We are back for the year’s second major as I reveal my PGA Championship predictions, and it is shaping up to be a good one. It’s always fun when the course is one of the biggest storylines of the week, and that’s certainly the case with Oak Hill Country Club. Based on pictures, videos, interviews and player quotes, this place is as pure of a course as you are going to find.
Oak Hill has hosted many majors and even a Ryder Cup over the years, but it has undergone a major transformation since the last time we saw it (2013). The course has been lengthened by nearly 400 yards and hundreds of trees have been removed from the property. It is now a daunting par-70 that measures 7,394 yards.
There is typically a correlation between the length of the course and both the width of the fairways and the size of the greens. We have an inverse correlation between those this week. Despite being one of the longest par-adjusted courses the golfers have seen this season, Oak Hill has narrow fairways (27-28 yards) and tiny greens (4,500 square feet).
Those two factors alone make this is a difficult test, but wait, there’s more. There are only two par 5s on the course and both measure well over 600 yards. The bunkers are going to present a real challenge, as they feature steep faces. The fairway bunkers will require players to lay up if drives come too close to the lip, and the green-side bunkers will be tough to control the spin given the elevated greens.
The current line for the winning score is set at 271.5 strokes, which puts the winning score in the 8- to 9-under range. By all accounts, this is going to be more of a U.S. Open style test of golf. Many have compared Oak Hill to Winged Foot, Shinnecock Hills and Bethpage Black, all three of which are some of the best courses in the country. It’s going to take a solid all-around performance to contend this week.
Let’s dive into the PGA Championship picks.
Scottie Scheffler +750 (FanDuel)
It’s funny, when someone suggests a +200 underdog in any other sport and it hits, they’re thought of as a genius. When someone bets the favorite in a golf tournament and it hits, everyone scoffs at the number.
While I do wish his number was higher, Scheffler at +750 is more than fair given the fact that he has won six times in the last 14 months. He has made 12 starts this season and has finished T12 or better in every single one of them.
This course should be demanding tee to green, and Scheffler is by far the best on the PGA Tour in that regard (+2.3 strokes per round). The putter is always a wildcard, but the small greens should lead to fewer long putts and more chip shots around the green. If anything, that’s a huge positive for the man that holes out as much as anyone on Tour.
Pick: Scottie Scheffler +750
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QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Tony Finau +2200 (BetMGM)
The narrative has quickly changed with Finau. For the longest time, everyone would say that he doesn’t have the ability to close out tournaments. After rattling off four wins in the last 10 months, the narrative has switched to Finau not being able to win big events. Learning to close is tough for many golfers, but Finau seems to have it down at this point. His most recent win was over Jon Rahm at the Mexico Open.
Finau is a bomber off the tee, he’s the best iron player in the world right now, he has soft hands around the green, and he has turned into a positive putter. The PGA Championship is often the breakthrough event for those looking for their first major.
Max Homa +4500 (PointsBet)
Homa has done just about everything a professional golfer could ask for in a career. The only missing piece is contending in a major.
There’s no way around it: He has been nothing short of terrible in the majors throughout his career. It’s a bit surprising, given the fact that he’s won in strong fields and on difficult golf courses (Riviera and Quail Hollow) in his career.
If you look at Homa’s statistics, he is solid across the board. He drives the ball well, he’s good on approach, he’s a good scrambler, and he can putt with the best of them. This is a big number for the sixth-ranked golfer in the world.
Good luck and let’s have a week.
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