Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Rickie Fowler
- Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson are the co-favorites at 5-1 to win the PGA Championship after Thursday's round.
- Gary Woodland currently leads the field at 6-under, but he was unsustainably hot with his putter, which is typically his weakness.
- Fowler sets up well for the weekend, as he dominated the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, which is a predictive metric of future performance.
You can’t win a major on a Thursday, but you can certainly lose one.
Bettors who own Tony Finau tickets know what I’m talking about; the public darling entering the year’s final major shot a disappointing 4-over 74 in his opening round. Finau was the highest-owned golfer in DraftKings Millionaire Maker as well, crushing the hearts of 36.6% of users. It was a rough day.
That is, unless you’re holding a ticket betting on Rickie Fowler to win that elusive first major of his career. He’s sitting in second by himself at 5-under, just behind bomber Gary Woodland at 6-under. Zach Johnson is at 4-under, while Jason Day, Ian Poulter and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson are lurking right behind at 3-under. It’s certainly setting up to be another fun weekend.
Here are the updated odds to win:
Things are setting up well for Fowler, who dominated the field with +6.08 Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. Woodland largely got his lead with his putter — he currently leads the field with +4.37 Strokes Gained: Putting — which almost certainly won’t be sustainable, as he’s been one of the worst putters in the field over the past 75 weeks. Fade him in a big way.
Jason Day and Luke List were also impressive in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, and the latter is definitely a candidate for putting regression entering Friday’s round. Day was about average with the short stick, and that’s typically one of his strengths.
Fowler was arguably the best golfer on Thursday, however, which is why he’s currently the co-favorite with DJ at 5-1 odds. If he keeps up his tee-to-green game and gets some better luck with the short sticks — which is definitely one of his strengths — he’ll be right there on Sunday to get the first major of his career.