*DISCLAIMER: As we’ve told you before…betting on Golf is wicked fun, and wildly underrated. So have at it.
Here are my picks for the PGA Championship, teeing off tomorrow at Bellerive Country Club (see Lil’ Dogg’s course preview) in Town and Country, Missouri- obviously dubbed “Minivan City”.
The course will play as a par 70, and at 7,329 yards, it’s the 2nd shortest PGA Championship track in 11 years, and shortest since Oak Hill (7,163) in 2013. All that to say, distance isn’t necessarily at a premium this week. The last time the PGA was held at Bellerive (1992), Nick Price was a 3-stroke winner, and Price was never a long hitter. The course has gone under a renovation since then (shout out Rees Jones. By the way Rees, played your track at Pinehills last week….LOVED IT), but the nuts and bolts of the course aren’t expected to have changed drastically.
With only two par-5’s, the premium will be on keeping it in the fairway, and on making great approaches with irons. GIR isn’t good enough coming into these notoriously wide greens…these guys are going to do some pin-seeking if they want to score.
Dustin Johnson (9/1)- Almost have to be a fool to not include the favorite. His front nine 29(!) at Firestone Sunday is proof enough his game is in a good place, and, say what you will about his putting, this season he’s 3rd on Tour in avoiding 3-putts.
Jason Day (18/1)- This is my #1 pick. Day seems like he hasn’t been in the forefront of Major talk lately, but he’s #10 in the World, and 18 months removed from being at #1. NO-BODY hits a an iron with the combination of distance and height as this guy. He’s also currently the #1 ranked putter on tour according to strokes gained. So if the course remains as soft as early indications point to, we may get to see Jay Day (and Ellie of course…my long-time fave golf WAG (sorry Paulina)), hoisting the Wannamaker.
Justin Thomas– (14/1)- Ho hum. This guy is as boring to write about as he is to watch. But #factsisfacts, he’s #2 in the World, he won going away at Firestone, and he’s #3 in Strokes Gained on Approach.
Tommy Fleetwood– (25/1)- He’s (unofficially) The Official PGA Golfer of HTTA, and he is officially in the mix at every single big tournament. The stats don’t point to Fleetwood being one of the best on tour, but…hey, they’re golf stats. There are a lot of variables in play. Bottom line is, he’s accurate, and he’s shown he doesn’t get flustered on the big stage.
And, for some LONGSHOTS:
Tony Finau– (50/1)- Finau is the only guy with a top 10 at every major this year. He’s 22nd in Strokes Gained on Approach, but other than that, the stats aren’t particularly kind to Finau’s chances. But he’s 50/1…don’t be so picky.
Zach Johnson– (80/1) & (2500-1)- This is a straight value play. 2-for-1 special if you have the right bookie (ie: a stupid one), because there are two Zach Johnson’s in the field. The “real” Zach Johnson is still cashing checks, and even though no fewer than 3 members of the field at Mitch Cumstein Invitational are probably longer off the tee…Johnson is still dangerous with wedge or flat stick in his hand.
And the beauty of this play is you get Zach J. Johnson at 2500-1, and based on the logic of famed sports bettor Kevin Malone: “If anyone gives you 10,000:1 odds on anything…you take it”
We like it Kevin, we like it.