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PGA Championship Betting News and Notes

PGA Championship Betting News and Notes

Showtime at the PGA
By Dan Daly

The only surprising news to me about Dustin Johnson being suspended for cocaine use was how many people were actually surprised by it. Honestly, I was under the assumption that was common knowledge? Clearly based on Twitter and emails I saw it wasn’t. My bad. I’ll just say this, this news ranked right up there with Lance Bass announcing he was gay on the shock value scale. Here’s another one for you…DJ and Paulina Gretzky probably do cocaine together. Yep, let that one sink in for a second. Crazy right?

I wrote about this in 2012 when Johnson played the Cadillac Championship at Doral in March and was perfectly healthy and then miraculously didn’t play again for 11 weeks. The PGA Tour is not required to announce any disciplinary actions against players who test positive for recreational drugs and never does. It wasn’t that difficult to put together.

As for the PGA Championship, it has always been the red-headed step child of the four majors. The British has the history, the US Open is our National Championship, The Masters is…well, the Masters and the poor PGA just always seems to be an afterthought. To me, the irony is that the PGA Championship year in and year out seems to almost always deliver one of the most exciting Majors of the year. The last time it was played here at Valhalla for the 2000 PGA Championship the Sunday round between Tiger and Bob May ranks in the top 3 best Sunday finishes of any Major in the last 30 years…in my opinion.

In fact, the top 100 players in the World Golf Ranking had committed to play the PGA Championship; until Dustin Johnson went Pablo Escobar on us. It would have been the first time any major would have featured all of the top 100 since the world rankings began. Thanks Pablo. I broke down the PGA field this week in honor of DJ.

The Dazed and Confused Group (You have to be one or the other to take anyone in this group):

Ernie Els 115/1 – Winning is simply not an option this week for Ernie, I think his goal should simply be to try and not break anyone’s jaw when he tees off. Let’s just start there and see where it goes.

Patrick Reed 115/1 – Dear Patrick Reed, at 115/1 we are basically saying we still think you have zero chance of winning a major. Sincerely, Las Vegas.

Boo Weekley 215/1 – It’s the PGA Championship…this never gets old.

Vijay Singh and Davis Love III 265/1 – If they played a best ball for 72 holes these odds MIGHT be right. Even then I wouldn’t take them.

Colin Montgomerie 350/1 – For some reason they listed his weight instead of his odds? Weird?

John Daly 500/1 – So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

The Blow Group (Sorry, too easy):

Dustin Johnson 28/1 – So DJ has been locked in as my PGA Championship pick for months. In fact, I had already written the blurb for it comparing Paulina to Amanda Dufner last year…trust me, it was great. Then Dustin Johnson goes and gets busted for doing lines, probably off of Paulina Gretzky (I’m thinking Wolf of Wall Street type stuff) in which case I can’t overly blame him. Anyway, he is obviously out. On a side note…I know I hate when I order a Coke at a restaurant and the waitress says “Is Pepsi OK?” I can’t even imagine how pissed off DJ gets.

The “Breaking” Bad Group (If you like to bet on people with injuries these are your guys):

Tiger Woods 15/1 – I’m not sure if 15/1 are even good odds that he will play this week, much less win.

Jason Day 28/1 – This guy’s wrist is more on again off again than Ross and Rachel from "Friends". It’s hurt, it’s ok, it’s hurt, it’s ok. I give up. Let’s just say he will be “on a break” from winning this week. And yes, I continue to reference cheesy movies and cheesy TV shows each week and I’m okay with that.

Jason Dufner 35/1 – I would love nothing more than to see Amanda’s husband defend this week, but my man Dufner was diagnosed with two bulging discs in his neck last Wednesday after recently undergoing an MRI. I’m no Doogie Howser, M.D., but I can’t imagine him winning a major with two bulging discs in his neck.

Ian Poulter 65/1 – I couldn’t decide if those were his actual odds or the number of bitter tweets he will post over the course of the tournament. Either way, both are too low.

The Scarface Group (The payouts are great but greed gets you in the end):

Phil Mickelson 25/1 – I’m not sure if that’s 25/1 to win or to just make the top 10? Either way I’ll pass. The dude shot a frickin 62 on Sunday and still didn’t finish in the top 10.

Jordan Spieth 28/1 – Jordan Spieth will win a major in 2015…problem is, it’s still 2014.

Rickie Fowler 28/1 – If he wins this week that would mean Rickie will have gone T5, T2, T2, WIN in the four majors this year. That from a guy with one career PGA Tour win? Yeeeaaah, I don’t think so.

Martin Kaymer 28/1 – It was a nice run, Martin. Had to close out some day. Nobody wins them all.

Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose 28/1 – Both have the talent to win, but neither one will win this week.

Matt Kuchar 28/1 - If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it…bet on Kuchar. (Clap, Clap)

Bubba Watson 35/1 – Two majors in the same year? Next….

Jim Furyk 35/1 - He could hold the 18, 36, 54 or even 71-hole lead. It simply doesn’t matter. My wife and one year old would have a better chance of winning down the stretch than Furyk would at this point. #gritty #gutsy #grinder

Brandt Snedeker; Keegan Bradley; Charl Schwartzel; Zach Johnson (all 45/1) – No; No; please god no; no chance in hell.

Graeme McDowell 45/1 – Not the kind of tournament McDowell wins. Yep, that’s all I got.

Hunter Mahan 55/1 – Honestly, I just don’t like him at all. That’s not a reason he won’t win this week, but I just wanted to point that out. But he won’t win this week anyway.

Luke Donald 55/1 – If this course really is all about driving the ball long and straight Luke and I might as well have the same odds to win this week.

Jimmy Walker 55/1 – Seriously, how is he still leading in FedEx Cup points?

Angel Cabrera 85/1 and Miguel Angel Jimenez 115/1 – They say the first rule of gambling is to leave emotion at the door…so unfortunately for me these two are out.

The Wire Group (Definitely a solid option but someone has to be second):

]In this case, two someone’s.

Rory McIlroy 8/1 – First of all those were his odds prior to his WGC win…good luck getting those now. It will probably be more like 5/1 by the time he tees off Thursday. I mean the guy is clearly the best player on the planet and Rory winning this week wouldn’t surprise me at all but at some point he has to lose…right? No one has won back-to-back majors since Padraig Harrington in 2008 (British and PGA Championship ironically enough) and only 12 have ever done it since World War I. That stat alone scares me away from taking Rory but I also have to believe at some point there is a hangover effect, and I’m not talking about the one from drinking Jägermeister out of the Claret Jug (which is awesome by the way).

Sergio Garcia 28/1 – To be really honest, I loved Sergio this week. Seriously. He’s always had the game to win a major, it was just that pesky little thing between his ears that has been his biggest problem. However, when he didn’t have a Sergio meltdown after leaving it in the bunker late Sunday of the British I dare say young Sergio has all grown up. Or so I thought. And then he started speaking at Firestone and I remembered why he is 0-for his lifetime in Majors. “I'm not going to lie to you,” Garcia said, “It's not my favorite golf course in the world.” Yep, same Sergio. Besides, the last time he played at Valhalla, six years ago, he lost to Anthony Kim (5 and 4) in a Sunday singles match at the 2008 Ryder Cup. Which reminds me, Anthony Kim was good enough to qualify for a Ryder Cup team once upon a time??? Throw in his blown lead at the WGC Sunday and I’m pretty sure Sergio doesn’t even believe Sergio can win this week.

The Heisenberg Group (The Man):

Adam Scott 15/1 – I literally couldn’t come up with a single reason not to take him this week. Drives it long and straight (that’s what she said), great iron player, putts well on these type of greens, his caddy won the last PGA held here and he has finished inside the top 15 in 11 of the last 12 majors he has played in. So why not this week?

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Re: PGA Championship Betting News and Notes

McIlroy clear favorite to win PGA Championship

The final major of the year begins this weekend in Louisville as the tour's best players converge in an attempt to grab PGA Championship glory. As with most majors, the past winners at this tournament are some of the best in the world as each of the past four victors are currently in the top-27 of the current world rankings; including newly-crowned No. 1 player, Rory McIlroy. Last season at this event, Jason Dufner earned his first major win as he shot 10-under par and defeated veteran Jim Furyk by two strokes. Tiger Woods has won this major four different times in his career, including back in 2000 when it was last played at this course, but is doubtful to even play after withdrawing from this past week’s Bridgestone Invitational after reinjuring his back. Let’s take a look at a few players in the strong field that can either continue recent dominance or make a name for themselves on the tour’s biggest stage.

Golfers to Watch

Rory McIlroy (11/2):
There is no debating McIlroy being the top player in the world after winning in each of the past two tournaments, The British Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitation; both against all of the top players. He has placed in the top-8 in all three majors this year and has also finished in the top-8 in four of the past five PGA Championships while winning it in 2012. McIlroy is crushing his driver to the tune of 310.3 yards per (3rd on tour) and has hit 68.8% of greens in regulation (10th on tour). Even though the payout on McIlroy will not be tremendous, it is hard to bet against him coming into this week.

Adam Scott (12/1): Scott lost his position as the No. 1 golfer in the world this week, but has not been playing poorly with top-9 finishes in each of his past five tournaments. He has also been one of the best in majors, producing five top-10 finishes in the past two years (7 starts). He ranks as the best on tour in scoring a birdie or better on par-5’s (55.9%) and also has a solid combination of great driving (301.6 yards per, 18th on tour) with .538 strokes gained putting (13th on tour). Scott should be an easy bet to put himself in contention come Sunday in Valhalla.

Graeme McDowell (45/1): McDowell has not been playing quite as well as the past two years, but comes into this week with momentum after finishing in the top-9 in each of his past five tourneys between the PGA and European Tours. He already has a major under his belt (2010 U.S. Open) and has top-15 finishes in four of his past six PGA Championships. His .872 strokes gained putting (5th on tour) always keeps him in the running to compete, and should allow him to do well again this week.

Marc Leishman (60/1): Leishman has looked great over the past two events while chasing McIlroy. He finished third last week at the Bridgestone Invitational while tying for fifth at the British Open the week prior to that. His best career finish at this particular tournament was a 12th-place showing last year, but his great scoring average (69.8, 14th on tour) and current momentum should allow him to continue playing at a high level.

Chris Kirk (150/1): Kirk has flown under the radar while ranking 10th in the FedEx Cup Rankings due to 10 top-25 finishes in his 23 tournaments on the year. He missed just one cut in that time and was solid in the first majors this year; finishing no worse than 28th place. Kirk has steadily been improving since becoming a pro in 2007, and is a great longshot pick come this weekend to take down his first major.

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Re: PGA Championship Betting News and Notes

PGA Championship Preview and Picks
BY Matt Fargo

This week we have the final Major of the season as the PGA Championship will be contested for the 96th time, this time from Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the third time Valhalla has hosted the PGA Championship, the last coming in 2000. That year, Tiger Woods defeated Bob May in a playoff and the previous time, Marks Brooks defeated hometown favorite Kenny Perry in a playoff as well. Valhalla has also hosted two Senior PGA Championships and the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Valhalla Golf Club is a par 71, 7,458-yard track that has seen some major renovations come through recently. Following the most recent Senior PGA held in 2011, every green was redone on the Jack Nicklaus design that is actually owned by the PGA of America. This is the ultimate shot makers course and by that it can reward or penalize many second shots along the way. Because of the lack of experience here for a lot of the players, it evens out the field so there are not many advantages from a history standpoint.

While the course itself is a challenge, parity remains constant in the majors as of the last 23 Majors, there have been 18 different winners with Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer being the only multiple Major winners. Not since 2008 has there been a repeat major winner. Padraig Harrington is the last player to do so, winning The Open Championship and PGA Championship back-to-back. The challenge now sits with McIlroy following his win at the Open Championship.

Since 1993, there have been 17 different winners of the PGA Championship with only Tiger Woods (4) and Vijay Singh (2) being repeat winners which adds even more complication to the scenario. This tournament is known for its surprising winners even though there have been some big names at the top in recent years. It is interesting to note that the last 10 winners of the PGA Championship have had a top 25 finish in their last start so it has been a "who's hot" event.

No one is hotter than McIlroy (+550) who is the favorite this week following consecutive wins at the Open Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational last week. He is once again the top ranked player in the world and he is a PGA Champion when he won the Wannamaker Trophy in 2012 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Three in a row will be tough but he certainly has the game to do it.

Sergio Garcia (+2,000) came painfully close once again last week but had to settle for his fifth top three in his last seven starts on the PGA Tour. His only missed cut this year was at the Masters and in his 11 cuts made, he has finished in the top 10 eight times. He has not won since 2012 when he won the Wyndham Championship which came after a missed cut at the PGA Championship.

We used Keegan Bradley (+3,500) last week and while his T4 was nice, a bad Sunday back nine did him in. Still, he comes in playing very well as he also had a T4 at the Greenbrier sandwiched around a T19 at the Open Championship. He won the 2011 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club and followed that up with a T3 in 2012 and a T19 last year. His T4 at the U.S. Open doesn't hurt.

Graeme McDowell (+4,500) had his best ever finish at Firestone with a T8 thanks to a pair of 66's over the weekend. That was his third top ten in his last three starts including a T9 at the Open Championship, his best finish in a Major since a T12 at the PGA Championship last year. He has experience here as he played in the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla and was one of the top European performers.

Mark Leishman (+5,000) is playing better than these odds indicate. He is coming off a solo third last week at Firestone which came after a T5 at the Open Championship. He has missed only one cut since April and has finished outside the top 23 only once in his last eight cuts made. Overall he six top tens and last year at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, he finished T12.

Patrick Reed (+10,000) is coming off a strong performance last week which fits the hot trend. He finished T4 as a Saturday 71 kept him out of contention. That was his best finish since winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship back in March which was his second win of the season. He had a rough three-month stretch after that but the birth of hid first child played into that.

Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the PGA Championship (all for One Unit)

Sergio Garcia (+2,000)
Keegan Bradley (+3,500)
Graeme McDowell (+4,500)
Mark Leishman (+5,000)
Patrick Reed (+10,000)

2014 Record to date after 29 events: -88 Units

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Re: PGA Championship Betting News and Notes

PGA Championship Prop Bets
By: Freddy Wander

Top 20 Finish: Adam Scott (Even)

While the payout is better if you go for top-10, this bet seems like easy money from the No. 2 player in the World Golf Rankings. Scott has finished in the top-20 in 11 of the past 12 majors going back to the PGA Championship in 2011, and ha been in the top-11 in each of the past three years at this event. He has been so consistent that he has not missed a cut since May 20, 2012 (38 events), which is the longest streak currently on the PGA Tour. Also, since the start of last season, he has been in the top-20 in 21-of-28 (75%) events. This bet provides great odds for how consistent Scott has been.

Winning Margin: Playoff (+225)

The PGA Championship has been played at Valhalla Golf Club twice (1996 and 2000) with each installment ending in a playoff. Rory McIlroy has been fantastic, and has been able to run away from the field in his past two events, but it is nearly impossible to keep up this type of run against such tough competition. Some top golfers will make a run at this major, leaving plenty of talent at the top of the leaderboard. The ending to this tourney should be very exciting and a playoff is certainly likely enough for this attempt to more than double your wager.

Will Sergio Garcia Finish in the Top 20: No (+110)

Garcia is a fantastic player to watch and he has been playing amazing golf lately with runner-up finishes in his past three starts on the PGA Tour. The problem is that he typically does not do well in majors. Besides his second-place finish at the British Open just a few weeks ago, Garcia placed in 35th at the U.S. Open and failed to make the cut at The Masters. He is probably the best current golfer without a major to his name and he has not been too close over the past three years, failing to crack the top-20 in 8-of-11 events. While Garcia is a fan favorite, his 34th place finish at Valhalla back in 2000 and poor finishes at majors recently are cause for concern.

Highest Placed Finisher in Group B?: Henrik Stenson (+300)

Unlike Garcia, Stenson has seemingly stepped up his game when he is among the best in the world under the pressure of the four golf majors. While he has yet to take home a trophy in any of these illustrious events, Stenson has finished in the top-four in three of his past five tries while placing third at the PGA Championship last year. In that same timeframe, the other top players in this group (Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson) do have two major wins, but have also combined to miss the cut five times and finish outside of the top-20 another six times. Stenson is just too consistent and composed to not put up another big effort this week.

Top American: Jim Furyk (+1200)

Furyk has been on a hot streak in majors of late, finishing in the top-14 in each of his past four tries which included a runner-up finish at this event in 2013. While there are many bigger-name picks in this group (Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth), Furyk has five more career victories than those four players combined, and has 21 career top-10 finishes in his 76 starts at major events. This 44-year-old has plenty of high-level golf left in him, and it should not surprise anyone if he is the top American come Sunday afternoon.

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