How to bet the PGA Championship
LOUISVILLE, KY (The Spread) – Where does the value lie for bettors this weekend in the 2014 PGA Championship?
The PGA Championship is the fourth and final Major of the PGA Tour season. For the first time in 31 years, the winners of the first three Majors have already been Major winners. Historically, it is unlikely that this trend will continue in Valhallow and not necessarily because of the course, but rather the history of the PGA Championship.
Vahallow is a typical Nicklaus designed golf course where the 2001 Senior PGA, 2008 Ryder Cup, and the 1996 and 200 PGA Championships. Nicklaus designs are known for the ample room off the tee, but demands precision on all green approaches. A player is required to be able to move the ball in both directions and must be able to hit the correct quadrant on many of the multi-tiered greens. The design also allows for creativity in recovery shots that give the short game wizard ample opportunity for par. So, literally any golfer, who gets hot can be a contender on this golf course this week.
The PGA Championship has always been known for its no-name winners with few exceptions, one being the Tiger win in 2000. Yet, in that Tournament Top-10, the average Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) was 65.4, which is by far the highest of any PGA Championship since 2000. If space was available I could put together each of the last 14 PGA Championships with the average OWGR of the Top-10 finishers. Take my word for it, that the lowest WGR was 29.3, which occurred in the 2001 PGA held at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves though and throw out the best golfers in the World as that group as separated themselves from the field over the past six months of action. Positively, McIlroy, Sergio, and Phil all have the shots to attack this golf course and go low. Sergio has always hit irons well and is arguably one of the best long iron players in the history of the game. We also know that Bubba Watson can move the ball dramatically in both directions and on command. Confused yet?
The point is that history can be a great teacher and great fact finder, but I think this year, one of the hot top ranked players in the OWGR will win this event. The field, though is quite enticing at 20-1 so I will recommend that as a play fully taking advantage of our history lesson.
McIlroy is the heavy favorite at 5/1 and as well as he is playing, winning three straight starts is a very tough task given the depth of player talent now present on Tour. Nicklaus courses require a player to perform best on the par-4's, which are quite demanding at Valhallow. Given this, Adam Scott is a solid choice at 12/1. Scott has had five straight Top-10 finishes, T3 in par-4 scoring, and best in par-5 scoring on tour this season. Garcia at 15/1 is very attractive given his strong iron play and the fact that he ranks best in par-3 and par-4 scoring, and fourth in scrambling. Cannot leave Phil off the 'play' list as he has had 8 Top-20 finishes and his driving be perhaps the best of his career.
In summary, I would recommend the Dime Player to wager $100 each on 'the field' Sergio, Scott, and Phil to win this weeks PGA Championship. So much for the history lesson.