Our very own three eyed raven returns for a shot at the last Major of the year, the PGA Championship. By Donal ‘Doc’ Hughes, GolfCentralDaily.com
Rory McIlroy is the untouchable 6/1 favourite after winning on this course twice and notching up four other top-10’s in the Wells Fargo Championship. Add in two PGA Championship wins and a T4, T5 recent run and its hard to argue. But Rory taking all the attention sees Hideki Matsuyama still out at 12/1, very generous for a man who has won at his ease in Akron and is due his Major.
Doc’s Top 5 Bets
Rickie Fowler 18/1
It’s worth noting that the one year Rory wasn’t winning in Charlotte, Rickie stepped up to win in 2012 (and has added a T4 in 2016). But of more interest to me is solid recent form of four top 10’s from his last five starts. Rickie’s solo ninth last week in Akron saw him T14 in fairways hit, T13 in GIR, T3 in total putts and very significantly go a cumulative -7 for just the par-3’s. If the “best player never to win a Major” tag isn’t bothering him this week, Rickie can do this.
Jon Rahm 25/1
This one is intriguing. The odds suggest bookies don’t give Jon Rahm a hope yet the PGA Championship is always the one which doesn’t conform. Rahm’s T28 at the Bridgestone featured a Friday 77 but it was sandwiched between two 67’s and a 68 with a T5 greens hit clip and it’s not putting me off. Winner of The Farmers and the Irish, Quail Hollow should in theory suit Rahmbo’s game down to the ground!
Brooks Koepka 25/1
Solo fifth and tied fourth in his last two PGA Championships, Brooks makes his debut at Quail Hollow with a win at The US Open and T6 at the Open Championship. T17 last week at the WGC and playing with nothing to lose this week. Odds of 25/1 are absolutely ridiculous.
Justin Rose 40/1
I’m not privy to the issues within Justin Rose’s game but it’s a long time since he was out at 40/1 for a Major. That’s on the back of being all but bottom of the leaderboard in Ohio and T54 at The Open. But before you write Rosey off, consider that he was T4 at the Irish Open and solo third and fifth on his last two visits to THIS golf course. Remember how I used my “annual” circadian rhythm logic to tip Russell Knox to a 200/1 place last week? Well this week last year, Rose won the gold medal in Rio!
Phil Mickelson 66/1
Logic would suggest those odds are fair, but Rory McIlroy aside, I cant think of anyone who has performed as consistently at Quail Hollow down the years as Phil Mickelson. I make it nine top-10’s from 13 visits to North Carolina with a recent run of T4, T4, T11, 3rd. Does Phil have one last Major in him? Well if he does, this is the ideal place to do it!
Long Odds Glory Shots
Three names sprung out at me as I looked through the odds. JB Holmes is a former winner on the course at 80/1 and jumps in and out of form. Kevin Chappell is 100/1 and since winning in Texas has come back into form in Canada and at Firestone. And the 2011 Wells Fargo winner Lucas Glover is at 200/1 and he likes big events. I’m thinking T7 at the Arnie, T6 at The Players and a T2 greens hit clip last time out at the John Deere.