The second major tournament of the season is here, the 104th PGA Championship. This is the second time Southern Hills CC plays host to this tournament in the last 15 years, and the fifth time overall it will host the PGA Championship, the most of any course with such designation.
Don’t bog yourself down by researching the 2007 edition. Tiger Woods (+6500) won on a shorter course that was more treelined, had tighter fairways and sported completely different greens than what the guys are facing this year. Instead, let’s look at some betting trends for this week from previous PGA Championships and majors throughout the last few years.
Over the previous five years, the average winning score has been 10-under par, with Brooks Koepka with the lowest score (-16) in 2018 at Bellerive CC and the highest score coming from Phil Mickelson (-6) last year on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. Lefty was also the longest in odds (+25000) since Keegan Bradley won in 2011 at +17500. Over the past five years, the average winning odds are +7200, and eight out of the last 10 winners have had odds shorter than +4500. Half of the previous 10 champions were also ranked inside the top 10 in OWGR, with seven of them recording a win earlier in the season.
A great article by Dave Tindall (twitter: @DaveTindallgolf) points out that 10 of the previous 20 major winners played the week leading up to the major, and all of them made the cut. Of the 10, 40% finished inside the top five the week prior to their victory.
For a full course preview, key statistics breakdown and additional players to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook, refer to the DraftKings Preview on DraftKings Playbook. Here are the bets we should be considering this week.
All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Cameron Smith to Win (+2500)
Let’s start the card with a two-time 2022 winner, who also just finished third at the Masters and was one of nine who finished under-par at Augusta National. Other than sheer distance off the tee, Smith checks off most of the boxes you need to succeed here: elite short game, amazing ball-striking and ability to play well in difficult scoring conditions. His win at THE PLAYERS Championship came from gaining 6.7 strokes through approach, 1.4 around the greens and 11.5 putting. When he gets hot, there’s no cooling him down.
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Hideki Matsuyama to Win (+2800)
Matsuyama has one of the best short games on the PGA TOUR and has been elite with his irons this season, gaining 5.1 in Phoenix, 4.8 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 9.4 last week at TPC Craig Ranch, the third-most he’s gained in his career. We liked him last week, and he nearly pulled off his second win of the season. A Sunday 62 put him in contention, and he ultimately ended with a third-place finish — his best finish since winning The Sony Open. A top-15 at the Masters (2022) and no worse than 26th in his previous three majors, Matsuyama feels ready to win the PGA Championship, a tournament he’s never missed the cut at in his career.
Sam Burns to Win (+5000) | Top 10 (+450)
Two MCs in his last two starts shouldn’t worry you too much this week. He missed three straight cuts earlier this season, then finished ninth (Arnold Palmer Invitational), 26th (THE PLAYERS Championship) and won the Valspar Championship. Burns is excellent on par 4s, measuring 450 to 500 yards and ranking third in efficiency over the last 12 rounds. His long-iron approach is a little dodgy right now, but he’s been stellar around the greens, which can help on these tight, short grass lies. With three career wins and two this season, Burns has an excellent opportunity to grab win number four and his first major.
Talor Gooch Top 20 (+500)
It’s been feast or famine with the Oklahoma native this year. Since his win at the RSM Classic earlier this season, he’s finished no worse than 27th when he’s made the cut. He’s missed four weekends this season, but he has finishes of 14th in his first Masters Tournament, seventh at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 15th at the Sentry TOC — events with a strong field or on a difficult course. Gooch was able to turn it around on Friday last week, gaining 2.32 strokes ball-striking, which could be something positive he can take from last week into his second PGA Championship.
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