The rescheduling of the golfing calendar two years ago means that the four golf majors come at a ratio of one per month between April and July. Following on from the Masters last month, it’s the turn of the PGA Championship 2021 which goes off this Thursday in the dramatic surroundings of Kiawah Island.
Like any major, a strong field is in attendance and it’s offered one the tightest outright betting markets we’ve seen in a long time. Having claimed a top 10 finish return thanks to Sam Burns in the Byron Nelson on Sunday, we’re looking to take that momentum and find some more winners in a much tougher event. So read on for our PGA Championship predictions and full preview with betting picks.
Three weeks ago you could have got odds of 20/1 on Rory McIlroy to win the PGA Championship but victory at the Wells Fargo has shortened his price to an industry best of 12/1. It was Rory’s third win in the tournament and his first of any kind since 2019 so maybe he is peaking at just the right time.
McIlroy has a narrow lead over no fewer than four golfers who can all be claimed at 14/1 in places. Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson are all at that figure and each of them will attract interest.
Of those four, only Thomas is a former PGA Champion having lifted the trophy at Quail Hollow in 2017. However, both DeChambeau and Johnson are major winners and Bryson in particular has some strong relevant stats. Power will play a part at Kiawah Island and, along with a lead on Tour in driving distance, The Scientist also ranks highly in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green.
Jordan Spieth follows in the sportsbooks’ betting lines but he is only just behind the pack at a best of 16/1. His return to form has culminated in long overdue victory and he is a genuine contender. Xander Schauffele is up next at a general 20/1 and then we have a gap to a pack of golfers on 28/1.
Defending champion Collin Morikawa is joined on that 28/1 figure by Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and 2021’s Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama. Of all the players in contention this week, Hovland is the man in form with two consecutive third place finishes. He is third in the Power Rankings as a result and is definitely one to watch.
Elsewhere, those at the back of the Chasing Pack include Patrick Reed, Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay. Finau has the distance needed but there is more than just power required on this beast of a course.
As Hideki Matsuyama showed at Augusta, there is still room for a player to emerge through the outsider bunch and deliver a high-odds profit at a Major. Possible contenders for this year’s PGA Championship might include Cameron Smith at 40/1, Webb Simpson at 45/1, Sam Burns at 50/1, Will Zalatoris at 60/1 and Paul Casey at 70/1.
Moving even further back, there are former major winners including Justin Rose at 75/1, Adam Scott at 80/1, Sergio Garcia at 90/1 and Jason Day at 100/1. Of those names, Casey was a runner up to Morikawa 12 months ago while Zalatoris seems to lift his game for the major championships. It’s a tough field with plenty of depth but what will it take to win?
Our Preview’s PGA Championship Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
Everybody knows Kiawah Island for a dramatic and rather feisty Ryder Cup in 1991 but the Ocean Course has previously hosted the PGA Championship. 2012 saw the tournament head to this part of South Carolina for the first time and it provided the setting for an eight-shot victory by Rory McIlroy. Backers of the Northern Irishman will see this as a positive sign but a lot has happened in the intervening nine years.
The course is a par 72 and it is something of a monster in excess of 7,800 yards. Distance is going to be vital in places in what is the longest venue in the history of all Major Championships. A measure of accuracy will also be needed as this is a links course and even moderate breezes can have an effect on the flight of the ball.
Power, accuracy and some form with the flatstick are basic, but vital qualities this week. He may need the weather to be kind but we will get behind Bryson DeChambeau who should thrive from the kind of risk and reward set up offered at Kiawah Island. If he is on form, few will come even close to Bryson this week.
Viktor Hovland and Will Zalatoris are in-form picks for the top 10 finish markets and, while Webb Simpson isn’t quite in the same kind of touch, he has the game that can compete and add another single digit finish. So these are the PGA predictions for this preview:
- Bryson DeChambeau to win @ best odds of +1600 with BetOnline.
- Top 10 Finish Picks (best odds in brackets): DeChambeau (+200 BetOnline), Viktor Hovland (+225 BetOnline), Will Zalatoris (+450 Intertops, BetOnline) and Webb Simpson (+350 BetOnline).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.