Traditionally it has been the fourth and final Major of the year but for 2019, the PGA Championship follows hot on the heels of the US Masters. It has been switched from Labor Day to Memorial Day and it means we have a packed schedule in terms of the big four tournaments this season.
Brooks Koepka is the defending champion, while Tiger Woods returns following that dramatic and emotional win at Augusta so let’s see if this PGA preview can pick some profits from a strong field.
It is such a tight market, with three golfers locked at the same win odds in places. Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka are the men leading the way, with many of the big USA oddsmakers unable to separate them at odds of around +1100 (11/1).
Tiger last won the PGA Championship in 2007 but he was runner up to Koepka last year and, as we saw at the Masters, form is not an issue. In turn, both Koepka and DJ were second to Tiger at Augusta so there is good form in all three camps. Naturally there will be lots of support for Woods but he will need to be tighter on the fairways on this treacherous course.
At similar odds to the top three is Rory McIlroy who won his second PGA title in 2014. Rory has also enjoyed a productive season although he has tailed off since winning the TPC Sawgrass in March.
The betting lines move out beyond the top four to Justin Rose, Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler. They are all available at the same 20/1 (+2000) win price in places and of the three, Fowler has the better record on this Bethpage Black Course. Rahm is seeing the venue for the first time and a lack of experience here could count against him.
Rose has been steady this season without repeating his stunning FedEx form of 2017/18 but all three make a strong case.
The 2015 Champion Jason Day (+2200) follows and he is joined in the mid-price range by Francesco Molinari (25/1), Xander Schauffele (25/1) and Tommy Fleetwood (28/1). Molinari and, to an extent, Schauffele, need to respond to disappointing closing holes at Augusta while Fleetwood is another golfer who has been consistent without threatening to get over the line in 2019.
Also worth mentioning in this pack are Tony Finau (33/1) and Bryson Dechambeau (35/1). Finau should enjoy the longer holes but will need to add some pinpoint accuracy to his game.
Jordan Spieth (40/1) has tumbled way down the betting as he approaches two years without a win. He is a former runner up at the PGA Championship but form is absent right now.
There is some interest in Hideki Matsuyama (40/1) but if we are looking for top ten finish tips, we would prefer the relative consistency of Matt Kuchar (45/1) and Paul Casey (50/1).
Moving back, there are some high-quality golfers, including many former Major winners, coming in at long PGA Championship odds this week. The list includes Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson to name just five who are around the 66/1 mark.
Our Preview’s PGA Championship 2019 Betting Predictions & Picks Verdict with Course Trends
This year the 2019 renewal heads to the Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale New York. Situated on Long Island, it was completed in 1936 and has previously held two US Opens, in 2002 and 2009. Bethpage Black has also hosted the Barclays (now the Northern Trust) in 2012 and 2016, so many golfers this week will have some knowledge of the venue.
It is a course that has been described as ‘brutal’ and it’s definitely one of the toughest on Tour. Basic stats show a par 71 but it is a lengthy one at 7468 yards. Distance hitters may have an advantage but fairways are tight with little margin for error off the tee.
Accuracy is the key element and on a week where wind and rain may also play a part, wayward hitting will be severely punished. As we hinted earlier, we don’t think a first-time visitor to Bethpage Black will win it and it also seems unlikely that a high-priced golfer will come through.
With all of that in mind, for our 2019 PGA Championship predictions, we are putting our money firmly behind Dustin Johnson this week.
He has the game and the form to add this tournament to his list of Majors and along with these top 10 finish tips, this preview is looking to DJ to add profits to an entertaining four days on Long Island.
- To Win PGA: Dustin Johnson to win @ +1000 with Bovada, BetOnline or Intertops.
- Top 10 Finish Picks: Xander Schauffele (best at +300 with BetOnline via their Futures link. It is +250 with Bovada & Intertops), Matt Kuchar (+500 BetOnline, +400 Bovada, Intertops) and Paul Casey (+450 BetOnline, +400 Bovada, Intertops).