Post By: Mike Philipps
Golf’s final major, the 99th PGA Championship, heads to Charlotte, North Carolina this week. Quail Hollow Golf Club (7,600 yards, par 71) serves as the venue, the first time the course has hosted a major championship. Quail Hollow is far from unfamiliar with professional golf, however, as it has hosted a PGA Tour event every year from 2003 to 2016. The Wells Fargo Championship was moved to Eagle Point Golf Club this year as Quail Hollow prepared for the 2017 PGA Championship.
Where to Bet on the PGA Championship Online
This year’s PGA Championship feels as wide open as any in recent memory. There is a large group of players that quickly come to mind that could be considered amongst the favorites. With that, there aren’t many recent trends that will help identify the player to hoist the Wannamaker Trophy this year, but we do have a few things to consider:
- Seven of the last eight PGA Championship winners were first-time major champions. Pair this with the fact that seven of the last eight overall major winners were first-time winners, and finding a player that has yet to win one seems like a wise course of action.
- Playing well in the event prior to PGA Championship is usually a good indicator. 13 of the last 15 winners finished 15th or higher in their event leading into the final major of the season – five players won their last start before teeing it up at the PGA.
- Winning scores tend to be a little lower in the final major of the year. The average winning score of the last eight PGA Championships is nearly 13-under-par, with each winner finishing no worse than eight-under.
- World Rankings are not the most reliable gauge. Over the last 15 years, the winner has bounced from No. 1 on down to the triple digits. Three times during that span the No. 1-ranked player won. However, Keegan Bradley, Y.E. Yang and Shaun Micheel all were unlikely champions who were ranked higher than 100 heading into the tournament. Jimmy Walker was ranked No. 48 before his wire-to-wire victory at Baltusrol.
- Past winners at Quail Hollow that are in the field this week include Rory McIlroy (2), Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Lucas Glover, and most recently, James Hahn. Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and Webb Simpson have posted multiple top-fives at Quail Hollow since 2010.
Last year, Jimmy Walker came out of nowhere to capture his first major title. He hadn’t finished in the top-10 in a tournament since March, and he had missed the cut in four of his seven starts prior. But the man that showed up at Baltusrol was a different player as he led wire-to-wire, holding off defending champion and World No. 1 Jason Day in the process.
Walker carded four rounds of 68 or better, including an impressive 67 on Sunday with Day breathing down his neck. For the week, Walker ranked fourth in the field in Total Putts and T-12 in Greens in Regulation.
Betting on the 2017 PGA Championship Online
Now, let’s dig into the details to find the best approach to betting on the 2017 PGA Championship online. We will be taking our usual approach which means starting with a look at the outright betting odds and then follow that up with in-depth previews of dozens of players in order to figure out who looks like a likely contender and who should be avoided.
Golf betting is always a tricky thing because there are so many great players to choose from and even the best players have the odds stacked against them. The right mindset for betting on the PGA Championship is to look for value rather than simply trying to guess who will win.
Amateurs approach golf betting by trying to just guess the winner every time regardless of the odds. That’s how you lose money over the long run because it is impossible to get it right often enough to turn a profit. Instead, we want to look at both the player and the odds to determine if the bet makes sense in terms of value. So today, we begin with a comparison of the betting odds across the best golf bookmakers and then continue below with an analysis of each player.
Also, see our latest post for a list of PGA Championship promotions that you can take advantage of for extra value on all your bets this year.
Outright Odds to Win
The following two tables show the current odds to win the PGA Championship as offered by three major betting sites. The first table is for our readers located everywhere outside the United States. The second table is for our US-based readers and uses betting sites that accept customers from the USA.
USA-Friendly Betting Sites
Top Picks and Players Worth a Look
As expected, the 156-man field this week is loaded with all the top talent from around the world. All players ranked in the top-50 in the world are scheduled to play. The PGA Championship is unique in that there are only professionals in the field – no amateurs – making it arguably the toughest field all year.
Below are some breakdowns of some of the best options heading into the week. They have been split up into five categories: The Favorites, Past PGA Champions, Other Major Winners, Veterans Who’ve Been Close and Young Guns.
- World Golf Ranking: 2
- Odds to Win: 8/1
- Things to Like: Spieth has looked like the 2015 version – the year he won two majors the PGA Tour Player of the Year award – over the last few months. He’s won twice, including his third career major, along with a runner-up at the Dean & Deluca Invitational. He has an uncanny ability to will himself to victory, and that determination plays well in the pressure of the majors. He ranks second on the FedEx Cup Points Standings and the PGA Tour Money list, while leading in Scoring Average.
- Things Not to Like: Despite ranking fifth in the field in Fairways Hit at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone, play off the tee is a weakness for Spieth. He ranks 130th on the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy and 100th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
- At the PGA Championship: Spieth has made the cut the last two years after missing it his first two appearances. His best finish was in 2015, when he finished runner-up to Jason Day at Whistling Straits. He finished T-13 at Baltusrol last year, carding four rounds of par or better.
- At Quail Hollow: Spieth has played Quail Hollow just once, finishing T-32 at the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship.
- Last event: Spieth fired bookend rounds of 67 and 68 to post a total of four-under-par and finish tied for 13th at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone. It was his fifth top-15 finish in his last six starts.
- World Golf Ranking: 1
- Odds to Win: 9/1
- Things to Like: Johnson has bounced back from a rough stretch in June and July with a pair of top-20 finishes in his last two starts. While he hasn’t been his normal dominant self, Johnson’s 2016-17 season is still remarkable. He ranks first on the PGA Tour in Total Strokes Gained, Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Driving Distance. He ranks in the top 10 in an astounding total of six statistical categories – Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (2nd), Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green (9th), Greens in Regulation (9th) and Scoring Average (9th).
- Things Not to Like: Johnson was dominant for the stretch of nearly a year, but it seems that his run as the best player in the world is over. He is still ranked No. 1 in the world and capable of winning any tournament, but he doesn’t feel like the sure thing he was since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
- At the PGA Championship: Johnson has four top-10 finishes to his credit in just seven starts at the PGA. His most notable performance came in 2010, when a penalty for grounding his club in a bunker kept him out of a playoff. He had to settle for T-5 that year, his highest result to date. Johnson inexplicably missed the cut at last year’s PGA Championship after an opening-round 77.
- At Quail Hollow: Johnson has missed the cut two out of the three times he’s played at Quail Hollow. His best finish was a T-29 in 2010.
- Last event: Johnson had a chance to claim his third WGC event of the season had it not been for a second-round 75 at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone. He followed that up by playing the weekend in six-under-par and moved into the top-20 (T-17).
- World Golf Ranking: 4
- Odds to Win: 9/1
- Things to Like: There is a lot to like about McIlroy this week. He is a two-time PGA Champion and a two-time winner at Quail Hollow. He also appears to have worked himself out of a mid-season slump that saw him miss three of four cuts. McIlroy also holds Quail Hollow’s course record (61).
- Things Not to Like: McIlroy has struggled for the past several months, dealing with a lingering rib injury. He was a non-factor from THE PLAYERS Championship until the British Open, when he started to look like his old self. Hopefully the rib injury is finally behind him.
- At the PGA Championship: Two of McIlroy’s four majors have come at the PGA Championship, winning at Kiawah Island and Valhalla. But that’s not where his list of achievements ends. He has a pair of T-3s and a T-8 on his impressive resume.
- At Quail Hollow: McIlroy was likely one of the happiest people to learn the PGA would be held at Quail Hollow. He has two career wins (2010, 2015) there, along with two more top-fives. He fired a round of 61 in the third round of the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship on his way to 21-under-par.
- Last event: McIlroy put together his second-straight strong performance, finishing T-5 at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone. He fired four rounds under par to post a total score of seven-under. His driver was remarkable for the entire week. He led the field in Driving Distance at over 343 yards while ranking T-14 in Fairways Hit.
Past PGA Champions
- World Golf Ranking: 7
- Odds to Win: 25/1
- Things to Like: Day has finished in the top-two in each of the last two PGA Championships. That fact alone is why his odds to win this week are so low in comparison to his record this season. Maybe he can conjure up a little magic from the past two years and contend for another Wannamaker Trophy.
- Things Not to Like: Day simply hasn’t been the player he was when he won his first major at Whistling Straits in 2015. He doesn’t have a single top-20 in the majors this year, and he has just two top-fives all season.
- At the PGA Championship: Day got his first major title at the 2015 PGA Championship, outlasting Jordan Spieth in the process, and becoming the first man to post a winning score of 20-under-par in a major. Day was close to defending his title last year, but came up one shot short of Jimmy Walker. His solo second was his fourth career top-10 at the PGA, and his third in the last four years.
- At Quail Hollow: Day has a pair of top-25s in his two starts at Quail Hollow. His best finish came in his last start (2012), when he carded four rounds of 70 or better to finish T-9.
- Last event: Day fired a second-round 66 at the WGC-Bridgestone last week, but he couldn’t follow it up on the weekend. He played the final two rounds in one-over-par and finished T-24.
- World Golf Ranking: 30
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Mickelson has had a remarkable run in the PGA Championship in his career, and he has been even better when he plays at Quail Hollow. Don’t be surprised to see Phil on the first page of the leaderboard playing at a venue that seems to bring out his best.
- Things Not to Like: Mickelson’s struggles off the tee this year have been even worse than in previous years. He ranks 185th on the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy at just over 53 percent, and he ranks 141st in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee. He has the game to overcome wayward tee shots, but it puts a lot of strain on it.
- At the PGA Championship: Mickelson has made the cut an astounding 23 times in his 24 career starts at the PGA Championship, with 14 of those resulting in a top-25. His win at Baltusrol in 2005 is one of four career top-three finishes in the PGA. He finished T-33 last year.
- At Quail Hollow: Mickelson has 13 career starts at Quail Hollow, easily the most in the field, and he’s had a great deal of success. Six times he’s finished in the top-five, including back-to-back T-4s the last two times he played there. His best result was a solo second in 2010.
- Last event: Mickelson struggled the first three days of last week’s WGC-Bridgestone, finishing over par each day. He did end on a strong note, carding a final-round 67 to get back to two-over-par for the week and a tie for 39th.
- World Golf Ranking: 34
- Odds to Win: 66/1
- Things to Like: Dufner is having his best season since he won his lone major title in 2013. He won at Muirfield Village, showing great determination after a giving up a large lead in the third round. He has been a consistent performer this season, making the top-25 11 times in 19 starts – his highest percentage in five years.
- Things Not to Like: Dufner has fallen off considerably since his win at The Memorial Tournament in June. He has two missed cuts and a T-50 in four starts since.
- At the PGA Championship: Since he claimed the Wannamaker Trophy in 2013, it would be obvious to state that the PGA Championship is Dufner’s best major. But he also has a runner-up in 2011 and a T-5 in 2010 on his resume. The past few seasons haven’t been as good, as he hasn’t cracked the top 60 since his victory at Oak Hill.
- At Quail Hollow: Dufner has missed the cut in three of the four times he’s played at Quail Hollow, but hasn’t played there since 2010. He did manage a T-5 in 2009 when he fired a 67 in the opening round.
- Last event: Dufner alternated poor rounds and solid rounds at the WGC-Bridgestone last week. He opened with a 76, but fought back on Friday with a 68. A 73 on Saturday was followed by a 69 on Sunday. All that inconsistency earned him a T-50 finish.
Other PGA Champions to consider: Keegan Bradley (125/1), Jimmy Walker (150/1)
Other Major Winners
- World Golf Ranking: 11
- Odds to Win: 16/1
- Things to Like: The reigning U.S. Open champion is known for his power – he ranks sixth on the PGA Tour in Driving Distance at over 309 yards – but it’s been his putter that has been his biggest weapon this season, ranking 10th in Strokes Gained: Putting. Of course, the flat stick hasn’t been the only thing going over the last several months of the season. Since late-March, Koepka not only got his first major title, but he has added four more top-10s, including a solo second at the Valero Texas Open and a T-6 at the British Open. He’s the only player that can say he’s finished in the top 11 in all three majors this season.
- Things Not to Like: Koepka has needed his putter to save him many times this year. He ranks 141st on the PGA Tour in Greens in Regulation and 140th in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green.
- At the PGA Championship: Koepka has made the cut all four years he’s played the PGA Championship, and each year he’s improved his standing. After finishing T-15 in 2014, Koepka has collected consecutive top-five finishes, highlighted by a T-4 at Baltusrol last year. If he can keep this trend going, it’s going to be a very good week for Koepka.
- At Quail Hollow: Koepka has not played any competitive rounds at Quail Hollow.
- Last event: Koepka carded rounds of 69 and 67 on Saturday to move up the leaderboard at the WGC-Bridgestone last week. He played the final round at even par and finished tied for 17th. Koepka led the field in Total Putts for the week.
- World Golf Ranking: 8
- Odds to Win: 25/1
- Things to Like: Stenson is a ball striker, and he puts himself in position to post low rounds on a regular basis. In the 11 tournaments he’s played all four rounds in this season, he has ranked first or second in Fairways Hit in 10 of them. He’s ranked in the top eight in Greens in Regulation in seven. He’s a dangerous player than can become white hot at any time.
- Things Not to Like: Stenson got off to a great start this season, but since March, he hasn’t been nearly as consistent as he has been in the past. He has missed five cuts – including four in a row – in his last 14 starts, and has just one top-five during that span. He’s on pace to have his worst earning year since 2012.
- At the PGA Championship: Stenson has been a regular at the top of the leaderboard in the PGA Championship. He’s placed in the top-seven five times in his last seven starts there. He earned consecutive third-place finishes at Oak Hill and Valhalla, and finished T-7 last year at Baltusrol.
- At Quail Hollow: Stenson has struggled in his six starts at Quail Hollow. He’s missed the cut four times (including in his last start), and his highest finish is a T-58 in 2015.
- Last event: Stenson improved his score each day at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone, going from an opening-round 72 to a final-round 67. His total of three-under-par was good for a T-17 finish.
- World Golf Ranking: 13
- Odds to Win: 25/1
- Things to Like: Rose should always be on the short list of top contenders for any major he competes in, as he’s one of the best ball strikers in the game. Add in a venue in which he’s had recent success, and Rose should rise up the list of favorites even more. He has finished in the top-five each of the last two times the Wells Fargo Championship was held at Quail Hollow.
- Things Not to Like: Rose won’t be entering the PGA Championship with his best form. Since finishing runner-up at the Masters, he’s missed two cuts and finished outside the top-50 three times in seven starts.
- At the PGA Championship: Rose has made the cut each of the last five years at the PGA Championship, collecting a pair of top-fives in the process. His best result came in 2012, when he finished T-3 at Kiawah Island. He finished T-22 last year at Baltusrol.
- At Quail Hollow: Rose struggled in his first five starts at Quail Hollow – he missed the cut twice and failed to crack the top-25 – but he’s finished in the top-five the last two times. He shot under-par in each of his last 10 rounds.
- Last event: Rose really struggled at Firestone last week, a venue he usually carves up. He carded three rounds of 72 or higher, finishing near the bottom of the standings (T-63) at the WGC-Bridgestone.
- World Golf Ranking: 5
- Odds to Win: 28/1
- Things to Like: Garcia has finally gotten the credit he deserves as one of the best players of his generation. Amazing what winning the Masters will do for a guy. He has gone from a player that everyone assumed would never win a major, to someone people look at as a serious contender every time out. Aside from the life-changing effect of earning the Green Jacket, Garcia became a multiple-event winner this season for the first time since 2011.
- Things Not to Like: The last time Garcia missed a cut was at the PGA Championship last July. He has also finished outside the top 35 in his last two starts.
- At the PGA Championship: Garcia burst onto the worldwide golf scene with his performance at the 1999 PGA Championship, when he hit the famous shot from the tree root, followed by him sprinting across the fairway to see where it ended up. He finished runner-up to Tiger Woods that year, one of two second-place finishes he has at the PGA. He has struggled in the event in recent years, though. He missed the cut both last year and in 2012, and in between was an average finish of 50th.
- At Quail Hollow: Garcia has played the weekend in seven of the eight times he’s teed it up at Quail Hollow. In 2005, he finished T-2 when he lost in a playoff to Vijay Singh. He lost a six-shot lead on Sunday that year.
- Last event: Garcia struggled most of the week at the WGC-Bridgestone, playing each of the first three rounds over par. He managed to card a final-round 67 but still finished in the bottom half of the field (T-39).
- World Golf Ranking: 17
- Odds to Win: 28/1
- Things to Like: Scott hasn’t had his best game this year statistically, but he always seems to be lurking on the leaderboard. He has nine top-15 finishes this season, including a T-9 at the Masters and a T-6 at THE PLAYERS Championship.
- Things Not to Like: Scott doesn’t have a top-five since a third-place finish at the Australian PGA Championship in December. That’s a span of 13 starts.
- At the PGA Championship: Scott has four career top-10s at the PGA Championship, most recently when he finished T-5 in 2013. That year, he led after a first-round 65. His best result came in 2006 at Medinah when he took home a T-3. Last year he finished T-18 – his fifth top-20 in his last six starts.
- At Quail Hollow: Scott has a pair of top-10s in eight starts at Quail Hollow, but he’s missed three of the last four cuts. His best result came in 2006 when he finished solo third.
- Last event: Scott had a solid week at the WGC-Bridgestone, firing three rounds under par and finishing in a tie for 13th. It was his first top-20 in almost two months.
Other major winners to consider: Zach Johnson (50/1), Charl Schwartzel (66/1), Louis Oosthuizen (66/1), Bubba Watson (66/1), Webb Simpson (125/1), Lucas Glover (200/1)
Veterans Who’ve Been Close
- World Golf Ranking: 10
- Odds to Win: 16/1
- Things to Like: Fowler ranks in the top 11 on the PGA Tour in three Strokes Gained categories – Putting (1st), Total (2nd) and Tee-to-Green (11th) – so it’s easy to see how he ranks second in Scoring Average this season. In all, Fowler has nine top-10 results in 2016-17, and has placed in the top-25 in each of the three previous majors. Add in that he has claimed a victory at Quail Hollow in 2012, and Fowler’s chances look extremely good again this week.
- Things Not to Like: Just like with any player that has yet to get over the major championship hump, until Fowler gets it done, there will always be a question about whether he can win one. Winning a major is not easy, and there are no guarantees, no matter the talent or popularity of a player.
- At the PGA Championship: Fowler finished T-3 at the 2014 PGA Championship, the year he finished in the top-five off all four majors. Outside of a T-19 in 2013, Fowler doesn’t have any other top-25s in seven career starts at the PGA.
- At Quail Hollow: Fowler has a fine record at Quail Hollow, winning the Wells Fargo Championship there in 2012. He has a pair of top-six finishes to go with the victory, including a T-4 in his last start there.
- Last event: Fowler played the weekend in seven-under-par, including a 66 on Sunday, to move into the top-10 at the WGC-Bridgestone. His solo ninth-place result was his ninth top-10 of the season.
- World Golf Ranking: 3
- Odds to Win: 18/1
- Things to Like: Forget about the fact that Matsuyama has played well enough to move from the mid-teens in the World Golf Rankings to as high as No. 2. He now sits atop the FedEx Cup Points Standings and the PGA Money list. Also, in the last two months, Matsuyama has three rounds of 66 or better in the majors and a 61 on Sunday at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone. The point? Matsuyama’s good is really good, and he has proven he can do it on the biggest stage.
- Things Not to Like: Matsuyama has been near the top of the Best Player to Never Win a Major list for the past few years now. Everyone expects him to eventually remove himself from that list, but until it happens, it will be a burden. And for what it’s worth, no Japanese player has ever won a major.
- At the PGA Championship: Matsuyama had his best result in the PGA Championship last year, firing four rounds in the sixties to finish T-4. He’s made the cut all four times he’s played, but his best finish prior to last year was a T-19 in 2013.
- At Quail Hollow: Matsuyama has improved his standing each time he’s played at Quail Hollow. Since debuting with a T-38 in 2014, he’s finished T-20 and T-11.
- Last event: Matsuyama overcame a two-shot lead on Sunday with a remarkable round of 61 at the WGC-Bridgestone. He went out in 30 after three birdies and an eagle, then added four more birdies on the inward nine, tying the course record and leading him to a five-shot victory – his second WGC title of the season (WGC-HSBC Champions). For the week, he led the field in Greens in Regulation and birdies made, and ranked in the top 12 in Driving Distance and Total Putts.
- World Golf Ranking: 12
- Odds to Win: 33/1
- Things to Like: Kuchar’s role as sentimental favourite has grown over the past few years as the 39-year-old is running out of chances to finally get a major title. Those positive vibes can only help as he looks to improve one notch from his last major finish at the British Open. He has been one of the most consistent players on Tour since April, earning nine top-20s and four top-five finishes in a 12-start span. He’s finished in the top-16 of all three majors this year.
- Things Not to Like: Kuchar is undoubtedly disappointed after getting so close at the British Open last month. How he deals with that will go a long way to how he plays this week.
- At the PGA Championship: In his eight previous starts at the PGA, Kuchar has either finished in the top 25, or missed the cut. His best finish was a T-7 in 2015, but he missed the cut last year.
- At Quail Hollow: Kuchar hasn’t had much luck at Quail Hollow. That’s probably why he hasn’t played there since 2010. In six career starts there, he’s missed the cut three times and never finished inside the top 50.
- Last event: After a rough few days to start, Kuchar finished strong at the WGC-Bridgestone, playing the weekend in six-under-par, moving him into a tie for 17th. He ranked third in the field in Fairways Hit and T-8 in Total Putts for the week.
- World Golf Ranking: 18
- Odds to Win: 33/1
- Things to Like: Casey ranks in the top-10 in three Strokes Gained categories: Approach-the-Green (3rd), Tee-to-Green (9th) and Total (9th) along with ranking second in Greens in Regulation and sixth in Scoring Average. In the last four months, he has five top-10 finishes, including a pair of T-5s in his last three starts.
- Things Not to Like: Casey is about as consistent as it gets on the PGA Tour, but he just hasn’t found a way to get to the winner’s circle. His last win was nearly three years ago (69 total starts) at the KLM Open.
- At the PGA Championship: Casey has just one top-10 in 14 career starts at the PGA, with that coming last year at Baltusrol (T-10). His best finish prior to that was a T-12 in 2010.
- At Quail Hollow: Casey has just three starts at Quail Hollow over the last nine years, missing the cut there twice. His best result came in his last start there, when he finished T-41.
- Last event: Casey played the weekend at the WGC-Bridgestone in six-under-par, moving into the top-five for the second time in the last three events. His T-5 at Firestone matched his best result of the season.
- World Golf Ranking: 15
- Odds to Win: 40/1
- Things to Like: Fleetwood has ascended to the top position in the Race to Dubai standings. He holds a large lead over second-place Sergio Garcia, thanks in part to four top-10s, including a win, since mid-June. Since October, Fleetwood has a pair of wins and five other top-four finishes. The former highly-ranked amateur has really come into his own this season.
- Things Not to Like: Take out his T-4 at this year’s U.S. Open, and Fleetwood’s record in the majors is far from impressive. He has no other top-25s and six missed cuts in the other eight starts.
- At the PGA Championship: Fleetwood missed the cut in his two prior starts at the PGA Championship. He last played the event in 2015.
- At Quail Hollow: Fleetwood has not played any competitive rounds at Quail Hollow.
- Last event: Fleetwood managed only one round under par at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone – a 68 on Friday. His one-under-par total earned him a T-28 finish.
- World Golf Ranking: 33
- Odds to Win: 40/1
- Things to Like: Grace tends to raise his game for the majors. Since 2015, he has five top-six finishes, including a T-6 at the British Open last month, when he carded the first 62 in major championship history.
- Things Not to Like: When you look over Grace’s stats, there’s nothing that really jumps out as a strength. His rankings on the PGA Tour in the Strokes Gained categories range from 68th to 124th.
- At the PGA Championship: Grace has placed in the top-four in the last two PGA Championships. His solo third in the 2015 PGA is his best career finish in a major. His average score on the weekend of the last two PGA Championships is 66.5.
- At Quail Hollow: Grace has not played any competitive rounds at Quail Hollow.
- Last event: Grace alternated rounds under par and rounds over par at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone. The up-and-down week resulted in a one-under-par total and a tie for 28th.
- World Golf Ranking: 31
- Odds to Win: 40/1
- Things to Like: Leishman, often in the shadow of countrymen Adam Scott and Jason Day, is having a breakthrough season. He’s made 19 of 21 cuts, earning his fourth professional win along the way at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. With more than a month left in the season, Leishman has already set a career-high in money earned. He has a pair of top-six finishes in his last three starts, and he ranks fifth on the PGA Tour in Scoring Average this season.
- Things Not to Like: Leishman is a bomber – he averages over 300 yards off the tee – but he’s not very accurate. He ranks 140th on the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy.
- At the PGA Championship: In six starts at the PGA Championship, Leishman has just one top-25, a T-12 in 2013. Last year he finished T-60 after a final-round 74.
- At Quail Hollow: Leishman played the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow three times from 2009 to 2012, with his best result a T-48.
- Last event: Leishman had a poor start to his week at the WGC-Bridgestone, but after an opening-round 73, he improved his score each day. Leishman wound up with a three-over-par total, and a tie for 41st
- World Golf Ranking: 20
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: The 40-year-old Hoffman continues to add his list of accomplishments in what has been a remarkable season. While he doesn’t have a victory, he has six top-five finishes – three in the last five starts – and has placed in the top-25 in all three majors this season. His eighth-place finish at the U.S. Open this year was his best career result in a major. He has moved into the top 20 of the World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career.
- Things Not to Like: The PGA Championship has not been kind to Hoffman. Only once in eight career starts has he played the weekend.
- At the PGA Championship: See the ‘Things Not to Like’ bullet. Hoffman doesn’t have a lot of major success in his career, but the PGA Championship has been especially tough on him. His T-40 in 2013 is his best result there.
- At Quail Hollow: Hoffman hasn’t played Quail Hollow since 2011, when he missed his third cut in four starts there. His best finish came in his debut when he earned a T-38.
- Last event: Hoffman had an excellent showing at the WGC-Bridgestone last week, firing four rounds in the sixties and earning his third top-three in five starts. Hoffman saved his best for the weekend, carding rounds of 67 and 66, helping him finish in solo third.
- World Golf Ranking: 25
- Odds to Win: 80/1
- Things to Like: Kisner is putting together a third-straight strong season in 2016-17 after being a virtual unknown prior to 2015. He has made 19 of 22 cuts and earned his second career PGA Tour win at the Dean & Deluca Invitational. All six of his top-10s this season have come in 2017.
- Things Not to Like: Kisner is still looking for that breakthrough performance in the majors. While he has made the cut in each of the last seven majors, he has just one top-35 finish in that span (T-18, 2016 PGA).
- At the PGA Championship: Kisner has just two appearances at the PGA Championship in his career. He missed the cut the first time and finished T-18 last year at Baltusrol.
- At Quail Hollow: Kisner has missed the cut three times in five starts at Quail Hollow, but also has a top-10 to his credit. He finished T-6 in 2014.
- Last event: Kisner fired bookend rounds of 67 and 66 at the WGC-Bridgestone last week, but two rounds of 73 on Friday and Saturday kept him out of contention. He finished at one-under-par and in a tie for 28th.
Other Veterans to consider: Alex Noren (40/1), Rafa Cabrera Bello (50/1), Patrick Reed (66/1), J.B. Holmes (80/1), Lee Westwood (80/1), Brandt Snedeker (80/1), Brian Harman (100/1)
- World Golf Ranking: 6
- Odds to Win: 22/1
- Things to Like: Rahm has made professional golf look easy in his first full year on the PGA Tour. He’s collected two victories and five more top-five finishes since late-January. That performance puts him sixth on the FedEx Cup Points Standings and in the World Golf Rankings, and he also ranks third on the Race to Dubai Standings.
- Things Not to Like: Rahm has entered each of this year’s majors with a good deal of hype, but he has failed to produce thus far. The 22-year-old has yet to crack the top-25 in the previous three majors.
- At the PGA Championship: This will be the first time Rahm plays the PGA Championship.
- At Quail Hollow: Rahm has not played any competitive rounds at Quail Hollow.
- Last event: Rahm had three solid rounds, and one poor round at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone. Despite a 68 and two 67s, his second-round 77 prevented him from being a serious contender. He finished in a tie for 28th
- World Golf Ranking: 19
- Odds to Win: 40/1
- Things to Like: The 2014-15 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year has continued to impress in his third full season. Berger earned his second career victory in June during a span of three top-five finishes in four starts. For the season, he has six top-10 results to add to a resume that is growing quickly.
- Things Not to Like: As with most young players, Berger hasn’t found much success in the majors. Not everyone is Jordan Spieth, after all. In his nine previous starts, Berger has just one top-25 and three missed cuts.
- At the PGA Championship: Berger has a missed cut and a T-73 in his only two starts at the PGA Championship.
- At Quail Hollow: Berger made the cut both times at Quail Hollow, with a T-17 in 2016 his best result.
- Last event: Berger carded consecutive rounds of 68 on Friday and Saturday at the WGC-Bridgestone last week, earning a T-17 finish.
- World Golf Ranking: 23
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Pieters earned his fourth top-five finish of the season – all in North America – with his solo fourth at the WGC-Bridgestone last week. Having that many top-five finishes is impressive in its own right, but Pieters has done it in some of the best fields of the year – two WGC events, the Masters and the Genesis Open. At just 25-years-old, Pieters is a young player ready to explode.
- Things Not to Like: Pieters has been very boom or bust in 2017. While he has all those high finishes to his credit, he also has six missed cuts. His longest streak of consecutive made cuts this year is two.
- At the PGA Championship: Pieters struggled on the weekend of his PGA Championship debut last year, finishing in 86th
- At Quail Hollow: Pieters has not played any competitive rounds at Quail Hollow.
- Last event: Pieters had another strong showing in a WGC event, adding a solo fourth in last week’s WGC-Bridgestone to his T-5 at the WGC-Mexico earlier this year. Pieters fired rounds of 65 and 66 on Thursday and Saturday, giving him the first- and third-round leads. A final-round 71 left him in Hideki Matsuyama’s wake
Other Young Guns to consider: Justin Thomas (40/1), Matthew Fitzpatrick (100/1), Xander Schauffele (100/1)
Some other long shots to consider
- 125/1: Jhonattan Vegas
- 150/1: Pat Perez, Bryson DeChambeau, Wesley Bryan, Tyrrell Hatton, Adam Hadwin, Patrick Cantlay
Other PGA Championship winners in the field: Y.E. Yang, Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III
Other major champions in the field: John Daly, Ernie Els (4), Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell, Danny Willett