The 99th PGA Championship is hosted by Quail Hollow in North Carolina this week and a stellar field of golfers will look to win the final major of the year. With the WGC Bridgestone Invitational just wrapped up in Akron, Ohio with Hideki Matsuyama taking the prize for Japan, but we’re feeling confident that a British player can step up and win the PGA Championship.
Matsuyama has firmed into 12/1 for the PGA Championship and his five-shot win certainly demands attention, but one player has been the best-backed golfer in early markets at that’s the resurgent Rory McIlroy. McIlroy is the loose favorite at 7/1 with Americans Jordan Spieth (8/1) and Dustin Johnson (12/1) hot on his tail, but most of the money is coming for the Northern Irishman who we think will be tough to beat.
Rory McIlroy form
It might have been a long time between wins for former world No.1 Rory McIlroy, but he’s responding to critics well with some tidy performances over the last month. After missing the cut at the U.S. Open in June, McIlroy has responded with a fourth placing at The Open Championship and a fifth placing at the WGC Bridgestone. If McIlroy is going to win the PGA Championship this week, he will need to start holing some putts and that’s what has tarnished his game over the past couple of years. He spoke with reporters following his third round at Firestone about his missing opportunities on the greens.
“I put myself in some good positions out there and I had some great chances coming in over those last six holes, but I didn’t convert any of them,” McIlroy said. Considering his putting averages don’t read well compared to the likes of Jordan Spieth, who is seemingly Tiger Woods-like on the green, McIlroy performs well on the big stage and many believe, including us, that he can win his third PGA Championship after winning in 2012 and 2014.
Paul Casey form
All the talk surrounding Paul Casey is that he’s due to win a major championship – that could come this week and he’s paying value odds to do so. Casey (60/1 at Sky Bet) is another European player who hasn’t won in recent times, but he comes into this tournament in red-hot form and he’s knocking on the door of his first major title. With multiple top 10 finishes in majors throughout his career, Casey could be the new Sergio Garcia of the golfing world and many are predicting him to score a major at some point in his career.
Casey finished tied for fifth this week with McIlroy and that bodes well for Quail Hollow. His showing at The Open Championship for 11th suggests he’s capable of scoring low in the big tournaments and he spoke about playing at Quail Hollow earlier in his career. “This golf course is a great test where it commands your attention on every hole. It is also very extreme as the mounding is extreme,” Casey said. He has played well on this course in the past and he’s a value golfer this week.
Top PGA Championship pick
There’s no going past Rory McIlroy and his preparation has been ideal heading into this week. His past performances in this tournament is enough to warrant attention, but his play at Firestone commanding even more attention and it bodes well for bettors. The 7/1 is a value price which will firm into a much shorter quote if he plays well in the opening round. McIlroy likes to get off to a good start, but he does use moving day to its fullest and he shouldn’t be counted out at any stage of the tournament. Paul Casey is our value pick and he will be a heavily-backed commodity in the top 10 and top 20 markets.