The 2nd golf major of the year is upon us! The top golfers in the world will descend on Kiawah Island in South Carolina this week for the annual PGA Championship! Action gets underway late on Thursday night for Australian fans and continues throughout the weekend. Check out our full preview and betting tips for the event below.
With the AFL season kicking off and now in full swing, it’s been a while since we’ve had the time to do a deep dive into the PGA Tour. But with a major rolling around this week, we are back on deck to preview the star-studded field and give our full betting tips.
As you’d expect in a major championship, the field for this week is absolutely jam packed with talent. Most of the top 50 players in the world will all be teeing it up on Thursday night, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka headlining the field.
Reigning PGA Champion Colin Morikawa will be back to defend his title while other previous winners of the Wanamaker trophy include McIlroy, Thomas, Koepka, Jason Day, Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner, and Phil Mickelson.
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort was designed by Pete and Alice Dye and opened for play all the way back in 1991. It has become one of the most famous and highly rated golf courses in the world and hosted the PGA Championship in 2012, which was won by Rory McIlroy by a record eight shots in a dominant performance.
The course is an intimidating Par 72 that measuers as long as 7,849 yards for major championships, which is longer than any other course in the PGA Tour rotation this season. It gives the long bombers off the tee a massive advantage from the outset, and unfortunately it rules out a bunch of players that just won’t be able to handle the sheer length of the course, especially given the blistering winds that blow off its high amount of ocean-side holes.
Solid play from tee-to-green as well as strong course management in windy conditions is absolutely vital at Kiawah Island, and we’ll be hunting players that are strong in those areas this week.
Rory McIlroy is at the top of our pile this week. It was a tumultuous season for the Northern Irishman up until a few weeks ago when he finally broke through for his first win since 2019 when he took out the Wells Fargo Championship. It was almost 10 years ago that Rory claimed his record eight stroke win in the PGA Championship at Kiawah but his recent return to form and his immaculate play off the tee have him as one of our best bets for the week here.
McIlroy Win/Top 10
The other big dog who we fancy this week is Justin Thomas. The No.2 ranked player in the world has been a little quiet by his lofty standards since winning The Players Championship back in March. He has finished T21, T13 and T26 in his last three tournaments but is a proven performer in the PGA Championship and I think this course sets up really well for him. Is a magician off the tee and arguably the best iron player in the world, should have no issues with length and if his putter cooperates, will be in the mix on Sunday afternoon.
McIlroy Win/Top 10
Cameron Champ ($126) – Has found a rich vein of form lately, making four cuts in a row highlighted by a solid T26 at The Masters last month. Is the third ranked player in driving distance this season behind only Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy.
Joaquin Niemann ($61) – 16 PGA Tour events played, 16 cuts made for the Chilean youngster so far this season. The No.29 ranked player in the world is consistency personified and is also one of the longest drivers on tour. 6th at CJ Cup, 2nd at Tournament of Champions and T8 at Valspar Championship highlight a fantastic season so far.
Will Zalatoris ($51) – hard to believe ou can still get $51 for the youngster to win this week after the resume he has put together of late. Zalatoris has gone from obscurity to the No.30 ranked player in the world in a meteoric rise after a T6 at the U.S. Open, T8 at the Corales, T5 at the Shriners Hospital, T7 at the Farmers Insurance, T10 at the Arnold Palmer and a 2nd at the Masters all this season. Ranks 23rd on tour in driving distance.
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