We have finally arrived at the second of the four majors on the season and boy am I excited! The PGA Tour heads down to South Carolina for the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course where the 156 golfer field will compete for the Wanamaker trophy. If you don’t know already, I am an absolute sucker for a Pete Dye designed course and the Ocean Course might be his most beautiful design. This mammoth of a golf course measures a Major championship record 7,876 yards and plays to a par 72 with seashore paspalum greens. Not only are the players going to struggle with length, but the wind coming off the atlantic is going to be a key this week as majority of the holes on the Ocean course are seaside. Though it is technically not a links style course, it is arguably the greatest American style links course in the United States. Though the course will play like a US Open course because of it’s length, Pete Dye winners are usually second shot specialists and elite ball strikers. So we are going to mainly focus on ball striking, strokes gained off the tee, and approach strokes gained for this weekend. Without further ado, let’s dive into my picks!
2021 Golf Schedule: (+42.85U)
- Sentry Tournament of Champions (+3.5U)
- Sony Open (-8U)
- American Express Open (-3.4U)
- Farmers Insurance Open (-8.5U)
- Waste Management Phoenix Open (-9.5U)
- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (+23U)
- Genesis Invitational (+0.55U)
- WGC Workday Championship (+38.75U)
- Arnold Palmer Invitational (-8.5U)
- Players Championship (+29.75U)
- Honda Classic (-13.5U)
- WGC Match Play (-19.75U)
- Valero Texas Open (-1.45U)
- The Masters (-11.05U)
- RBC Heritage (+7.95U)
- Zurich Classic (-5.25U)
- Valspar Championship (-3U)
- Wells Fargo Championship (+35U)
- Byron Nelson Championship (-3.75U)
Disclaimer: The * means I took these prior to this week.
Tier 1 (3 Favorites)
- Justin Thomas +1500 (2.5U to win 37.5U)
Same old song and dance for JT, the man is just arguably the most complete player on Tour. Coming into this weekend ranked 2nd in the World Golf Rankings and Fed Ex Cup standings should help verify that notion. JT comes into the weekend ranked 2nd in approach strokes gained, 3rd in total strokes gained tee to green, and 1st and 2nd respectfully in birdie and scoring average. With enough distance in the bag (53rd in driving distance), Thomas has the perfect recipe this weekend to capture his second Wanamaker trophy.
2. Dustin Johnson +1800 (2.5U to win 45U)
I mean… I’m not going to not take Dustin Johnson at +1800 odds, the odds are way too juicy that it would almost be idiotic to not take. Confused yet? Because same here. The man is an absolute weapon off the tee and even though the form isn’t great as of late, It’s Dustin Johnson and It’s a Major championship. Coming into this weekend ranked 9th in Driving distance and 12th in strokes gained tee to green, I think the formula on top of the pedigree is enough for DJ to shine this weekend.
3. Collin Morikawa +2650 (4U to win 106U)
The length doesn’t scare me here at all. Morikawa is in my opinion, one of the most elite ball strikers this sport has ever seen right on par (no pun intended) with Tiger Woods. The stats back it up as well as Morikawa comes into the weekend ranked 3rd in total ball striking, 1st in strokes gained approach, 2nd in strokes gained tee to green, and 2nd in GIR %. I am so confident in this pick that I took it 3 different times at +2300, +2700, and +3300 because I just felt it would of been a sin to pass up on Morikawa at these odds. Do not be surprised in the slightest if Morikawa is lifting the Wanamaker trophy again come Sunday (hopefully he doesn’t drop the lid this time).
Tier 2 (Mid Tier)
- Viktor Hovland +3500* (2U to win 70U)
The young Norwegian comes into the weekend as one of the hottest golfers on the Tour ranking 3rd in the Fed Ex Cup standings and 11th in the World Golf Rankings. On top of that, Hovland ranks 4th in strokes gained off the tee, 6th in total strokes gained tee to green and 2nd and 1st respectfully in Birdie and Scoring average. If Hovland can limit the mistakes, I have a really good feeling about him being atop the leaderboard come Sunday and at +3500, It was an instant take for me.
2. Patrick Reed +3500* (1.5U to win 52.5U)
Another one I took a while back and though I probably wouldn’t of taken Reed knowing the circumstances, I still like the player enough at these odds to ride with. Reed is mostly known for this putting as he comes in ranked 2nd in that category on the PGA Tour, but the rest of the game plays up enough to rank him 8th in total strokes gained on the Tour. On top of that, the form is good enough as Reed comes in ranked 21st in the Fed Ex Cup standings and 8th in the World Golf Rankings. Wouldn’t recommend taking Reed this weekend, but if you can get anything around +4000 I do believe it is worth a sprinkle.
3. Tyrell Hatton +4000* (1.25U to win 50U)
Took this one a while ago too and don’t really have anything to say. Listen I wouldn’t advise taking Hatton this weekend at all but the one positive Hatton does have is he ranks 20th in strokes gained off the tee and 9th in strokes gained approach. Well see, but not getting my hopes up about this one.
4. Jordan Spieth +5000* (1.25U to win 62.5U)
This is my baby right here. I wish I had thrown more on it at the time but getting Jordan Speith at +5000 odds after what he has done this season is an absolute home run and even if he doens’t win, this was a steal at the price. Stats don’t really back it up but the chosen one is finally back and that means he is capable of winning under any circumstances. Even if you can still get Spieth at like +1800 or better I’d still recommend taking it because I truly see him in the hunt come Sunday.
Tier 3 (Longshot)
- Joaquin Niemann +7000* (1.5U to win 105U)
This is easily my favorite long shot of the weekend as I truly think Niemann has the tools to pull this one out. Coming into the weekend in great form ranking 15th in the Fed Ex Cup rankings, Niemann is one of the few golfers that have the length in the bag to really take advantage of the Ocean Course. Ranked 8th in driving distance and 10th in strokes gained off the tee, Niemann parlay’s the two to a 4th ranked scoring average on the tour. On top of that, Niemann is also in the top 10 in ball striking which is a really good sign for him to contend this weekend. Don’t be surprised when you see this kid in the hunt come Sunday because though casual golf fans aren’t too familiar with Niemann, the kids a star in the making.
Prop Bet Time!!!
Not going to give a huge description on these, just a small summary.
Top 20 Finishes:
- Keegan Bradley T20 +250 (1.5U to win 3.75U)
Elite ball striker in great form right now.
2. Brooks Koepka T20 +270 (1.5U to win 4.05U)
It’s Brooks Koepka and it’s a Major Championship.
3. Jason Kokrak T20 +280 (1.75U to win 4.9U)
Like Bradley, elite ball striker in great form right now.
4. Sergio Garcia T20 +310 (1U to win 3.1U)
World class ball striker and mega distance.
5. Si Woo Kim T20 +320 (1.5U to win 4.8U)
Good form as of late and seems to excel under the bright lights. Real fan of this guy.
6. Shane Lowry T20 +380 (1.25U to win 4.75U)
Good ball striker playing sneaky really solid golf as of late.
7. Marc Leishman T20 +430 (1.5U to win 6.45U)
Really underrated golfer in great form right now.
8. Carlos Ortiz T20 +430 (1U to win 4.3U)
Sneaky good ball striker with a top 5 eagle average. In good form as of late as well.
9. Cameron Davis T20 +440 (1.5U to win 6.6U)
Power with solid irons too boot. Also in good form right now as well.
10. Cameron Champ T20 +550 (1.5U to win 8.25U)
How can you not? 2nd longest driver on Tour who plays exceptionally well in Major’s.