The PGA Championship returns this week to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, where Rory McIlroy won in 2012 by eight shots, his first of two titles in the event. His winning score was 13 under 275, but second place was at five-under-par, and the cut was made at six over.
The Pete Dye-designed course has potentially been lengthened by a couple of hundred yards to 7,876 and plays to a par 72, but the PGA has a lot of options as to where they can place tees to add some variety to the layout from day to day. With mild weather and moderate winds in the forecast, shores might not be as high as they could be under different conditions.
Patrick Reed is just outside the top ten in betting odds so that technically makes him an underdog at +3600.
Betting Odds at Kiawah
After his 18-month victory drought ended with a victory in the Well Fargo Championship, his third in the tournament, McIlroy is the favorite to add a third PGA Championship and fifth major title to his resume. The winner of 19 PGA Tour events has gotten on a roll in the past, and returning to the location of one of his most dominating victories makes his +1100 odds understandable.
Justin Thomas, at +1300, overcame his own issues earlier this year after a homophobic slur he uttered was caught by a microphone at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. After a difficult stretch of tournaments, he finally broke through with a win at The Players Championship, but he has struggled since with his best finish in four starts, a tie for 13th at the Valspar Championship.
Perhaps the most consistent player all season, but still without a win, is Jon Rahm, who has recorded nine top-ten finishes in 15 tournaments and is at odds of +1400, along with Jordan Spieth, who is looking to complete the career grand slam. Reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau is at +1500, followed by the top player in the world, Dustin Johnson, at +1700.
Top Underdog Picks for the PGA Championship
Former Masters champion Patrick Reed is just outside the top ten in betting odds so that technically makes him an underdog at +3600, but the way he plays tough golf courses makes him a serious contender. Reed was a winner earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open and has tied for eighth in the Masters and sixth in the Wells Fargo Championship sandwiched between a missed cut at the Valspar Championship.
Veteran Paul Casey appeared to be poised to capture his first major title in last year’s PGA Championship before Collin Morikawa’s stunning back nine on Sunday at TPC Harding Park. Casey, at +5500, has four top-ten finishes in the 2020-2021 season, including coming in fifth at former major championship venue Pebble Beach and another Pete Dye design at The Players.
The 2011 PGA Championship winner has been off the radar since a win in the 2018 BMW Championship, but the four-time PGA Tour winner Keegan Bradley has been playing better of late. He has three top-ten finishes in his last seven events, including a runner-up at the Valspar Championship, and has odds of +8000 at the Ocean Course.