After multiple weeks of non-descript fields and wins by players few fans had ever heard of on golf courses that had limited visual appeal, this week brings us the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. This venue was famously originally built to host the 1991 Ryder Cup, and it also famously beat many of the professionals into something close to submission in that event.
Let’s see where the value lies as we dive headfirst into our picks and predictions for the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
PGA Championship Betting Picks
Time has softened some of the roughest edges at Kiawah, but the players will still be dealing with variable winds at the seaside links. Wayward drives, if they stay dry, will often wind up in waist-high (or higher) scrub grass in the dunes that frame many of the landing areas.
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And it’s not like the players can bunt it around to keep it in the fairway; at 7,876 yards, they’ll be hitting driver almost everywhere. Low scores are possible – Rory McIlroy won here in 2012 with -13. But his next closest competitors were eight shots behind him.
— BroBible (@BroBible) May 19, 2021
2021 PGA Championship Odds
|Golfers||Odds via FanDuel|
Value Pick: Patrick Reed Top 20 (+138)
Patrick Reed is known far more for his occasionally spotty golfing conduct than he is for his often exceptional play. Many commenters (myself included) have expressed dismay or stronger emotions at Reed’s numerous loose observances of the Rules of Golf.
It’s a game of honor, but when professionals are playing for this kind of cash (the purse at the PGA this week is expected to be $11 million) each stroke saved can be worth very serious money.
It’s a shame, too, because Reed is an amazingly talented golfer with a Masters win and some remarkable Ryder Cup play on his resume. He has won nine times on the PGA Tour. Reed is also in great form coming into this tournament.
He finished sixth two weeks ago at the Wells Fargo Championship and was eighth at the Masters in April. Reed has a game suited to major championships. He finished 10th at the 2020 Masters in November and 13th at the 2020 U.S. Open in September. There are no betting locks on this board, but Reed to finish in the top 20 feels likely to come through.
Here is the list of golfers averaging at least 2.0 strokes gained per round in 2021, according to @DataGolf.
Jordan Spieth (2.23)
Daniel Berger (2.1)
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) May 17, 2021
Long Shot Pick: Daniel Berger Top 5 (+500)
Daniel Berger is one of the best players no one pays much attention to. Berger is currently 21st on the 2021 PGA Tour money list with over $3M banked. About half of that total came in February when he won at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. You will note that those courses on the Monterey Peninsula also feature seaside vistas and plenty of sand and high grasses.
Berger finished third alone last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson, closing with a 64 that shot him up the leaderboard. He also posted a top-10 finish at the Players Championship at Sawgrass in March. Like Sawgrass, Kiawah Island is a Pete Dye creation. The elements align here nicely for Berger to post a high finish.
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) May 18, 2021
Pick to Win the PGA Championship: Viktor Hovland (+2000)
Viktor Hovland is another young player on a serious roll coming into the PGA. Hovland posted consecutive third-place finishes at the Valspar Championship and Wells Fargo this month.
Earlier this year, he had two seconds (WGC-Workday Championshp at The Concession, Farmers Insurance Open) and a fifth (Genesis Invitational). Hovland also won the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico in December.
International players made up most of the top of the leaderboard in this event in 2012. McIlroy won, and three Englishmen (David Lynn, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose) were tied third or better.
Of the top 20 players in the event, only eight were Americans, and of that group only Keegan Bradley finished in the top six (he tied for third with Poulter, Rose and Carl Pettersson). Hovland’s game plays anywhere, but it’s specifically the finish he had at the Concession, another brutally difficult track, that suggests he can win at Kiawah.
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