The 300s Previews the 2019 PGA Championship

The second major of the season, the PGA Championship, tees off at Bethpage Black on Thursday morning with coverage starting at 1 pm on TNT. The PGA Championship actually got bumped up from its traditional August slot up to May after some schedule shuffling, which seems like a smart way to build off the momentum of the Masters Tournament to be honest. I blogged about the 2018 PGA Championship last year, which was an absolute show as Brooks Koepka barely edged out a surging Tiger Woods to win by two strokes. I also predicted that Tiger would win a major sooner than later after that event, which he did so just 8 months later. So not a big deal, but you’re welcome, Tiger.

This year’s PGA Championship is at Bethpage Black on Long Island, which to put it bluntly is a bitch of a course:

“The sign behind the first tee of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park says all you need to know about what the world’s best golfers will face when they tee it up in May. In the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, only one player — Tiger Woods — finished below par for the tournament. In 2009, Lucas Glover won finishing at 4-under and only five players finished under par.” – PGA.com

So that sucks for these guys, but its also awesome for fans like me who are mediocre at golf. Seeing a world class golfer shank a shot and f bomb their way down the fairway just makes me feel better about shooting +4 on a Par 4 or as I like to call it “Double Par.”

Tiger and Koepka will be paired together so that makes for A+ golf entertainment right out of the gates as the winners of the past two major tournaments will be teeing off next to each other.

Of course heading into this weekend the main storyline is going to be can Tiger do it again?

Tiger Woods (+1100) is playing his first event since winning the Masters in April and is one of the favorites to bring it home. For the first time in a while it feels like he deserves that distinction too. Old Tiger is gone, but New Tiger is still a pretty dominating player when he’s on his game.

“Tiger Woods broke through at the Masters to pick up his 15th major championship and first major win since 2008 at the U.S. Open. Can he make it 16 and pull within two of Jack’s record at Bethpage? Well, history would say it’s quite possible. Tiger Woods conquered the first two legs of the grand slam back in 2002. The courses he played? Augusta National and Bethpage Black.” – PGA.com

There was a great article on ESPN the other day about how all the young guys are chomping at the bit because they all want to play against Tiger at his best. To which David Duval told all the millennials to go get their shinebox: “The hell you do,” Duval said.

After winning the Tour Championship, Woods noted how many of the young players lauded his comeback and said they wanted to go against him.

“Well, all right,” Woods said. “Here we go.”

Brooks Koepka (+1100) is your defending champ after winning the 2018 PGA Championship so coming into the weekend as one of the favorites feels about right. Especially after he finished just one stroke behind Tiger at the Masters and if not for some shaky putting could have earned himself another major (as well as some nice pocket change for you favorite blogger). Koepka for whatever reason seems to shine at the biggest events; he’s won three of the last 9 majors and in those 9 majors he’s placed in the top 6 a total of 6 times. So expect him to show up at Bethpage this weekend.

Dustin Johnson (+1000) is the favorite to take home the Wanamaker Trophy and its well earned, finishing one stroke back of Tiger at the Masters and oh yea he currently sits as the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world. Johnson is a solid bet, but he has been pretty up and down in recent tournaments. His last 6 finishes have been 28th, 2nd, 40th, 6th, 5th, and 1st.

Xander Schauffele (+2500) – My man Xander still gets no respect despite finishing ONE stroke behind Tiger (and losing me hundreds of dollars) at the Masters. The guy was one stroke (and a classic Tiger performance) away from winning a green jacket and he is yet again 25-1. I’m gonna ride with Xander here for my long shot because he looked like a major winner in the makings at Augusta.

Rory McIlroy (+1100) – I am fully expecting Tiger to stunt on Rory this weekend after the young Irishman said last year that he’s got no fear of Tiger.

“…asked if players were going to have to “deal with Tiger now for a few years.”

“Not Tiger that Phil [Mickelson] and Ernie [Els] had to deal with,” McIlroy said. “It’s a different version. … I wouldn’t say we’re worried about him, but he’s one of those guys who is always in there with a shot.”

Do I believe that?

Rory has been playing very well this year though with eight Top 10 finishes in his last 10 events, including a W at the Players Championship, so he’s not a bad bet to win this major.

Rickie Fowler (+1800) – Probably the most dangerous guy on this list to never win a major. Fowler started off the year pretty rough with a 47th place finish at the Players Championship and a 17th place finish at the Valero Texas Open, but he’s rebounded to 9th at the Masters and 4th at the Wells Fargo Championship most recently. I love watching Rickie play, mainly because he’s a tatted up guy thats my age playing against a lot of old boring golfers. Plus you have to respect his game after he wifed up legendary pole vaulter Allison Stokke who went viral a few years back for making people pay attention to pole vaulting.

Jordan Spieth (+4000) – Jordan has great odds at +4000, but the guy’s game is incredibly volatile. Spieth is either dominating the field or he is out of it before we even get to Sunday. In fact he’s been awful this year. Currently ranked No. 39 in the world, he’s failed to finish in the top 20 yet in 2019, and hasn’t won a tournament since 2017. He’s a big name who just needs to cross off the PGA Championship to complete the career grand slam, but he’s far from his best right now.

Here are the rest of the odds for the 2019 PGA Championship courtesy of OddsShark and Bovada as of Tuesday afternoon. I cut it off at +15000 because after that you get into some real long shots that won’t even make the cut.

Dustin Johnson +1000
Brooks Koepka +1100
Rory McIlroy +1100
Tiger Woods +1100
Rickie Fowler +1800
Jon Rahm +2000
Justin Rose +2000
Jason Day +2200
Francesco Molinari +2500
Xander Schauffele +2500
Tommy Fleetwood +2800
Tony Finau +3300
Bryson DeChambeau +3500
Hideki Matsuyama +4000
Jordan Spieth +4000
Patrick Cantlay +4000
Sergio Garcia +4000
Matt Kuchar +4500
Adam Scott +5000
Bubba Watson +5000
Paul Casey +5000
Gary Woodland +6600
Henrik Stenson +6600
Louis Oosthuizen +6600
Marc Leishman +6600
Patrick Reed +6600
Phil Mickelson +6600
Webb Simpson +6600
Ian Poulter +8000
Jason Kokrak +10000
Kevin Kisner +10000
Rafa Cabrera-Bello +10000
Aaron Wise +12500
Branden Grace +12500
Cameron Smith +12500
Charley Hoffman +12500
Hao Tong Li +12500
Jhonattan Vegas +12500
Keith Mitchell +12500
Lucas Glover +12500
Matt Wallace +12500
Matthew Fitzpatrick +12500
Ryan Moore +12500
Scott Piercy +12500
Alex Noren +15000
Billy Horschel +15000
Brandt Snedeker +15000
Byeong-Hun An +15000
C.T. Pan +15000
Charles Howell III +15000
Daniel Berger +15000
Eddie Pepperell +15000
Emiliano Grillo +15000
Graeme McDowell +15000
Jim Furyk +15000
Joel Dahmen +15000
Keegan Bradley +15000

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