Trying to tip the winner of any golf tournament, let alone a Major, before the first shot is even played can be a tricky affair. We’ve seen during the other three Majors this year that form can be a fickle thing, with some leading candidates losing their way either just before or even during the competition.
Find out who SBR posters are backing to win the PGA Championship.
One thing that you can always be sure of is that Tiger Woods will start out as the favorite. Sometimes, as in the British Open last month, he’ll lead the market (if not the leaderboard) almost until the final stroke is played. Moreover, the odds on him winning are often disproportionately short. At present, you can get only 4/1 at Ladbrokes on him winning at Oak Hills and even money on him being placed, neither of which look terribly attractive for someone who hasn’t actually won a Major in the last five years.
Unsurprisingly, this year’s actual Major winners are among the favorites. Phil Mickelson, after his good form in all three events and storming final day victory at Muirfield, is a much more attractive 16/1 for victory at Coral and 4/1 for a place. You can also get very reasonable betting odds of 25/1 from Stan James on him leading the first round, although history does suggest that Majors are very rarely won from the front.
The other two winners, Adam Scott and Justin Rose, have had mixed fortunes since their wins. Scott has been consistent, if not always a challenger, and at 18/1 to win looks too short a price. At 4/1 for a place, or 25/1 for the first round lead (Paddy Power), however, he looks good value.
Rose, on the other hand, has rather faded since winning his first Major. He struggled badly at Muirfield and hasn’t looked convincing since. 33/1 to win with Paddy Power looks about the right price for him, but 7/1 for a place is short and he’s out at 40/1 to lead the first round.
Reigning champion Rory McIlroy has had a torrid 2013 as he has struggled to come to terms with his new Nike clubs and balls. It isn’t often you’ll see the holder of any trophy start their defence at as long as 33/1 and he’s 8/1 to even make the places. On current form, he’s a player to avoid.
The man who looks to be in best form of all at the moment is America’s Brandt Snedeker. He followed up a good showing at the British Open with a win in the Canadian version and at 30/1 with Stan James is my bet for the title here. If you don’t think he can go that far, then BetVictor’s 7/1 for a place is a good price for someone who’s just won a pretty big tournament.
Historically, the first round of a Major tournament tends to be led by someone who has played well but without consistency over the previous few tournaments. Whilst bad weather can sometimes turn this market into something of a lottery, you can’t really try to factor that in when making your sports picks in advance of the day itself. The names to look out for in this market, therefore, are the likes of Hunter Mahan, who went well in the opening rounds in both Britain and Canada (and he pulled out of the latter event when his wife went into labor) at 40/1 (Bet365). The Johnsons, Zach and Dustin, have also featured well in the early (and occasionally later) rounds of big tournaments this year and you’ll get them at 50/1 with Ladbrokes. And what about Miguel Angel Jiminez, the cigar-smoking Spaniard who actually led the British Open after the second round? He’s 125/1 at Coral to lead the first round here.