PGA Championship - Round 3
Credit: PGA of America via Getty Images

We can all learn from looking at the leaderboard. Most golf fans only pay attention to the one they see on television. While covering the 104th PGA Championship from an odds perspective, I look at multiple leader lists.

Golfers love numbers. Though some people don’t necessarily like to keep score, yardages, wind speeds, temperature, stimpmeter readings, etc. the golf ecosystem is sustained by numeric data. As the drama unfolds in Round 3, I’ll start to really begin my preparation for selecting Sunday’s “live” winner. Just like a fan, I’m watching the coverage carefully.

As Jim Nantz helps me narrow my selections, I monitor the live odds board against the scoring leaderboard. Take a look at the two lists below. On the left is the top 10 following the third round. The top 10 on the right are the odds to win after Round 3. Notice how the two leaderboards are not identical.

The Top 10 Leaderboard(s)

PlacePlayerScorePlacePlayerOddsTo Win
1Mito Pereira-91Mito Pereira+15040%
2Matt Fitzpatrick-62Matt Fitzpatrick+35022.2%
Will Zalatoris  3Will Zalatoris+40020%
4Cam Young-54Cam Young+80011.1%
5Abe Ancer-4 5Abe Ancer+18005.3%
6Seamus Power-3 6Justin Thomas+28003.5%
T7Stewart Cink-2 7Seamus Power+35002.8%
 Justin Thomas  8Rory McIlroy+100001%
 Bubba Watson   Sam Burns+100001%

Odds listed are from Bet MGM’s website as of evening Saturday, May 21.

Let’s use Justin Thomas and Seamus Power as an example. Justin is one shot behind Seamus, but his career win equity is far greater. Therefore, his odds to win are greater than Power’s Many times these two breakdowns will give you clues. I use the numbers alongside my research to predict outcomes.

Tomorrow’s final round plans to be exciting from an odds perspective. Earlier in the week, I listed Cam Young in my preview as a longshot to win. I’ll use these leaderboards to predict another winner in case Young doesn’t become the 10th son of a PGA Member to win the PGA Championship.

History tells me comebacks at Southern Hills just don’t happen. All seven major championship winners here at Southern Hills led after 36-holes. With that in mind and with Cam Young already placed, I’m going to lean toward Will Zalatoris (+400), his Wake Forest teammate. He’s ranked first in the field on approach coming into the tournament. That skill alone makes him a contender and one worth watching.

PGA Professional Keith Stewart writes for Read The Line.

The Professional Golfers’ Association of America (“PGA”) is not an online gambling operator, and is not a gambling site of any kind. Odds are provided for information and entertainment purposes only. Odds were sourced from BetMGM and last updated on: [datetime stamp]. PGA makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given.

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