PGA Championship Long Shots Who Raised Their Odds at the RBC Heritage
The 105th PGA Championship is being contested at Oak Hill Country Club (May 18-21). A massive parkland course with tree-lined fairways and challenging green complexes. Those competing will have two ball-striking priorities; find the fairway and accumulate as many greens in regulation as possible.
When you consider those two skills were paramount this past week at the RBC Heritage, a couple names on that leaderboard caught my attention.
Beneath the middle tier (+3000 to +6000) of the PGA Championship odds board, you can find real betting value. For example, Cameron Young started his PGA Championship last year at +8000 (80-1). He finished third with a chance to win. I spent my week in Hilton Head looking for players in this betting range (>+7500) who have patience off the tee and elite iron games. Once I had my list, it was time to check the various futures boards for the PGA Championship to ensure we have the best odds available.
1) Tommy Fleetwood started his final round at the RBC Heritage in fourth place. FanDuel lists him at +7500 (75-1) to win at Oak Hill. Tommy is ranked 12th on the PGA TOUR for strokes gained tee to green. That’s why he was a contender this past week and will be again next month.
2) He opened with an average round, but Russell Henley played his next 36-holes in 10-under par. Finishing top 20 in Hilton Head and fourth at the Masters, Henley is establishing himself as an elite contender. DraftKings lists him at +10000 (100-1) for the PGA Championship. Keep in mind, nobody knew who Shaun Micheel was in 2003 before he won at Oak Hill.
3) Players in this range on the odds board are commonly known for coming close in major championships. Matt Kuchar showed in Hilton Head why he is one of those guys. His top-20 finish was fueled by three solid rounds in the 60s. FanDuel really gives us some value at +28000 (280-1). Matt has two top 10s in his last five starts and those came on courses where accuracy was rewarded.
4) Justin Rose is +9000 (90-1) on FanDuel to win the PGA Championship. He won at Pebble Beach and started the RBC Heritage 66-67. His last five starts in the PGA 19th, 29th, 9th, 8th and 13th. Rose gained over eight shots against the field to finish sixth at The PLAYERS and six shots against the field at the Masters to finish 16th. Another top 25 in a designated event at the RBC Heritage and he has proven to himself he can compete on tough courses against the game’s next generation.
5) Put ball striking at a premium and Keegan Bradley’s name comes up. When the venue is in the northeast, Keegan contends. The 2011 PGA Champion finished seventh last year at the US Open played in Boston. Maybe his T48 at the RBC this weekend wasn’t eye catching, but his 64 on Saturday was. He has a win this season and when length and accuracy was needed most at Torrey Pines in January, he finished second. Keegan is +7500 (75-1) on FanDuel.
I have attended five of the six designated events this season and THE PLAYERS Championship. The RBC Heritage was all about ball striking. Three of the current top 10 OWGR players were in the final group. Oak Hill will be a similar test and we know Matt Fitzpatrick, Jordan Spieth, and Patrick Cantlay will be involved. Investing in futures is all about finding value, and there’s no doubt from what I have seen these five names are great commodities for Oak Hill.
Keith Stewart, PGA covers the PGA TOUR and LPGA from a betting perspective. Published by Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and PGA TOUR, Keith is also the founder of a golf betting media company called Read The Line.
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