PGA Championship best bets: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy could be tough to beat

That is the great signal at Bethpage Black. The dreaded signal comes later. (Warren Little/Getty Photographs)

The PGA Championship has so much going for it this 12 months, which isn’t one thing you might want to say previously when it used to be performed on scorched lessons amid dwindling pastime in August. The transfer to mid-Might apparently has juiced the passion in regards to the match, as has Tiger Woods’s go back to profitable majors after his Masters triumph. Oh, and it’ll be performed at Bethpage Black, the Lengthy Island direction so fearsome that it has its personal serious warning call:

When in search of imaginable winners this week, a large key might be distance and accuracy off the tee. Bethpage Black options the narrowest of fairways and punishing tough, regardless that possibly now not as diabolical as we noticed when the direction hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens: There’s much less time for the tough to develop by means of mid-Might, and the PGA of The us’s Kerry Haigh, who’s accountable for direction setups, stated closing week that he expects the tough to be between 3½ and four inches.

However don’t take my phrase for it.

“This used to be clearly the longest one, but it surely’s additionally the narrowest U.S. Open I’ve ever performed,” Tiger Woods said of his 2002 triumph, when he was the only golfer to finish under par and missed only two fairways in the final round. “The widest fairway was 28 yards. And on top of that you had three holes about 490-plus as par 4s. That’s not a whole lot of room to work with. And it just made for a very difficult test the entire week. You couldn’t just slap it around and play poorly and contend in this championship. You had to play well.”

Said Bethpage superintendent Andy Wilson, in an interview with “Accuracy goes to be simply as essential as using distance. I might say that anyone who’s within the best 10 in accuracy would almost certainly be in significantly better form than anyone within the best 10 in distance in the event that they’re simply spraying it all over.

“The tough can also be tough. The fairways are slim. They’ve been described as bacon-strip fairways. It’s a must to hit them. I’m now not certain if we’re gonna have U.S. Open tough, but it surely’s now not gonna be simple.”

Mix all that with the direction’s duration — 7,459 yards, and it’s a hilly 7,459 yards — and it’ll arrange smartly for the game’s longest, straightest drivers, at the side of the golfers who can very best blank up their messes on their manner pictures and by way of scrambling.

So in our seek for very best bets, let’s have a look at 5 statistics that may be a very powerful this week:

Using distance

Strokes won off the tee

Strokes won tee to inexperienced

Strokes won manner


Plus, we’ll attempt to key on golfers who both have fared smartly at Bethpage Black previously — along with the ’02 and ’09 U.S. Opens, the direction hosted the Barclays in 2012 and 2016 — confirmed just right shape this season, or each.

All odds by way of Vegas Insider.

Dustin Johnson (11 to one)

Johnson has made the minimize in 5 of his previous six majors and completed no worse than a tie for 27th in the ones 5, together with a tie for 2d on the Masters closing month. At Bethpage Black, he tied for 18th at 2016 Barclays and tied for 0.33 on the 2012 tournament whilst additionally making the minimize and completing tied for 40th on the 2009 U.S. Open (simply his third-ever primary). Johnson ranks 7th in strokes won tee to inexperienced, 11th in strokes won off the tee, 19th in strokes won manner and 25th in using distance.

Rory McIlroy (12 to one)

The 2-time PGA Championship winner ranks first in strokes won off the tee and strokes won tee to inexperienced, 2d in using distance and 6th in strokes won manner. And whilst McIlroy hasn’t completed higher than 17th on the PGA since profitable his closing Wanamaker Trophy in 2014, he’s additionally by no means ignored the minimize at Bethpage Black, with a tie for 10th on the 2009 U.S. Open, a tie for 24th on the 2012 Barclays and a tie for 31st on the 2016 Barclays. He additionally has 9 best 10 finishes this 12 months.

Patrick Cantlay (45 to one)

Cantlay has performed in 9 tournaments this 12 months and recorded a best 10 in 4 of them, together with a tie for 9th on the Masters. This might be his first match at Bethpage Black, and his stats recommend he may just do smartly: third (scrambling), 10th (strokes won tee to inexperienced), 15th (using distance), 21st (strokes won off the tee) and 29th (strokes won manner).

Hideki Matsuyama (45 to one)

Japan’s best famous person regularly performs smartly at the largest levels, with seven best 10s at majors since 2013, and he hasn’t ignored a minimize but this season (regardless that he didn’t make it to the weekend on the 2016 Barclays). May just we in any case see a leap forward this week? Matsuyama ranks 0.33 in strokes won tee to inexperienced, 6th in scrambling, 7th in strokes won manner, 19th in using distance and 26th in strokes won off the tee.

Bubba Watson (60 to one)

The 2-time Masters winner — he completed 12th at Augusta this 12 months, certainly one of his 5 best 20 effects since Jan. 1 — has 3 best 20 finishes at Bethpage Black: a tie for 18th on the 2009 U.S. Open, a tie for 10th on the 2012 Barclays and a tie for 13th on the 2016 Barclays. He ranks 0.33 in strokes won off the tee, 7th in using distance, 23rd in strokes won tee to inexperienced, 31st in scrambling and 89th in manner.

Gary Forest (70 to one)

Forest doesn’t have a lot of a observe document at majors, with closing 12 months’s T-6 on the PGA Championship his lone best 10 in 29 appearances. However his first-ever primary used to be the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, and he tied for 47th. He additionally took house fourth position on the 2016 Barclays. And take a look at those scores: seventh (strokes won off the tee), eighth (using distance), 12th (strokes won tee to inexperienced) and 43rd (strokes won manner). Forest additionally has ignored only one minimize this calendar 12 months, with 3 best 10s.

Jhonattan Vegas (150 to one)

The Venezuelan’s best-ever end at a big used to be a tie for 22nd on the 2016 PGA Championship, however he’s coming off a tie for 8th in his closing tournament (the Wells Fargo) and tied for 0.33 on the Avid gamers Championship. He’s additionally eighth in strokes won off the tee, 18th in using distance, T-21st in strokes won tee to inexperienced and 29th in scrambling. On the 2016 Barclays, Vegas completed in a tie for 22nd.

However what about Tiger Woods (10 to one)?

At 43, Woods clearly doesn’t have the duration he as soon as had — he ranks simply 52nd in using distance — however the tee to inexperienced (8th) and manner (14th) numbers are there, and Woods additionally ranks 0.33 on the subject of scrambling from the tough. However he hasn’t performed Bethpage Black for the reason that 2012 Barclays (he tied for 38th) and in addition hasn’t performed competitively since his Masters win. Leaping again into the fray at a beast like Bethpage Black is so much to invite of anyone of Woods’s antique.

And right here’s a complete have a look at the highest 20 having a bet favorites, consistent with

Brooks Koepka: 10 to one

Tiger Woods: 10 to one

Dustin Johnson: 11 to one

Rory McIlroy: 12 to one

Rickie Fowler: 16 to one

Jon Rahm: 18 to one

Justin Rose: 20 to one

Jason Day: 22 to one

Francesco Molinari: 25 to one

Xander Schauffele: 28 to one

Tommy Fleetwood: 33 to one

Tony Finau: 35 to one

Bryson DeChambeau: 40 to one

Sergio Garcia: 40 to one

Hidekii Matsuyama: 45 to one

Jordan Spieth: 45 to one

Patrick Cantlay: 45 to one

Matt Kuchar: 50 to one

Paul Casey: 50 to one

Adam Scott: 55 to one

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