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14D AGO

Odds Outlook: Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy set pace in Kentucky for 106th PGA Championship

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    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    Thoroughbreds in 2024 dominate the month of May in Louisville.

    Reserved for the most exciting two minutes in sports, the first Saturday of the month featured the running of the 150th Kentucky Derby.

    The third Saturday of the month welcomes the 106th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

    The season's second major championship will be played for the fourth time in history at the Jack Nicklaus design located east of Churchill Downs and in downtown Louisville.

    After a three-week absence awaiting and celebrating the birth of his first child, Scottie Scheffler (+450) will be the pro the rest of the field of 156 will try to chase down. The reigning Masters champion and four-time winner on TOUR this season will look to complete the first half of the Grand Slam. Beaten by only one player in his last five starts on TOUR, the only question for the Texan this week will be how quickly he can resume eviscerating the golf ball tee-to-green. Making his fifth PGA Championship appearance, he will look to add to his three top-10 paydays. Since 2020, he cashed in 14 of 15 major championships, with T23 being the worst payday of the lot.

    The last time Valhalla hosted the PGA Championship in August of 2014, Rory McIlroy (+800) lifted the Wanamaker Trophy for the second time in three years. The man from Northern Ireland secured his fourth and to this point most recent major championship. A win in the Middle East in January was met with a cool return to the U.S. The heat and humidity of New Orleans and playing with countryman Shane Lowry produced his first TOUR win of the season. Returning to competition last weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship, he blew away the field and won for the fourth time at Quail Hollow Club. The Ulsterman also secured a big-field victory, the WGC at Firestone, the week before the PGA Championship in August of 2014. The driver is in midseason form, and the putter led the field on Sunday, a fantastic combo.


    Rory McIlroy’s news conference after winning Wells Fargo Championship


    In the last six PGA Championships contended, Brooks Koepka (+1600) has won half of them. The defending champion from Oak Hill trails only Tiger Woods (4) and Jack Nicklaus (5) for the most titles and podium finishes in the stroke-play era. The five-time major winner owns the PGA Championship tournament scoring record (16-under 264 at Bellerive in 2018) and has already successfully defended the title at Bethpage State Park in 2019. Playing 7,609 yards to par 71, Valhalla fits his power game and mindset perfectly.

    For my money, Xander Schauffele (+1600) currently carries the title of best player not to have won a major championship. Sitting in the upper echelon at BetMGM Sportsbook each time he tees it up, the Californian has not paid off a winning ticket since going back-to-back at the Travelers Championship and Genesis Scottish Open in the summer of 2022. Last week, he attempted to go wire-to-wire at the Wells Fargo Championship before being steamrolled by McIlroy on the back nine. Taking home second-place money for the second time in 2024, his eighth top-10 payday trails only the nine secured by Scheffler. From 12 starts this season, he finished only once outside the top 25. The next step is kicking down the door on Sunday.

    A surprising pre-tournament WD before the start of play last week in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ludvig Åberg (+1800) has been dealing with a balky knee. Before teeing it up in his second major championship, the Swedish star decided to be cautious and allowed extra time for his joint to heal. Finishing second to Scheffler at the Masters, the course, history and field did not bother the 24-year-old at Augusta National. The playing field on the putting surfaces will be more level at the not-often-used Valhalla, and his ball-striking should shine even brighter. The winner at The RSM Classic last November has added two seconds from his five top-10 paydays this season.

    Halfway to the career Grand Slam, Jon Rahm (+2000) will try to forget his last two appearances at the PGA Championship. After sharing eighth at The Ocean Course in 2021, he posted T48 at Southern Hills in 2022 and regressed to T50 last year at Oak Hill after winning the Masters. Defending his title last April at the Masters came with a tame effort of T45.


    Key Stats for the PGA Championship using McIlroy's 2014 win at Valhalla


    Bryson DeChambeau (+2500) overpowered a long, demanding, and heavily rough-protected Winged Foot for his only major championship, the U.S. Open in 2020. With four inches or better of Bluegrass protecting 7,600-plus yards this week, the big hitter has conquered similar courses. Last year, he led after 18 holes and finished T4 on a demanding, rough-protected Oak Hill East layout.

    Making his debut in the 2020 PGA Championship, Collin Morikawa (+2800) became the third player this century to win the event in his first try. Adding another major victory with the 2021 Open Championship, the Californian acclimated quickly to golf on the biggest stage. After splitting with long-time swing coach Rick Sessinghaus last fall, the two reunited before this year’s Masters. Picking up his first top 10 in three months at Augusta National, the results have followed with ninth, T23, and T16 in his last four on his own ball. Tying for 16th on a demanding Quail Hollow Club track, the host of the 2025 PGA Championship, he ended up second in Fairways and T9 GIR.

    Making his second major start of the year, Tiger Woods (+15000) returns to Valhalla with some long odds. Woods beat Bob May in a memorable playoff at Valhalla in 2000, but he missed the cut here in 2014. He last played the PGA two years ago, when he made the weekend but withdrew during the third round because of injury.

    Here's a look at some other notable odds this week via BetMGM, including Max Homa who will look to improve upon a near-miss at the Masters:

    • +3300: Max Homa
    • +4000: Cam Smith, Cameron Young, Joaquin Niemann, Justin Thomas (2017 and 2022 winner), Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, Wyndham Clark
    • +5000: Tyrrell Hatton
    • +5500: Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Day (2015 winner)
    • +6000: Will Zalatoris
    • +6600: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Matt Fitzpatrick, Min Woo Lee, Sahith Theegala, Sam Burns, Sungjae Im, Tony Finau, Byeong Hun An
    • +8000: Shane Lowry
    • +10000: Adam Scott, Corey Conners, Russell Henley, Sepp Straka, Si Woo Kim, Talor Gooch, Tom Kim
    • +12500: Akshay Bhatia, Alex Noren, Brian Harman, Dean Burmester, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Stephan Jaeger
    • +15000: Cam Davis, Chris Kirk, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Denny McCarthy, Keegan Bradley, Keith Mitchell, Nicolai Hojgaard, Taylor Pendrith

    How the 106th PGA Championship works:

    • 156 players, 72 holes of stroke play.
    • After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the top 70 players and ties.
    • If there is a playoff, the winner will be determined by a three-hole aggregate score using hole Nos. 13, 17, and 18. If still tied, a hole-by-hole sudden-death playoff will start at No. 18 followed by Nos. 13, 17, and 18 repeated.
    • The purse will be announced during tournament week ($17.5 million 2023).
    • The winner receives 750 FedExCup points and the Wanamaker Trophy.
    • The top 15 players will be eligible for the 2025 PGA Championship.

    For resources to overcome a gambling problem, call, or text 1-800-GAMBLER today.

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