Sleeper Picks: PGA Championship
3 Min Read
Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf
Lucas Herbert (+200 = Top 40) … Sungjae Im has received quite a bit of attention in the last couple of days, and rightfully so. After a T8 at Quail Hollow, Im jetted to his native South Korean and promptly won an event on Sunday. Now he’s back in the U.S. for the major. Herbert did the same thing, minus the part of the flip trip immediately after victory abroad. He finished T63 at Harbour Town, and then prevailed in the co-sanctioned ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan. (They are the latest examples that transpacific travel in the shortest allotment of time can be overcome.) The 27-year-old Aussie has rested since. He’s among the cozy club of talents who trade many short or forgettable weeks with seriously impressive results, so he’s more than comfortable riding roller coasters. He also rose for a pair of top-15 finishes in the 2022 majors, including the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
Brandon Wu (+225 = Top 40) … The 26-year-old has been on a predictable trajectory as a professional since his successful amateur career at Stanford, so he’s right on cue in making his PGA Championship debut during what is his sophomore season on the PGA TOUR. He’s connected for a pair of seconds and thirds in 47 starts as a member, the latest of which a solo third at the Mexico Open at Vidanta three weeks ago, and he manages his tee-to-green game with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. He warmed with a T23 at TPC Craig Ranch, and the conditions at Oak Hill won’t be an issue given his experience pre-college at Deerfield Academy in neighboring Massachusetts.
Thorbjørn Olesen (+200 = Top Dane) … The name of the prop should be “Great Dane,” but I digress. He needs only to beat the 22-year-old Højgaard twins to kick back double your investment. Certainly, Olesen has the experience multi-fold, but his recent performances align with what you’d expect for a 33-year-old professional golfer in his prime. In 2023 alone, he’s 8-for-8 with a win at the Thailand Classic in mid-February punctuating six top 20s worldwide. He’s seventh in the Race to Dubai ranking and leads the DP World Tour in scoring average. He’s also cashed in six of seven appearances in the PGA Championship.
Thomas Detry (+225 = Top 40) … He’s in the conversation for the Rookie of the Year award but he likely will need to make more noise for more support at the poll. He’s 42nd in the FedExCup on the strength of a fantastic fall, but he’s also connected for three top 25s in his last six starts on the PGA TOUR. Now he’s fresh off a T7 at the Soudal Open in his native Belgium on Sunday. Slots 20th in scrambling and T5 in par-5 scoring on TOUR, and Europeans as a whole can force elevated expectations in less-than-perfect conditions.
Stephen Jaeger (-200 = Top German) … At 88th in PGA Championship Points at the deadline, he was sixth alternate for the tournament, but he wiggled in when 1991 champion John Daly withdrew on Monday. The native of Germany is making his debut in the PGA Championship, and while he’s not grouped with high school teammates Harris English and Keith Mitchell, a 3-ball among them would be a fun prop. (Incidentally, Yannik Paul is the only other German at Oak Hill. He’s +160 in what essentially is a head-to-head.) Jaeger is 12th on the PGA TOUR in greens hit, eighth in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green and 23rd in adjusted scoring. He’s cashed 16 of 19 times with six top 40s in his last eight starts. By the way, he’s also just +110 for a Top 40, which is exceptionally respectful for any last man in any field..
Odds were sourced on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. For live odds, visit BetMGM.
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Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.