PGA Championship 2015 – Favorites & Value Plays

PGA Championship 2015 – Favorites & Value Plays

Dave F.No comments

The final golf major of the year, the PGA Championship, gets underway next week at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The course hosted this event in 2004 and 2010 with Vijay Singh and Martin Kaymer picking up victories. But the biggest storyline this year will be the return of 2014 champ Rory McIlroy, who bested Phil Mickelson by one stroke when the event was held at Valhalla last year, and whether he can hold off 2015’s hottest player, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth, and retain his No. 1 world ranking.

Does the Northern Irishman have what it takes? Let’s take a gander at the outlook for McIlroy, Spieth, and all the favorites, along with a couple of decent longshots.

The Favorites:

Jordan Spieth (9/2) – After winning The Masters and U.S. Open, Spieth settled for fourth at the Open Championship. He’s ranked number two in the world but failed to make the cut in each of his two previous PGA Championship tries. A third major win on the year would very deservingly move him up to No. 1 in the world.

Rory McIlroy (13/2) – Out since early July after injuring his left ankle playing soccer, the world’s top player is likely to be back for the final major of the year. He has finished among the top-ten in six of his last seven majors (i.e. ever since barely making the cut at the 2012 Open Championship). He’s already got two PGA Championship wins under his belt (2012 and 2014) and was third at Whistling Straits in 2010. But for the injury, McIlroy ought to be the betting favorite.

Dustin Johnson (11/1) – After finishing sixth at The Masters and second at the U.S. Open, Johnson did not play his best golf at St. Andrews last month, despite a torrid start to the tourney. He was fifth the last time the PGA was in Wisconsin in 2010, though, and he has been in the top-ten three times. Does the notorious choke artist have what it takes to finally breakthrough? There are better bets on the board.

Adam Scott (15/1) – Somehow Scott still only has one major win on his resume even though he’s finished in the top-15 in eight of his last nine. He also has four top-ten finishes at the PGA and three more top-15s. This year, Scott finished fourth at the U.S. Open and tenth at the Open Championship. In 2004 at Whistling Straits, he finished ninth, but fell to 39th in 2010.

Viable Price Plays:

Bubba Watson (19/1) – Watson might be the horse for the course as he tends to play well at certain venues consistently: he’s conquered Augusta twice, won the Travelers twice, and been in the top-three at the Cadillac Championship four times. So what’s his track record at Whistling Straits? He lost a playoff when the PGA Championship came to town in 2010. That said, his best finish at a major this year is 38th, and he missed the cut at the U.S. Open and Open Championship.

Martin Kaymer (30/1) – Kaymer is the man who bested Watson in that 2010 playoff at Whistling Straits. While he doesn’t have a ton of major success under his belt (posting five top-tens), he does have two titles, also winning the 2014 US Open. This year, he finished 12th at the Open Championship after missing the cut in three straight majors.

Zach Johnson (38/1) – Coming off a win at the Open Championship, Johnson returns to a course that saw him finish just one stroke behind Kaymer and Watson at the 2010 PGA (his third top-ten at the tourney). He also made the cut during his first-ever PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in 2004.

Phil Mickelson (66/1) – After back-to-back second-places at last year’s PGA and this year’s Masters, Mickelson has made the cut but failed to contend during the last two majors. That said, he has nine top-ten finishes at the PGA, and Lefty was sixth when the event was here in 2004 and 12th in 2010.



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