The PGA Championship has often been considered the easiest and most open major championship of the four that are held each year in the world of professional golf. With the changes made at Oak Hill since it held its last major in 2013, that has not been the case at all this year. With a variety of challenging conditions and a course that truly penalizes every shot, players have needed to bring everything they have throughout their bag to sit in contention so far through three rounds. A look at the PGA Championship odds board shows a host of big-name players along with your typical surprise or two heading into the final round.
Tournament Recap Through First Three Rounds
We’ve seen a large variety of conditions through three rounds at Oak Hill Country Club. Thursday morning was so cold that frost was on the ground and play was delayed for nearly two hours. Players showed up in winter hats and multiple layers in what was a fairly difficult round despite virtually no winds. The leaderboard showed a few of the best drivers in the world at the top with Bryson DeChambeau leading things and Scottie Scheffler and Dustin Johnson right behind.
With Friday came changing conditions. While the weather warmed up, winds came with it. The morning wave faced the tougher of the weather and created a bit of a wave split once round averages came in. Scheffler was on the better side of the draw and took advantage by grabbing a share of the 36-hole lead. As the No. 2 player in the world, the PGA Championship odds board showed Scheffler as the heavy favorite. Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland were the co-leaders, and an obvious course fit was shown … you need to be able to really strike the golf ball to have a chance at Oak Hill.
Round three on Saturday featured new conditions again. The rainfall was nearly constant throughout the entire day. The nasty conditions again brought out some of the best from the world’s best. Tommy Fleetwood had the early round of the day with a 68, and we know his history of playing well in nasty weather. But it was Brooks Koepka who played the best with a second straight 66 to take the lead heading into Sunday. After his Masters collapse on Sunday, Koepka will look to get it done again as he looks for his first major since 2019 and his third PGA Championship.
What to look for on Sunday
Sunday will bring more changing conditions at Oak Hill, but this time it will be the first fantastic weather day of the week. Temperatures will be in the mid-70s and the sun will be bright with fairly weak winds. This will change things a bit. Koepka is a great bad-weather player and prefers when things are the toughest. These warmer temperatures and calmer conditions could bring more of the guys into it that are a bit off the pace going into the final round.
The clear key at Oak Hill has been ball striking. You either need to find fairways with an elite driver or you need to be a fantastic iron player who can find greens out of this thick rough or attack flags when you do find yourself in great position from the short grass. The short game hasn’t been as important as I thought it may be heading into the week, but it’s still been key to save pars when you inevitably find some tricky spots around the green complexes.
Final Round PGA TOUR Golf Bets To Consider
Winner: Corey Conners
Best Odds Still Available:
So here’s the thing. I do think Brooks Koepka will probably win this golf tournament. It’s a fantastic course fit and major venue for a player who prefers his tournaments to setup just like the way this one has. He’s third off the tee this week, a respectable 25th in approach, fourth around the green and 14th with the flat stick. That’s a well-rounded game who has a great chance for a fifth major on Sunday.
But the odds are simply not good enough with how packed this leaderboard is. Koepka just showed us in April he’s not immune to collapsing on a Sunday. In fact, he’s now done that a few times in contention on Sunday since his last major championship victory. I’m not taking someone with this many elite names behind him at near even odds.
Why Corey Conners has value
My pick from the top of the PGA Championship odds board is instead Corey Conners. This is surprising even to me. Conners’ short game makes me nervous, but it’s been fantastic so far this week. He has now had his fair share of weekends at majors near the top of the leaderboard, and he’s simply one of the most consistent and reliable ball strikers on the planet.
Conners is fifth in Strokes Gained: Approach for the week, which is no surprise with his history. I find these odds to be a bit disrespectful considering Conners was leading for much of Sunday before a bit of an unlucky break late led to a double bogey. He sits just one shot behind, and I truly am more confident in Conners than anyone of putting together a strong performance from tee-to-green.
The Canadian would be a surprising champion, but not as much as you’d think. He’s been a consistent contender on TOUR for years now, and his ball striking and career in some ways mirrors the 2013 PGA Championship winner at Oak Hill, Jason Dufner.
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Winner: Bryson DeChambeau
Best Odds Still Available:
My other selection at an outright for the final round is someone I did pick prior to the week, Bryson DeChambeau. He sits just three shots back in solo fourth place. DeChambeau’s even-par 70 on Saturday was impressive considering he is someone who would definitely not prefer to play in nasty weather. As a perfectionist who really relies on numbers over feel, he plays his best in dome conditions, which will be close to in-place on Sunday. That should give the 2020 U.S. Open champion a chance to post a low number.
DeChambeau is putting on a ball striking clinic this week, which is why I think he could post a really good number on Sunday in the better weather. He’s far ahead in first from off the tee, which is a reminder of how dominant he can be with the driver when in form. And he’s also an equally impressive sixth in approach. For someone who generally struggled with the irons once he converted to the powerful game, it’s promising to see DeChambeau show some of his early-career form with them now that he’s slimmed down again.
If we can get a good putting day from Bryson on Sunday, he’s close enough to get in contention quickly and post a number that’s hard to beat.
Top-10 Finish: Min Woo Lee
Best Odds Still Available: +250
The placement odds are tough to decipher because of how packed the leaderboard is after the seven players under par. The pick I’m willing to make is Australia’s Min Woo Lee, who has quickly shown he’s not afraid to get in contention in the world’s biggest tournaments. Lee is currently in a tie for tenth, meaning he’ll just need to maintain his spot on Sunday to convert these +250 odds.
It’s easy to see how Lee contends. He’s elite off the tee and produces great results regularly both on and around the greens. On the weeks he brings it with his irons, he can be very hard to beat. That hasn’t happened at Oak Hill so far. Lee sits in a respectable 21st off the tee, while his short game has really showed up — he’s eighth around the greens and fifth with the putter through three rounds. Lee has lost 2.8 strokes on approach, which is why he’s just out of contention instead of having a real chance to win on Sunday.
I like the Aussie to get the irons finally going a bit on Sunday in the calmer conditions and making a small charge to comfortably log his first top 10 at a major championship.
PGA Championship Odds
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