‘Roll the dice’ on final-round wager

Of golf’s four majors, the PGA Championship attracts the least amount of hype. Jim Furyk and Jason Dufner, the players atop the leaderboard, keep a low profile, too.

Furyk is at 9 under par, one stroke ahead of Dufner, going into today’s final round at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. Furyk entered the tournament at 60-1 odds, and Dufner was a 35-1 shot.

LVH oddsmaker Jeff Sherman made Furyk the 11-4 favorite after Saturday’s third round. Dufner and Henrik Stenson, who trails by two shots, are each at 3-1 on the adjusted odds board.

“A shot or two doesn’t mean that much,” Sherman said. “To me, it’s almost like pick’em. Roll the dice and see what comes up.”

Dufner was in good form and gained popularity with the betting public this week, but Furyk had just “a little bit of support,” Sherman said.

Both players have had problems as a closer. Furyk, whose only major title came in the 2003 U.S. Open, lost the lead with three holes to go in last year’s U.S. Open. Dufner blew a five-shot lead in the final round of the 2011 PGA and lost in a playoff.

Stenson was runner-up to Phil Mickelson in last month’s British Open, and last week he finished second to Tiger Woods in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The longest shot still in the mix is Sweden’s Jonas Blixt, at 200-1 before the PGA. Blixt trails Furyk by three strokes and is at 12-1 odds along with Steve Stricker, who is four shots back.

Adam Scott, the Masters winner and a former UNLV standout, is at 5 under and 7-1 odds.

The LVH also posted adjusted odds on Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood (each 20-1) and Dustin Johnson (60-1). The pre-tournament favorites, Woods and Mickelson, faded badly in the third round. Woods’ winless streak in majors is about to hit 20.

“We didn’t see that much Tiger support at all,” Sherman said. “I don’t know if he’s putting too much pressure on himself in these majors now.”

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247.

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