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Las Vegas golfer among best bets to win PGA Championship

Updated May 17, 2023 - 11:52 am

Xander Schauffele is arguably the best golfer never to win a major.

But VSiN handicapper Wes Reynolds and Westgate SuperBook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman believe that could change at the PGA Championship, which tees off Thursday at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

They each listed Schauffele (17-1 at Boyd Gaming) as one of their best bets to win the year’s second major.

“He’s been knocking on the door for quite a while,” said Sherman (@golfodds). “And his form is well enough right now to win.”

Schauffele, a Las Vegas resident, has 10 top-10 finishes in 23 major appearances, including six top-five finishes.

“Although he is from Southern California, Schauffele has played terrific golf in the Northeast,” said Reynolds (@WesReynolds1), co-host of VSiN’s “Long Shots” golf betting podcast. “He finished sixth at the 2018 U.S. Open hosted at Shinnecock Hills, 16th at the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, where he was eighth after 54 holes, and fifth at the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

“Next, he is in terrific form having reached the quarterfinals at the WGC Dell Match Play and posting finishes of 10th at Augusta, fourth at Harbour Town, fourth at the pairs event (with Patrick Cantlay) in New Orleans and second at Quail Hollow two weeks ago.”

Reynolds and Sherman have one other common play in Cameron Young (33-1 at BetMGM), who was runner-up at the Dell Match Play and tied for seventh at the Masters before tying for 51st at the RBC Heritage and 59th at the Wells Fargo.

“Young first got a taste of major championship contention at last year’s PGA, finishing tied for third, and then at the Open Championship as runner-up behind Cameron Smith,” Reynolds said. “Oak Hill should be a good spot for Young where he can use the best club in his bag, the driver, as more of a weapon.”

Sherman also noted that Young is a New York native.

“He grew up in the area and is familiar with the conditions,” he said.

Back to the list of best players never to win a major, Reynolds also recommends a play on Cantlay. Sherman suggests a bet on Rickie Fowler.

Patrick Cantlay, 20-1 (at Boyd Gaming)

“Cantlay has been consistently excellent for the past three months,” Reynolds said. “Like his regular Ryder and Presidents Cup partner Schauffele, he also has a victory in the Tour Championship on the Donald Ross-designed East Lake.

“‘Patty Ice’ also has two victories in the Northeast and is twice a winner at The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village on similar bentgrass greens.”

Rickie Fowler, 70-1 (at Circa Sports)

“Rickie Fowler still offers some really good value,” Sherman said. “He has five straight top-20s and, coming out of that two-year slump, he’s not dealing with the burden of expectations to win.

“He can easily be competitive in matchups with guys who are 30-1 or 40-1 and he’s listed at 60-1 or 70-1.”

Other plays

Sherman also bet on Jason Day (33-1 at Circa) and Talor Gooch (90-1 at Circa), though at longer odds. Day shot 62 on Sunday to win the Byron Nelson for his first victory in five years.

“I would’ve liked him better if he hadn’t won last week,” Sherman said. “He’s had a fantastic season. But I don’t like to be involved with golfers who won the week before a major. It’s tough to go back to back.”

Reynolds also recommends plays on Rory McIlroy (14-1 at Westgate), Tony Finau (24-1 at Circa) and Tyrrell Hatton (46-1 at Westgate), along with long shots Harris English (250-1 at Circa) and Cameron Davis (275-1 at Circa).

Circa sportsbook manager Nick Bogdanovich also likes Hatton, who has two top-five finishes the last two weeks and five top 10s in major championships.

Scottie Scheffler is the +750 favorite at the SuperBook. Jon Rahm is the 8-1 second choice, followed by McIlroy, who has drifted up to double digits after missing the cut at the Masters and placing 47th at the Wells Fargo.

“This could be a decent spot to buy on a short drift coming to his wife’s hometown,” Reynolds said. “And coming back to a Donald Ross design where he won last fall and has won three times at East Lake for the Tour Championship.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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