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What are sharp handicappers recommending as their PGA best bets?

Updated May 14, 2024 - 8:32 pm

Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka enter the PGA Championship in top form, with each of them winning their last start.

Scheffler and McIlroy are the only golfers in single-digit odds to win the year’s second major, which tees off Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Xander Schauffele and Koepka are the next two choices on the betting board.

Jon Rahm is the +1850 fifth choice at Circa Sports. Wes Reynolds, co-host of VSiN’s “Long Shots” golf betting podcast, has made the two-time major champion one of his best bets to win the tournament.

“It seems like Rahm is a bit of the forgotten man this week,” said Reynolds (@WesReynolds1). “Rahm has yet to win in his debut season on LIV Golf, but he has not finished outside the top 10 in any one of those seven events.

“His brand of explosive ball-striking and sharp short game makes him one of the game’s true elites and a danger on any golf course, especially one like Valhalla.”

Here are Reynolds’ other best bets, with comments on each:

Bryson DeChambeau, 28-1

“DeChambeau still leads the golf world for driving distance and can overpower most golf courses. He is a previous winner on a Jack Nicklaus (designed course) having won the Memorial at Muirfield Village back in 2018.

“He led the Masters for strokes gained off-the-tee and finished top five in last year’s PGA at Oak Hill, so he has some good recent form at major championships.”

Joaquin Niemann, 41-1

“Niemann has drifted a bit after his hot start to 2024, but he has been the best player on LIV Golf this season already with two victories and six top 10s.”

Patrick Cantlay, 48-1

“The current No. 8 player in the world has yet to show the major championship pedigree befitting of his ranking, but Valhalla could be the ticket for Cantlay to finally really be in the hunt to win a major.

“He has always played well on Nicklaus designs, most notably having won the Memorial twice at Muirfield Village.”

Tony Finau, 90-1

“He has been a mess with the putter, but his tee-to-green game has still been very good. He is a fit for a bigger golf course, as he ranks behind only McIlroy, Rahm, Scheffler and Schauffele for strokes gained on longer courses.”

Akshay Bhatia, 150-1

“Bhatia won the Valero Texas Open last month and now has two PGA Tour victories in less than a calendar year. Bhatia has also won on Valhalla at the Junior PGA Championship in 2018.”

Dean Burmester, 150-1

“Burmester won earlier this season at the LIV event held at Doral in Miami. He is one of the longest drivers of the golf ball in professional golf.”

McIlroy (-120) over Schauffele

Westgate SuperBook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman played McIlroy to win the PGA at longer odds than his current +760. But he still recommends McIlroy over Schauffele in a tournament matchup. McIlroy is coming off a win last week at the Wells Fargo Championship and won his last major at Valhalla in the 2014 PGA Championship.

“He’s probably feeling as well as he has in two years about his golf game,” said Sherman (@golfodds).

Mickelson (-145) over Woods

Sherman also bet on Phil Mickelson to beat Tiger Woods in a tournament matchup.

“I’m just going against Tiger,” he said. “He just plays so seldom in competition, I’ll take these guys who are at least playing.”

Sahith Theegala, 77-1

Tyrrell Hatton, 62-1

Sherman also backed a pair of long shots to win in Sahith Theegala and Tyrrell Hatton.

“Theegala has just had a fantastic season, a bunch of top 10s,” he said. “I consider this one not as prestigious as the other three majors. This is more for the taking for someone like him. The same thing with Hatton.”

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

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