PGA Championship week is finally here, and the players are descending on Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. as we speak.
Last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Jason Day completed his major tuneup with a victory, triumphing over the field at 23-under for his first victory in nearly six years. Can he keep up the resurgent season he’s been having in 2023 by contending at the location where he finished T-8 in 2013?
In 2022, Justin Thomas notably came from way back in the pack to post a low enough round at Southern Hills to sneak into a playoff with Will Zalatoris, then triumphed to win the PGA Championship. Thomas is a solid play this week, and he should look to be in contention once again.
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite picks and predictions for this year’s tournament and see if we can identify the winner of the 105th PGA Championship.
PGA Championship Winner Prediction
Jon Rahm (+800)
I typically won’t espouse taking one of the odds-on favorites because it is extremely difficult to win a golf tournament with 150-plus golfers in the field, no matter how elite you are (and Rahm is most certainly elite).
However, I’m unsure that there is a golfer in the world that is a better fit for this course than Rahm is right now. He ranks first in Strokes Gained: Total in major tournaments over the past five years, and the reigning Masters champion has been elite off the tee in his past handful of tournaments.
Of the last 16 major winners, seven of them went off at +2000 odds or shorter, so take some note here. It takes a lot of mettle to compete for a major championship.
Back Rahm to win his second straight major as our PGA pick of the day.
PGA Championship Contenders
PGA Championship winner odds were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Monday, May 15, at 1 p.m. ET.
- Scottie Scheffler (+750)
- Jon Rahm (+800)
- Rory McIlroy (+1400)
- Xander Schauffele (+1800)
- Patrick Cantlay (+1800)
- Brooks Koepka (+2000)
- Tony Finau (+2500)
- Justin Thomas (+2500)
- Jason Day (+2500)
- Viktor Hovland (+2800)
For an in-depth look at the field and the opening odds for the second golf major of the year, check out our PGA Championship Odds and Field breakdown.
PGA Championship Best Bets
Sungjae Im (+3700) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Is Im the most consistent player on the PGA Tour right now? The statistics say he is, with four top-8 finishes in his last six tournaments and his strokes gained metrics piling up all around the course at a very consistent rate.
Sungjae is right on track to join the elite names on the Tour with a strong finish at Oak Hill this week. He has been playing lights out golf lately, and his statistics back it up: 13th off the tee, 35th on approach, 19th around the green, and 8th in bogeys avoided in his last 24 rounds.
While distance is a big calling card here, Im’s average distance of 297.7 yards is nothing to scoff at. And adding that to his driving accuracy, which ranks 20th, makes for a deadly combination. Looking at his record at comp courses, Im finished 10th at the Memorial Tournament last year, so I think he is ready to win his first major.
Tony Finau (+2900) • FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 0.5 Units
If I were to tell you that Finau has ONE finish outside of the top 30 this entire season when he has made the cut, having played 14 events, would that be something you were interested in?
Now that we have your attention, Finau has been extremely consistent this season. That may lead you to bet his placements rather than an outright, but keep in mind that he just won the Mexico Open two weeks ago and the Houston Open in the fall swing, so Finau has been dangerous this season.
Asking Finau to win his first major is a tall task, but he again seems like another guy in this tier that is just so close to putting all of the pieces together on the biggest stage. Always an elite approach player, Finau also ranks in the top 15 of strokes gained off the tee and second in Par-4 efficiency from 450-500 yards.
PGA Championship Longshot Bets
Keegan Bradley (+10000) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 0.5 Units
Bradley is always worth a look at the PGA Championship because it’s symbolic to him as the one major that he has won.
He also is one of the few golfers in this field who played in the last Oak Hill PGA Championship in 2013 (where he finished T-19) and still has a shot of winning, so we have to consider that in our analysis, despite the 2019 redesign.
This course is well-suited for Bradley as he grew up in the Northeast and spent a lot of time on these bentgrass courses. Four of his five wins have come on bentgrass greens, and his elite ball-striking will be perfect for moving his way around this track.
Joaquin Niemann (+9000) • FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 0.5 Units
Niemann is always a player you should think about having on your betting card. He’s a very good player, but people have really forgotten about him since he went over to LIV Golf.
Let’s refresh your memories though: In his last 24 rounds, Niemann is 10th in strokes gained off the tee, 21st in strokes gained both on approach and around the green, 19th in bogeys avoided, and 4th in strokes gained on Par 4s 450-500 yards.
He is a longer hitter with solid accuracy, and don’t forget that his wedges are very good inside 150 yards, which will help on these longer Par 5s that he may need to lay up to.