After just a lovely week for fans of low-scoring golf at the Byron Nelson Classic where it was an absolute birdie fest, we head to Long Island, New York for the PGA’s second major of the year, the 2019 PGA Championship.
Before we get to the Major festivities in N.Y., let’s see how last week went. The Byron Nelson was a tough one to pick because we didn’t really know who was using the tournament as a warmup and who was out there to win, but we did our best.
My first pick was A-A-Ron Wise to outplay the former Masters Champion and perfectly round baby-faced assassin Patrick Reed.
Hey, we got this one at (-110).
While Aaron only managed to finish T-43 with a score of -9, Reed did just a bit worse at 6 under par completing his four rounds tied for 63rd.
My next pick was my most profitable of the week in any sport as I took Scott Piercy to finish inside the top ten and the Las Vegan finished two strokes behind the winner Korean Kang Sung Oon at 21 under for a share of the runner up position.
Scott came thru for the (+500) win!
Something told me to be high on Marc Leishman last week but his back had other ideas. I took him to have the lead after Thursday and also a top ten finish.
Luckily, he didn’t even get started so I hope you got your money back.
Branden Grace was another player I thought would perform well but he couldn’t get the flat stick going to all weekend.
As far as the favorites went, I took young American and Japanese superstars Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama to finish top ten.
Hideki finished just outside the top twenty, and Koepka didn’t pack it in early as I thought he might with a PGA Championship title to defend this week as he came in 4th. This happened, even though some experts were saying he had no intention of winning.
I’m going to give him more credit than that.
So, overall a very good week for us at an unpredictable tournament with nearly zero course history.
Now, onto this week’s Major from “Luong Island”.
It’s a Major tournament, so I don’t need to tell you all of the superstars that will be in attendance.
That’s “Everybody!” for the non-90s kids out there.
As I mentioned earlier, last year’s winner was the man who has won three out of his last seven majors played, Brooks “Big Poppa Pump” Koepka.
Hey, we all liked him better with the mullet when he could still do the Frankensteiner.
And no, Brooks’ arms are not nearly that big but he’s definitely got the best pair of guns on Tour.
That’s not saying much, I know, but I seriously really like him this week at plus money as a top ten bet. More on that later.
What about the big striped human hunting cat?
Well, Tiger is the favorite this week but I don’t know man…
Recently, his name was in the news for something other than his big win at Augusta a month ago.
A rather tragic event, actually.
An employee of his at one of Tiger’s restaurants in Florida got behind the wheel after drinking heavily at the job after a shift as many restaurant workers do and crashed his vehicle and perished in the process.
It was known that he was in the 12-step program as an admitted alcoholic and Woods and Tiger’s girlfriend, the bartender, still drank with him.
The man’s parents are bringing forth a lawsuit, and while depending on your personality type, it’s arguable who is at fault here. Woods did know the man personally and will undoubtedly be affected by this.
Now that the giant ivory tusked mammoth in the room has been addressed, let’s get to some of the betting action and make some more good picks.
BetOnline has the action this week.
Bethpage Black is quite the intimidating moniker and the course itself doesn’t fall short of that adjective.
This is an absolutely massive golf course which just by looking at its sheer size, you would be lead to believe that there must be several par fives.
Nope. There’s only two!
The fairways are thin with a tapered rough which isn’t too bad just off the grass but will thicken up rather drastically especially considering how much rainfall has been hammering the Big Apple and neighboring Long Island.
The greens will be nearly 100% Poana, which of course, spells trouble for some of this week’s competitors and dollar signs for others.
The bunkering is quite deep and difficult so driving accuracy and a par-mindset will be paramount for every golfer this week.
Here’s a glimpse of the beautiful and treacherous Bethpage Black golf course.
Dustin Johnson: +125 To Finish Inside The Top Ten
While the value here is rather arguable as the field is so deep, we have to remember that even though Dustin hasn’t been winning many “PGA” golf tournaments in the past calendar year, he is still statistically and probably the outright best golfer on the Tour.
DJ finished T-2 at the Masters alongside the previously mentioned Koepka and the X-man Xander Schauffele.
Before the Major season began, Dustin was 6th at the Valspar which is a highly comparable course to Bethpage Black. He was 5th at the Players Championship a week prior and was a winner at the World Golf Championship event at the Club De Golf Chapultepec in Old Mexico in February.
He had a top ten performance at the Genesis Open and won the Saudi International. Add those performances to a 4th place finish at the Tournament of Champions to kick off 2019 and you see why he is still the favorite this week alongside Rory McIlroy.
As you may have guessed already, statistically he is a monster.
- 11th in strokes gained off the tee
- 7th in strokes gained tee to green
- 5th in strokes gained putting
- And 2nd in strokes gained overall
With a field of the world’s best as thick as the dog’on Amazon Rainforest playing one of the most difficult courses in the country, it’s very hard to foresee a winner.
Johnson’s name is almost always up there in the top ten especially in the bigger tournaments, so throw him in there for a top ten even if it’s only for (+125).
Brooks Koepka: +150 to Finish Inside The Top Ten
We already talked about the biggest guns in golf and his ability to consistently shine on the largest stage.
It is his form as of late that makes this a definite bet for me.
He was 4th last week and I mentioned his 2nd place performance at the Masters. It took the true king of the jungle, Tiger, to keep him out of first place.
It was great to see Woods get that W, but a playoff with him, Koepka, DJ, and Xander would have been an even better spectacle.
The six-foot and still somehow stocky Floridian currently ranks 5th in the FedEx Cup points standings and 3rd in the Overall World Golf Rankings.
He doesn’t nearly have as consistent of a 2019 placing record as the world number one-ranked Dustin Johnson but we know Brooks shows up when it truly counts.
The media, golf historians, and most importantly his PGA Tour peers vastly respect an athlete’s performance at Majors more than anything else.
You’re getting even better odds on him than DJ and I would have them rated at least side-by-side if not Brooks being slightly ahead going into this week’s PGA Championship.
Xander Schauffele: +300 To Finish Inside The Top Ten
The San Diego-native is only 25 years of age and has already shown that he could be one of the next superstars on the PGA Tour.
He started off 2019 ghost pepper-hot and is currently sitting at 2nd in the FedEx Cup points standings.
T-2 at the Masters shows he is back in form. He did, however, appear rather butt-hurt at the RBC a week later when he barely made the cut and finished tied for 63rd.
He hasn’t competed since and I imagine he’s spent a significant amount of his time outside of his Southern California home on the other end of the country in Long Island at Bethpage dialing in his technique and strategy.
He is yet to win a Major but this could very well be his time. We all know it’s coming.
His biggest struggles have been around the green where he ranks 64th on Tour but that shouldn’t rank as too much of a problem at the PGA Championship as he drives the ball well and ranks 28th in greens in regulation.
If he can keep in on the fairway off the tee, he will definitely be up there.
I just can’t ignore the value on X-man here.
Francesco Molinari: +120 To Finish Inside The Top Twenty
The first Italian to win a Major tournament on the PGA Tour, the Open Championship last year, has a pretty good chance to take his second to the varied landscapes of his beautiful country.
The 36-year-old ranks 7th overall in the World Golf Rankings and quietly, because of all the star power ahead of him, finished tied for 5th at The Masters this year.
He won the Arnold Palmer this year with a blazing 8 under par in the fourth round.
Statistically, he’s been all over the place and doesn’t really rank very high in many categories except for sand save percentage where he is 4th.
The traps at Bethpage will be very heart-wrenching this year so his abilities may prove to save him a few strokes.
Sergio Garcia: +500 To Finish Inside The Top Ten
Could we pick two (+500)’s in consecutive weeks?
I think so!
I have another for you as well so don’t go anywhere!
They may be the most valuable picks for the tournament.
The Spaniard has 23 top tens at Major tournaments…
Yes, he’s been a pro for 20 years now but that is still very very impressive.
How is he playing as of late?
If you can somehow forget he didn’t make the cut in Augusta, he has three straight top fives.
Statistically, he is right there.
- 14th in strokes gained tee to green which is a very important stat this week
- 3rd in strokes gained approaching the green
- And 10th in strokes gained overall
If he can get the putter going on the Poana greens where he is better than average, Serg won’t need to serge in the 4th round. He could very well already be in contention.
As far as his tournament history here, outside of Tiger Woods, he may have the best resume,
Garcia has finished 10th, 4th, and 3rd at his 3 events played here. He’s got the experience on a course rarely used by the PGA and he’s been top ten each time.
Jason Kokrak: +900 To Finish Inside The Top Ten
Mr. Consistency is hard to ignore any week nowadays. The top ten bet may be a bit of a stretch here so if you want to go with him top twenty, definitely do so.
He is (+300) there. I like the value in both spots.
His skill set is quite advantageous for this golf course, though.
- 24th off the tee
- 17th in tee to green and shots gained total
- And 10th in approach
His weaknesses lay in the putting department as well as around the green. The greens are small and most of the bunkers are along the fairway.
He is 28th in greens in regulation and 32nd in driving distance. That should hopefully keep his flat stick game low on the challenge meter.
I opened about his consistency. It really is something of marvel this year, and consistency is a gambler’s favorite word.
In 2019 his finishes go like this: 18th, 20th, 20th, 37th-blah, 9th, 10th, 47th-ugh, 2nd, 7th, 16th, 22nd, and 69th at the Wells Fargo.
Quail Hollow has been a couple weeks ago, though, so let’s hope he has been spending his time on the Long Island getting dialed in.
I changed my mind, though.
Take the top twenty.
This is going to be a big week to say the very least!
Can Tiger set aside the recent distractions from the wrongful death lawsuit that is being brought against him from his former employee’s drunk driving death?
Can Brooks Koepka defend his title and further his way up the Major wins ladder?
Will DJ shut up the Rory and Tiger lovers and prove he’s still the best golfer in the world?
Does he even need to?
Will Sergio Garcia make it four out of four tourneys with a top ten finish at Bethpage Black?
Can Xander Schauffele get his first of likely several major victories?
There are many questions to be answered this week on Long Island.
Tune in, turn up your favorite iced beverage, and let’s keep this winning train on the tracks!