The best betting props for the 2021 PGA Championship
The PGA Championship is back, and all eyes are on the beautiful Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Designed by Pete and Alice Dye, this course is right next to the Atlantic Ocean which makes for some fantastic coverage on TV, but some potential nightmares for players.
While we can sit at home and admire the sweeping drone shots of the course, the pros must battle the wind and the elements which can turn at a moment’s notice. When this tournament was last staged here in 2012, the wind picked up during round two and the average score that day was 78. Vijay Singh was the only man to post a sub-70 round.
The course plays long, and the fairways and greens are laid with Paspalum grass – a surface not often encountered on the PGA Tour. It’s hard, fast, and tough and plays like a British links course.
Because the event moves courses every year, we don’t have the traditional course trends to point us in the right direction for our prop bets, but anyone with form at a wind-affected Pete Dye course or with winning form on Paspalum is going to be of interest. 18 of the last 21 PGA Championship winners had already won that season, so form coming into the event is also going to be key.
PGA Championship 2021
Sun, May 23 2021, 10:30 AM
European Winner: YES (+225)
Rory McIlroy absolutely blitzed the field when the PGA Championship last visited this course in 2012, but it was noticeable how well several Europeans performed that year. David Lynn was second, with Ian Poulter and Justin Rose tied third for the English, while Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Sweden’s Peter Hanson also made it into the top 10.
The theory is that cooler, coastal conditions played on a links-style course is going to suit the Europeans, and at +225 it is value worth taking. McIlroy will be back to a course he loves off some recent winning form in the Wells Fargo Championship, Jon Rahm has the Diaper Dimension working in his favor, and there are a few more European golfers at longer odds who are quite appealing.
Matchbet: Jon Rahm to beat Dustin Johnson (-137)
As mentioned, Jon Rahm is coming here with the Diaper Dimension hopefully adding an extra boost to his game. Only days after his son was born and the Spaniard became a dad, he finished fifth in the Masters at Augusta and then followed it up with another top 10 in the Zurich Classic.
The World No. 3 missed the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship and then was down the field in 34th in the AT&T Byron Nelson, but I’m happy to forgive him those two performances in the hope he bounces back here. His approach play this season has been good, and he ranks third on Tour for shots gained tee to green.
DJ won the Masters last year, and finished second in the last two renewals of this tournament, but there are still big question marks. He has just one top 25 in his last six starts and withdrew from last week’s tournament with knee pain. That’s not good preparation, and Rahm looks like a solid bet to beat him.
Matchbet: Viktor Hovland to beat Xander Schauffele (-110)
Viktor Hovland has two wins on the PGA Tour – the Puerto Rico Open in 2020 and the Mayakoba Golf Classic back in December. Both events took place on seaside courses with windy conditions and Paspalum greens, which is exactly what he will be facing this week.
While those are both great pointers, the Norwegian also comes here in red-hot form, having finished third in the Valspar Championship and in the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month. He ranks fourth in shots gained off the tee this season, and 24th for greens in regulation, so he will hopefully give himself plenty of chances to shoot some solid scores in tricky conditions.
Xander Schauffele was in contention in the Masters, but a poor start on the Sunday and then sticking his ball in the water towards the end put him out of contention. The Californian bounced back to post a finish of 14th in the Wells Fargo Championship, but his form on Pete Dye courses is mixed at best, and Hovland should have the measure of him here.
Top 30 Finish: Tyrrell Hatton (+110)
Tyrrell Hatton’s form has dropped off a cliff recently, but that isn’t putting me off a big showing here. Hatton has finished in the top 25 in seven of 13 PGA Tour events this year including the WGC Workday Championship, the Masters, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He has also won the Abu Dhabi Championship on the European Tour, so although it isn’t in the States, he does have winning form this season.
More interestingly was Hatton’s performance in the Saudi International, were he finished sixth and putted noticeably well on the Paspalum greens. He also finished third in the RBC Heritage last year which is a Pete Dye course at Harbour Town, so there are two big ticks by his name.
He needs to rediscover some top form, but Hatton has the game in his locker and showed windy conditions are not an issue when he won back-to-back Alfred Dunhill Championships in Scotland a few years ago.
Top 40 Finish: Matt Wallace (+100)
And finally, there is Englishman Matt Wallace. A four-time winner on the European Tour, he hasn’t tasted victory for several years now, but his form has been solid enough to suggest a top 40 finish is more than attainable.
He was third in the Texas Open before his best ever finish at Augusta (34th). He was in the top 20 all week at Pete Dye’s Harbour Town course in the RBC Heritage, eventually finishing 18th, and last time out he was sixth in the Wells Fargo.
He finished 19th in this tournament in 2018, and third in 2019, so the big stage will not phase the World No. 52 who ranks fourth on tour this season for shots gained approaching the green.
Wallace has all the tools in the bag to put in a top 40 showing here.