It’s almost time for the final PGA tournament of the year, the final one that matters anyways. The 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits starts on August 13, and it provides the last opportunity of the season for a lot of players to exorcise some demons.
The biggest story heading into the tournament is whether we’ll see Rory McIlroy play at all. The world’s number-one ranked golfer has forfeit most of the spotlight this season to young Jordan Spieth. McIlroy must be tempted to rush back, not only to defend his title after winning the 2014 Championship, but also to protect his number one ranking, which Spieth would usurp with another major win. Though he’ll be hampered by that ruptured ankle, perhaps McIlroy can channel a little Tiger Woods-circa-the 2008 U.S. Open and pull it out?
Speaking of Tiger, he’s got to figure it out eventually right? After missing the cut at three of the last four majors and failing to finish higher than 17th at any tournament in the past year, golf fans are starved for any signs of his former dominance. A solid 18th place at the Quicken Loans National last week perked up some ears, but his weekend would have been a lot better had it not been for a three-over third round. Until Woods proves he can string together four rounds without a let down, he’s not worth your wager.
And while we’re on the topic of let downs, Dustin Johnson will again try to capture his first ever major championship. After getting off to a roaring start at the British Open and leading after 36 holes , Johnson had yet another meltdown, falling out of contention and watching another Johnson (Zach) win the Claret Jug. This links-style course plays well to the big driver’s skill set, and Johnson came close to winning back in 2010, but he suffered another stroke of bad luck, which only adds to the perception that he lacks the “it” factor to close out a major. In a field as strong as the one lined up for Whistling Straits, it seems unlikely now is the time he’ll figure it all out.
But enough of the soon-to-be also-rans. Let’s get some optimism up-in-hurr. For solid bets, look no further than Jason Day, who is primed to continue his hot run after overcoming a battle with vertigo. Day tied with Spieth for fourth at the Open Championship before winning a shootout over Bubba Watson north of the border.
Watson is another one to watch; he’s put together a very strong season despite performing poorly at majors. He’s performed well at Whistling Straits before, too, losing to Martin Kaymer in a playoff back in 2010. The two-time Masters champ has all the tools to attack this course again.
If you’re looking for some very long odds guys to play, explore familiar names like Hunter Mahan (100/1), Jason Dufner (100/1), and Padraig Harrington (150/1). Dufner won the PGA in 2013 and Harrington is coming off a solid outing at the Open.
We’ll leave you with the odds for the top-15 contenders for the upcoming War for Wisconsin.
Odds to win the 2015 PGA Championship:
- Jordan Spieth – 5/1
- Rory McIlroy – 7/1
- Dustin Johnson – 11/1
- Jason Day – 14/1
- Adam Scott – 16/1
- Justin Rose – 20/1
- Bubba Watson – 20/1
- Rickie Fowler – 22/1
- Henrik Stenson – 22/1
- Phil Mickelson – 25/1
- Sergio Garcia – 28/1
- Tiger Woods – 28/1
- Louis Oosthuizen – 30/1
- Martin Kaymer – 33/1
- Zach Johnson – 40/1
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison (Originally uploaded to Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/])