The PGA Tour was supposed to belong to the trio of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, and Rory McIlroy this year. All under 30 years old, the three golfers represented the cream of golf’s future crop. But we’ve yet to see these names together on a major Sunday this year; instead, they’ve only been linked by conversations of who disappointed over the weekend.
Indeed, neither Spieth, nor Day, nor McIlroy took center-stage during last weekend’s Open Championship, yielding the floor to a pair of well-seasoned veterans locked in a duel for the ages, as 40-year-old Henrik Stenson triumphed over 46-year-old Phil Mickelson to win the Claret Jug.
Stenson set an Open Championship record and tied golf’s major record for lowest total, shooting a -20. Mickelson was on his heels all Sunday, but his -17 was only good enough for his 11th runner-up finish in a major.
Stenson’s win was not only revenge for his loss to Mickelson at Muirfield in 2013, it also marked the first major win of his career. In fact, all three major winners this season have been first-timers, after Dustin Johnson broke through at Oakmont and Danny Willett shocked the world at Augusta.
Heading into the final tournament of the season, perhaps the best bet is to take another golfer without a major win. (Here’s looking at you Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler!) Because, if this season hasn’t been strange enough, the PGA Championship will take place two weeks earlier than usual (to accommodate the Olympics that no one is going to). That means even less time to turn things around for golf’s struggling stars.
The final major of the season officially gets under way on July 28 at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. In terms of the early odds, the best value on the board might be the aforementioned Mickelson. Not only is he coming in hot, but he was also the winner the last time the PGA Championship came to Baltusrol in 2005. But it’s worth paying attention to the RBC Canadian Open results this weekend. Day won the tournament last year and carried that momentum to a dominant win at Whistling Straits.
Odds to win 2016 PGA Championship:
- Rory McIlroy: 8/1
- Jason Day: 8/1
- Dustin Johnson: 9/1
- Jordan Spieth: 10/1
- Henrik Stenson: 16/1
- Phil Mickelson: 20/1
- Rickie Fowler: 25/1
- Justin Rose: 25/1
- Adam Scott: 25/1
- Bubba Watson: 28/1
- Sergio Garcia: 33/1
- Patrick Reed: 40/1
- Brooks Koepka: 40/1
- Danny Willett: 50/1
- Louis Oosthuizen: 50/1
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison (Originally uploaded to Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/])