Uh oh, look around and listen closely. Here comes that theme music again. Any time there’s something lurking that could be dangerous, the theme from ‘Jaws’ seems to pop into the minds of many.
Well, it’s back at this week’s PGA Championship, the second major of 2021 for the PGA Tour. The tournament will be held at the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina.
And what is lurking that’s so scary? Well, it’s Rory McIlroy.
OK, we get it, he’s been hit-and-miss for so many weeks that it’s sometimes tough to get excited when he plays. But not now. He’s coming off a huge victory at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Remember, this is Rory we’re talking about. Even when he’s struggling he seems to hover around the first page of the leaderboard.
But when he gets in the groove, watch out. Well, he’s now officially in a groove after his latest victory.
Odds To Win The PGA Championship From FanDuel Sportsbook
|PGA Championship||Odds To Win|
Here’s Why McIlroy Can Be A Big Factor
McIlroy is back in the winner’s circle. And when he gets his confidence back and wins, it’s bad news for the rest of the PGA Tour.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that he’s now favored in the PGA Championship, +1000 at FanDuel, after snapping an 18-month victory drought.
Watch out for the floodgates that could be about to open.
It should also be noted he’s no stranger to the PGA Championship. He’s won this event twice–in 2012 and 2014–so he’s used to the bright lights of a major. Add in the fact that he’s got four major victories under his belt (with a few others that have gotten away…but that’s a different story) and it’s tough to see how he won’t be a huge factor come Sunday.
He took last week off after his victory so with a little fine-tuning to work on an already improving game, he should be in tip-top form.
Like a lot of the big names on the PGA Tour, once the term ‘major’ starts being talked about and is right in front of them, their game ramps up a couple of notches. Tiger Woods is that way and ditto with Brooks Koepka.
Put McIlroy in that category.
What Makes Him Special Is His Drive
He may not have won as many majors as he’d like to (that’s a given) but it’s not for lack of effort. When many players stumble they have a tendency to go conservative and try to salvage as good a finish as possible.
Not McIlroy. He seems to go flag hunting from the first hole to the 72nd. Call his approach to the majors whatever you like, but he’s never been one to take the cautious route.
Sometimes it pays off, other times…well, not so much. (See 2011 Masters).
Give him a couple of less errant tee shots over the upcoming four days and a few more putts to drop and that fifth major is right here for the taking.
One other interesting feature is the course this week will reach more than 7,800 yards making it the longest course to play host to a major. That may give an edge to the longer hitters as six holes will play more than 500 yards. (Hello, Bryson DeChambeau).
A Plethora Of Great Choices
Like the odds show, the cream certainly has a tendency to rise to the top when it comes to majors.
This week is no different.
But we’re going to go down the list a little for one of our other picks. Paul Casey, at +5000, is way, way down the list.
But, he shouldn’t be. Sure, he’s still looking for his first major. In fact, he’s in that conversation when it comes to ‘best payer without a major’ everyone has when they’re having a beer at the 19th hole.
That could be about to change. The main reason? His play is stellar right now and he’s got to be tired of being asked when he will win that first major.
He was runner-up to Collin Morikawa at last year’s PGA Championship (which made Morikawa a first-time major winner) and finished T-29 in 2019 so he can handle the toughened up conditions that are typical at PGA Championship courses.
Add in the fact he’s been solid since the calendar turned to 2021 with four top 10s in 13 events and it just might be time for him to join the club that’s been eluding him for so long: major champion.
Finishing Off The Career Grand Slam
And like we said last week, we’re going to put Jordan Spieth, who is coming down in odds and is now +1200, in the mix this week.
A victory here gives him the career grand slam. And he’s playing solid golf in 2021, just like when he won the first three legs of the grand slam–the Masters and the US Open in 2015 and the Open Championship in 2017.
In 2021 the trend for him to be lurking near the top is as good as it’s going to get. In his last eight events, he’s got a win (Valero Texas Open), a pair of T-3s, a pair of T-4s, and a T-9.
Go ahead, bet against him. We dare you.