It’s a question that gets asked before, during and after each major on the PGA Tour: Who’s the best player to have never won a major?
We’re here to tell you that’s the wrong question to be asking, especially from a betting standpoint. The right question is: Who are the players with bigger odds who just might break through and win their first major?
To that end, the odds for a player to win a major during the 2019-2020 wraparound season have just been released. The usual names are there in single digits and those players are mostly major winners. The likes of Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and a few others lead the way. Their odds range from 2-1 for Koepka to 5-2 for McIlroy to 3-1 for Johnson to 5-1 for Woods.
In all, there are 16 players on the list in single digits so you know it’s going to be another wild season with a lot of possibilities to win those four prestigious events. Even Rickie Fowler, the current hot pick as the ‘best player to have never won a major,’ is in single digits at 5-1.
But we’re looking for that player who gives us bang for our buck to make a good return on a year-long investment. Who’s the guy who just might take advantage of a great four-day run to join the exclusive group who can call themselves a major champion?
As with all long shot picks, a lot of things would have to go right for them to win. But with 37 different winners on Tour last season, if you’re playing in the event, you’ve got a chance. We’re going to try to cash in on those chances.
For two players with decent payout odds, look to Brandt Snedeker and Cameron Smith who are each at 30-1. They have both shown streaks of brilliance in big events and that’s all one needs over four days.
With Snedeker’s impressive putting (which is usually a requirement to win a major on courses designed to test players to the limit), it’s not out of the question. Smith made the cut in all four majors last year with a best finish of T20 at the Open Championship. Around the world, he had four top 10s in 2019 with his lone PGA Tour win coming in 2017 at the Zurich Classic.
Now for the huge money. It may be time to take a look at Dylan Fritelli. At 100-1 it’s quite intriguing and it’s not out of the question. He wasn’t on anyone’s radar until he won at the John Deere. Then all he did was follow that up by going over to the Open Championship the next week as the last qualifier and finish T32. That finish would have been more impressive -- and higher -- had he not shot 78 in the final round. If he puts four rounds together, it could be a big payday for him and for bettors.
All three of these guys definitely have the golf game to win. But do they have the mental toughness it will take to withstand the bright glare of the spotlight when that spotlight is the brightest on the PGA Tour?
But those are the long shots. For those of you looking for a little less risk, here’s one reminder: Never count out Koepka in a major. At 2-1 odds, you’ll double your money if he hoists a trophy -- or two. It has happened before and it could happen again.