Gene Sarazen With The Wanamaker Trophy
I suppose that I sound like a broken record, but Tiger Woods once again is the sport betting odds-on favorite to win a Major Championship. His runaway win at The WGC-Bridgestone was his fifth of the year and has the golf media and bettors all aflutter. Right now, Tiger is slotted in at 3/1, for an effective 25% chance of winning.
I do not know what we can learn from Tiger’s five victories this year in relation to Majors. He won at Torrey Pines (8 wins), Doral (4), Bay Hill (8), TPC Sawgrass (2) and Firestone (8). Those five courses represent roughly 37 percent of his career wins. In the meantime he has finished 4th (Masters) , 47th (US Open) and 6th (Open Championship) in the Majors.
What I pay attention to is the fact that the last time Tiger played a Major at Oak Hill, he finished 12 over par. He also has already complained about he greens. Given his predilection to win on a few courses that he favors, I am not sure that Tiger winning at Oak Hill is a good bet.
Phil Mickelson has two wins this season, including his amazing triumph at the Open Championship. He also has two seconds and a pair of thirds. On the strength of those, Phil is in at 12/1, or a effective chance of winning. As much as I like Phil, I don’t really like his chances at the PGA.
Adam Scott, the Masters winner, and Justin Rose, the US Open winner are in at 16/1 and 20/1 respectively. They’re both fine players, but I can’t seen in them multiple Majors in a single season.
At 25/1, or a 3.8% chance of winning, I think we finally find some players who are likely to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy. Brandt Snedeker has had a very good year thus far, with two wins, two seconds and a third. To many observers, he seems ready to win a Major. Lee Westwood is past due in the Majors category, and I think the PGA is the most accessible for him.
Rory McIlroy also is in at 25/1, but we all know how his year has turned out.
The top ten is rounded out with Henrik Stenson (28/1) and Charl Schwartzel (33/1). Schwartzel is a Masters winner and certainly has the chops to win the PGA. Stenson is somewhat less impressive, with just two PGA Tour career wins, and five top tens this year.
For my part, I look for a winner in the 30-1 to 40-1 range. The PGA Tour is just so deep. Further, I have always thought of the PGA Championship as the most accessible of the Majors. It doesn’t trick up course like the US Open, doesn’t require a “different” skill set like the Open Championship or of demand mastery of Augusta’s diabolical greens. Of course, my feeling about the PGA Championship is belied by a couple of studies, which has actually determined that it is the hardest to win.
At this point, I think my fantasy picks this week will be Westwood, Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler as a dark horse.
The complete odds for the 2013 Championship are below, courtesy of sports.williamhill.com.