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Surprises Who Could Win The PGA Championship

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The final major of 2013 — the PGA Championship — is just days away, giving one last chance for players to claim major glory. Deservedly so, Tiger Woods is commanding most of the attention after his runaway seven-shot win in last weekend’s Bridgestone Invitational.

Despite Woods’ impressive victory, the PGA Championship has a habit of throwing up surprise winners and the 2013 tournament could do just that. Last year, we saw the then-rising stature of Rory Mcilroy dominate a strong field of contenders winning by a massive eight shots. The three previous winners were outsiders at the time in Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer and Y.E. Yang.

Adding to the case for a long shot to win is 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus who had this to say:

“The player has to suit his game to the golf course and the guys that can adapt to it are the guys that always have been the good players,” Nicklaus said. “I mean, (Phil) Mickelson will adapt well to it. Tiger will adapt well to it. I think there’s a lot of guys that will adapt well to it.

“You have so many good players today that I think will like Oak Hill, will enjoy playing the golf course and could have an opportunity to win. To try to pick one of them out of there is pretty difficult right now.”

Here are seven players I think could surprise Tiger and company and adapt their game for the win.

Bill Haas — 56/1

AT&T National - Round One

The world No. 24 is having another strong year and recorded his fifth Tour victory in June’s AT&T National. He has had three top 10’s in his last four starts maintaining his good form including a T7 at last week’s Bridgestone Invitational. He’s first in T10 finishes this year with nine and leads the GIR category from 150 to 175 yards.

If he can find his share of fairways, his strong iron play could enable him make a serious threat come Sunday.

Jason Day — 36/1

Jason Day

The Australian and world No. 20 is destined to win a major after a string of impressive performance in major tournaments. Day again went agonizingly close at the both the Masters and U.S. Open this year where he lead the tournament at various stages on the back nine on Sunday.

He’s yet to miss a cut in 2013 showing his amazing consistency. At just 25 years of age, he’s already recorded five top 10’s in majors in his career.

A strong short game and long off the tee, if things can fall his way he’s a great chance.

Matt Kuchar — 36/1

Matt Kuchar

The popular smiling American is having his best season to date recording two victories including seven top 10’s and 18 for 18 cuts made.

Kuchar finished T8, T28 and T15 at the first three majors of the year and continues to churn out solid performances.

An impressive scoring average of 69.59 highlights his consistency as does his scrambling ability (currently 8th) which means he knows how to get up to down.

A win here for his first major victory would not surprise.

Ian Poulter — 56/1

Ian Poulter

The colorful Englishmen is having a decent season despite his limited appearances on the PGA Tour.

Poulter missed the cut at April’s Masters but bounced back to finish T21 at the U.S. Open and an impressive T3 at the British Open after finishing with a sterling 67. He’s recorded four top 10’s in majors the last two years (including T3 here last year) showing Poulter is capable of measuring up to the best in the world.

With England enjoying a golden run in major sporting events in 2013, Poulter could add to the tally with his first major victory.

Richard Sterne — 111/1

Richard Sterne

The South African and world No. 34 is a bit of an unknown to many but has proved he can play well on the big stage. He won his country’s Joburg Open this year with a score of 27-under par winning by a massive 7 strokes from former Masters winner and countryman Charles Schwartzel.

After struggling with back injuries through much of 2010 and 2011, he seems to have regained his form and fitness.

Leading up to the PGA Championship he finished a very credible T9 with rounds of 70, 68, 70 and 68 at the difficult Bridgestone Invitational last week in a major strength field.

Martin Kaymer — 56/1

Martin Kaymer

The former world No. 1 has disappeared off the world stage since his win at the PGA in 2010. The current world No. 35 is slowly finding form again which saw him reach golfs pinnacle.

He’s made the cut in all three majors this year and finished strongly at the last lead up tournament at the Bridgestone Invitational finishing off with rounds of 67, 69 and 66 in difficult conditions.

Perhaps a second major is coming for the German.

Bill Horschel — 111/1

Billy Horschel

Horschel is one of the hottest young players on the PGA Tour in 2013 with a string of good performances highlighted by his win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. His red-hot form through March and April saw him record an amazing four consecutive top-10 finishes culminating in his maiden victory.

Proving he can match it on the big stage he finished an impressive T4 at the U.S. Open in June.

His strength is his ability to make birdies which sees him first in birdies made in 2013.

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Troy Vayanos was born and still resides in Brisbane, Australia. He has been a passionate golfer for more than 25 years and loves learning and increasing his knowledge of the golf swing. He lives and breathes golf from his local golf course to the professional tours around the world. His website Hitting It Solid delivers the latest golf instruction that helps you break 100 and beyond. You’ll also learn the 7 critical steps you must know to play better golf today.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Troy Vayanos

    Aug 8, 2013 at 12:14 am

    I agree Fred, it’s a very wide open tournament even though the odds don’t necessarily reflect this.

    Realistically there are several players who on their day are capable of winning this tournament.

    Regards

  2. Troy Vayanos

    Aug 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Yes Barry Paul Casey has had a bid of resurgence in recent times winning the Irish Open in June and is great value at that price. If he finds some of the old form that had him really high in the world rankings he’d be a definite chance.

    Regards

  3. Barry

    Aug 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I backed Paul Casey at 125-1 and Marcel Siem at 225-1 for the big wager of 1 euro each!-I might get a thrill early in the first round!

  4. Troy Vayanos

    Aug 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Arthur,

    Based on the odds to win the tournament is how they were considered outsiders. At 36/1 in any sort of betting event is usually a long shot to win.

    Cheers

  5. Fred

    Aug 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    It’s interesting how the writers are saying that Tiger is up against some tough competition this week. Aren’t these pretty much the same guys he handled last week? And all this talk about Tiger vs. Phil… considering Phil’s victory at the Open, it should have been that way last week – but Phil was barely in contention. I’m not suggesting Tiger will win (it is a major, after all), but the writer’s should try and be a bit more realistic when writing these stories. We could all be in for a big surprise this week.

    • Mike

      Aug 8, 2013 at 7:30 am

      Tiger was also “handled” by a few, and the rules, too… Let face is, tiger has become Greg Norman….except Norman actually won a major and tiger is oh-fer majors since yang “handled” him at the PGA oh so many years ago…

  6. Arthur J

    Aug 7, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Not sure how Kaymer was an outsider when he won his PGA championship? Or how you can consider either Jason Day or Matt Kuchar to be outsiders this time?

    Seems American writers consider any win outside of Phil/Tiger/Rory to be a ‘shock’.

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Opinion & Analysis

2022 John Deere Classic: Outright Betting Picks

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After an incredible week of golf at the Travelers Championship, the PGA Tour makes one final stop at TPC Deere Run to play the John Deere Classic. Last year, we saw Lucas Glover capture his first win in more than a decade by firing a final round 64 to claim victory.

TPC Deere Run is a 7,268-yard par 71 located in Silvis, Illinois. The course historically fails to present a major challenge to golfers with easy-to-hit fairways and bentgrass greens. Most players will have short approach shots into the greens, and the event often turns into a bit of a putting contest.

The John Deere Classic will play host to 156 golfers, and as expected, the field is considerably weaker than we have gotten used to this season.

After a long run of top tier events, many of the world’s top players are taking the week off.

A few of the notable golfers who will make the trip to the Midwest include Webb Simpson, Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Denny McCarthy and Sahith Theegala.

2022 John Deere Classic Best Bets

Cameron Davis (+4000)

Cam Davis is a player who has the skill set I am targeting at TPC Deere Run this week. In the field, he ranks 17tin Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass and 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach.

The Australian had some stretches last week at the Travelers where it looked like he was going to contend deep into the weekend and some other stretches where he struggled mightily. While the poor play at times was a bit of a concern, it wasn’t as important as what he showed when he was playing well.  In a weak field, we are betting on the ceiling of Cameron Davis.

The 27-year-old has already proven he can win on Tour and won at this time last year. It may not seem like it at first glance, but Davis offers us relative value in this field.

Cameron Champ (+5000)

It’s more likely than not that Cameron Champ plays horribly this week. He’s missed four consecutive cuts and has had a pretty disappointing year overall. However, if you play this event 50 times, I feel very confident in saying that Champ wins at least once. Therefore, there is relative value in betting the 27-year-old this week.

Since Champ has arrived on the scene in 2018, he’s already accumulated three PGA Tour victories. “Win equity” is a term I often use in these articles, and Champ is a great example of a golfer who finds a way to win more often than his odds tend to indicate.

Yes, there’s a good chance he struggles this week. But there’s also a chance he gains eight strokes putting and wins the tournament.

Chez Reavie (+5000)

Reavie comes to the John Deere Classic quietly playing some very good golf. He has four top 27 finishes in his past five starts, including an 8th place finish at last week’s Travelers Championship.

The 40-year-old is gaining an average of 3.7 strokes from tee to green in his past five events. In many ways, Reavie is a similar to player to Lucas Glover (who won this event last year). He is a strong iron player who is good with a wedge. If he can gain a few strokes putting instead of losing strokes to field as he typically does, he is super live to win at TPC Deere Run.

Chesson Hadley (+15000)

Chesson Hadley used an excellent Sunday to catapult him to a top-5 finish at the Travelers Championship. His excellent round of 64 was one shot shy of the low round of the day, and it’s within the realm of possibility that he can use the momentum to propel him into contention at the John Deere Classic.

In the past we’ve seen hot putters propel golfers to victory at TPC Deere Run. Hadley is a player who is capable of gaining an absurd number of strokes with the putter when he has it going.

The John Deere Classic is one of the few spots on the schedule where journeymen have been able to get it done and is as good of a spot as ever to end Hadley’s nine-year winless streak on Tour.

Brandon Wu (+15000)

Brandon Wu is a golfer who’s ceiling I believe in long-term. Since his second-place finish at the Mexico Open, he’s been quite disappointing, but this is a tournament where I believe in taking chances of golfers with a high upside.

The Stanford product has loads of talent. He won the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship and beat out many players in this field in doing so.

This is a low risk, high reward bet on a golfer who is still developing on the PGA Tour.

Hayden Buckley (+15000)

Hayden Buckley is another golfer who is on the rise. He finished 14th in the U.S. Open, proving he has what it takes to compete on the PGA Tour.

In an event where I feel as though most any player in the field is live to win, it’s a good opportunity to bet a young up-and-comer in hopes that his ceiling comes to fruition against a weak field.

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TG2: Brand new Titleist TSR woods and Callaway’s new Jaws Raw wedges

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Titleist just released its new TSR woods out on tour and 18 players switched into it right away. Our thoughts on the drivers and fairway woods from pictures and in-hand looks. Callaway’s new Jaws Raw wedges have been on tour in a few bags already, but they officially launched this week. Brooks is headed to LIV and neither of us are shocked. We finally break down some more equipment news from the Travelers.

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: Talking technical turkey with the head of Takomo Golf Clubs

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Enjoying our discussion on irons, wedges, and fairway woods.

 

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