The PGA Championship at Southern Hills Nation Membership is lower than three weeks away. Defending U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm, Masters winner Scottie Scheffler and 2017 PGA Champion Justin Thomas (12/1) are tri-favorites to win the occasion, whereas Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy (14/1) spherical out the top-five on the BetMGM odds board.
However, we’re not right here to give attention to the favorites almost certainly to win the yr’s second main. Reasonably, we’re going to look additional down the board and try to find some lengthy photographs which have an opportunity to carry the Wanamaker Trophy.
Keegan Bradley (125/1) is a former PGA champion who has quietly put collectively an excellent season so far. In his final 4 begins, the 2011 winner has gone 11-5-MC-8. Most notable might be that fifth-place end on the Gamers Championship, the place Bradley was second in SG: tee-to-green.
That may come in useful at Southern Hills, which stretches about 200 yards additional than TPC Sawgrass. Plus, Bradley had nice success in final yr’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, one other 7,400-plus-yard course.
One other optimistic? The course at which Bradley received in 2011 — Atlanta Athletic Membership — was one other prolonged setup that required robust driving and accuracy with mid- to long-irons, each attributes Bradley possesses. Given Bradley has gained strokes tee-to-green in eight of his previous 9 occasions, I imagine he’ll do effectively at Southern Hills. He’s gained strokes on the sector in 25 of his previous 36 rounds, and 19 of his previous 24 rounds performed on 7,400-plus-yard programs.
The one actual trigger for concern with Bradley is his putter. He’s now misplaced strokes to the sector in seven of his previous 9 occasions, so he’ll must determine that out in a rush to have an opportunity, however at 125/1, Bradley is well worth the danger.
That is extra of a hunch, however I’m a fan of Thomas Pieters (200/1). The DP World Tour consultant has missed the lower in three of his previous 4 PGA Tour appearances, however there are causes to imagine his sport will match Southern Hills effectively.
Thomas Pieters traces up a putt on the Masters at Augusta Nationwide on April 8, 2022.Getty Photos
Pieters ranked inside the highest 16 on the DP World Tour in SG: off-the-tee two straight seasons and sits ninth in the identical class this yr. Plus, Pieters has a great monitor report at prolonged midwestern setups.
Within the 2018 PGA Championship performed at Bellerive Golf Membership — a virtually 7,600-yard monitor in Missouri — Pieters completed in a tie for sixth. Additional, Pieters was a stable twenty third within the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black — one other lengthy, difficult setup. Although he missed the lower at Kiawah in 2021, Pieters is a winner on the DP World Tour this season. That victory got here on the Abu Dhabi HSBC championship, which was performed at one other 7,400-plus-yard monitor.
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Lastly, very similar to Bradley, Pieters has an affinity for lengthy programs. In his previous 10 rounds on programs longer than 7,400 yards, he’s gained strokes on the sector in six. For these causes, I feel this worth could also be barely inflated.
Bradley and Pieters each have some crimson flags that make them lengthy photographs within the betting odds. Nonetheless, every golfer has a greater probability to be in rivalry on the ultimate day than the percentages recommend. One among them may shock and pull out an unlikely win at Southern Hills.