In Review

PGA Championship betting odds: Six to follow at Baltusrol

Dustin Johnson best of the big guns, Phil Mickelson is in form and Patrick Reed or JB Holmes could make their breakthrough

The fourth and final golfing major of the year begins at Baltusrol in Springfield, New Jersey, this week with memories of an epic Open still fresh in the memory.

If anyone produces a round to rival those of Phil Mickelson and eventual winner Henrik Stenson at Royal Troon, then fans will be in for a treat.

But picking a winner could be a challenge. The first three big tournaments of the year all went to players who had never won a major and that trend could well continue.

But the PGA comes with the nickname "Glory's Last Shot" and those without a big win under their belts this season will be determined to salvage something.

Golf still has it's big four - Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day - but there are plenty of other stars in the firmament at the moment, with the likes of Stenson and Mickelson in glorious form.

Against that backdrop, "it's possible to argue that it's never been more difficult to envisage a total shock in a major championship", says Sporting Life.

So who are the key figures for the intelligent punter to look at?

Dustin Johnson: Odds 8-1 If you can only pick one of the big four then Johnson could be the one to go for. McIlroy, Spieth and defending champion Day all have their backers, yet it is Johnson who is the stand-out of the group, even if that is reflected in his odds.

"The way Dustin Johnson is playing I'm not sure how you can pick anyone else," says Peter Bukowski of "His length means he's going to have a lot of short iron and wedges into greens and his wedge game has been outstanding this season; he's second on Tour in proximity to the hole."

But not everyone agrees. "If we're betting anyone with odds this low, we're leaning toward Day and McIlroy on a track where scrambling should be a big factor," says Golf Digest.

Phil Mickelson: Odds 22-1 (top ten 2-1) Looking beyond the big four, "Lefty" is an obvious choice after his heroics at The Open, when a score of 17 under was only enough for second.

But he has had better luck at Baltusrol in the past and won the PGA there in 2005. He is listed fourth in the PGA power rankings coming into the tournament, above both Spieth and Day, and if he can maintain his recent form on a very different course to Troon, he is in with a shout.

"He's got momentum, course experience, and the fans on his side, not to mention his recent lights-out play. Lefty's not letting another one get away this year," says Marika Washchyshyn of

Sergio Garcia: Odds 25-1 (top ten 5-2) "The cards may finally fall in place for Sergio Garcia this week," says Sky Sports. "Certainly, he's playing well enough... and Sergio, who is in a great place off the course, can prove as much by winning at a course which rewards his sublime long-game."

Of course, Garcia has failed to win a major in 72 previous attempts, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. "Garcia can take inspiration from friend and fellow nearly-man Stenson's win [at The open] in a season which has produced three maiden major champions and if there's a player for whom everything just seems to be nicely set, it's the Spaniard," says Sporting Life.

Patrick Reed: Odds 50-1 (top ten 5-2) Perhaps more of a dark horse than a genuine prospect, Reed "was in the hunt for the better part of three days at Troon", Sports Illustrated senior editor Mark Godich tells "He's due."

He also has the form. "Reed's nine top-10s on the PGA Tour this season trails only Dustin Johnson," says Golf Digest. "He's also coming off a career-best major finish with a T12 at the Open Championship, despite being on the wrong side of the draw."

JB Holmes: Odds 66-1 (top ten 11-2) The Open will be remembered for Mickelson and Stenson, but JB Holmes finished third, albeit 14 shots off the lead, to become only the second player to register two top four major finishes this year (the other being Johnson). That gives him a chance and at odds of 66-1, it would seem foolish to ignore his claims. Forbes predicts he could become the fourth first-time major winner of 2016.

Jason Dufner: Odds 100-1 (top ten 8-1) At three-figure odds, it is hard to ignore Dufner, whose major CV includes a win, a second and a fifth in this event plus two shares of fourth in the US Open and eighth place at Oakmont last month, says Sporting Life.

"He's a winner in 2015 and produced one of his better Open Championship performances at Troon, is rested up since and remains one of the best ball-strikers around, and you've a solid case for an each-way bet."

He's also tipped by Golf Digest, which points out that he won his only major at Oak Hill, a similar course to Baltusrol.


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