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Mentions for Contention at Baltusrol

Posted by Webster Washington on 7/26/2016 11:37:59 AM

While Jason Day and Dustin Johnson are the logical favorites to win this week's PGA Championship, there are others whose names must be mentioned for contention. They're players who should be considered in PGA Championship betting both as possible winners and top 10 finishers.

McIlroy and Spieth

We know Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have each held the No. 1 position in the world at various times over the past two years. But what have they done lately? Not as much as we might have expected. But at least McIlroy deserves a close look. He won the PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014, and he did place in the top 5 at Royal Troon in the British Open. His driving distance and accuracy should make him a threat. Spieth has more work to do. Though he's won twice this year, and placed second in the Masters, he didn't crack the top 30 in the other two majors. He'll need to put together his game of last year to be in the running.

Offering Value

Three others could easily be in the running, starting with Sergio Garcia. Garcia has been plugging away at majors for years now, but he's in his best form lately. Since winning the Byron Nelson Championship in May, he's finished fifth three times in a row - at the U.S. Open, the BMW International Open and two weeks ago at Troon. This could be his time.

J.B. Holmes is a player who could offer the best value of the lot. He's one of only two players on the tour to have multiple top-10 finishes at the majors this year, the other being Dustin. He could be another of the unlikely first-time winners of a major this year.

Way back in January, as he was coming off what would be his only victory thus far this year, I picked Rickie Fowler to win at least one major this year. So I would be remiss in ignoring him here. He just hasn't played that well. He looked OK in cracking the top 10 in the WGC-Bridgestone earlier this month. But he missed the cut in the first two majors and placed 46th at Troon. He'll have to come around, and fast.

The Lower Course at Baltusrol is a toughie; I'd be surprised to see someone do better than -10 for the four rounds. It's also a course that requires a good driver. Of these players, I think McIlroy and Holmes fill the bill in terms of value in betting on the PGA Championship. I'd go with McIlroy at +800 or better and Holmes at +1200 or better.

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