Aug 8, 2017
Aug 8, 2017

2017 PGA Championship betting preview

How will the course affect the result?

The important statistics to consider in PGA Championship betting

PGA Championship odds: Dangerous holes to consider

2017 PGA Championship betting preview

A year of golf accumulates at its final major, as the PGA Championship heads to North Carolina on August 10. With drastic changes to the course for this year’s competition, how will Quail Hollow separate the field in the 2017 PGA Championship betting? Read on for an in-depth analysis of the PGA Championship odds.

2017 PGA Championship betting: The course

This year’s concluding major takes us to the heart of North Carolina and the prestigious Quail Hollow Golf Club. A transformative year for the club has meant that players will be experiencing a new feel to the course. Yet, it is no surprise that the NASCAR-loving state will be most welcoming for those with sheer power, as the long distance drivers should have the advantage at Quail Hollow.

Whilst Royal Birkdale suited those with pinpoint accuracy (Jordan Spieth offering one of the best greens in regulation percentages on Tour), it should be the heavy hitters that reign supreme in the 2017 PGA Championship betting.

As the greens should be difficult to stick to, this year’s crop will want a close up-down shot; so a big tee shot would be beneficial.

A complete makeover throughout the winter has reinvigorated the course. Yet the biggest change is one that can be easily overlooked: the grass.

Whilst at first looks to be for more aesthetic reasons, the course designers at Quail Hollow have replaced all of its greens from the all-bent Rye grass to Bermuda.

Traditionally, Rye grass is a lot stickier, so when pitching from a distance the ball can anchor in and stay within putting distance. Whereas Quail Hollow’s brand new Bermuda grass will be like trying to stop the ball on ice; expect many long irons to land on the greens but roll off.

As the greens should be difficult to stick to, this year’s crop will want a close up-down shot; so a big tee shot would be beneficial. After their tee shots, the focus will be on keeping the ball on the greens. If the ball does run off, scrambling may be paramount to save some strokes - something bettors need to consider when analysing the 2017 PGA Championship odds.

With this in mind, greens in regulation percentage (GIR%), scrambling percentage (Scrambling%) and shots gained off the tee (SG: off the tee Avg.) will be useful when looking for potenial contenders.

2017 PGA Championship betting: Useful statistics

Player

GIR%

Scrambling%

SG: off the tee Avg.

Rory McIlroy

67.74

63.58

1.261

Dustin Johnson

69.71

63.76

1.107

Jordan Spieth

70.58

59.47

0.019

Jon Rahm

68.55

61.98

0.987

Jason Day

64.02

57.35

0.284

Rickie Fowler

67.74

64.57

0.331

Hideki Matsuyama

69.55

63.18

0.640

Henrik Stenson

65.83

52.85

0.109

Justin Rose

68.25

58.33

0.686

In the last ten occasions that the course has held the Wells Fargo Championship (2007-2016) the winning golfer has averaged 13.6 strokes over par. However, Quail Hollow Club President admitted that this year’s winning score would be “somewhere in the 8-under par to 12-under range.” The course’s redevelopment have possibly made it more difficult.

The Green Mile

The secret to shooting a good score at Quail Hollow is having it by the time you step onto the 16th tee box. There, you are met with one of the toughest conclusions on Tour: the Green Mile.

The 16th, 17th and 18th at Quail Hollow are statistically the 4th, 2nd and hardest holes of the course respectively. Its colourful name references to the last walk death row inmates will take, and would be the last walk the golfers will take to find their fate on the leaderboard.

Adam Scott's -5 at last season’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow was modest, but he avoided any rounds above par for the duration of the weekend.

Despite being increased some 80 yards in 2014, the now 508 yards 16th still sits as a par four. The pressure begins on the tee, where a fairway bunker stands guard against those willing to challenge the dogleg with a driver.

Before this year’s renovation, leaving a 200-yard approach to the green would have been the safe option - but with the new grass on what was seen as the most demanding green on the course beforehand now seems just as risky. Find your ball wavering left of the green and you’ll find yourself in deep waters.

The 17th lets the field have a welcomed rest from their driver with a par three. A carry of 195 yards across water, often bogeys can outnumber birdies on this hole. Once on the green, however, there are chances.

In the 2015-16 Tour the 18th par four was statistically the 4th hardest hole in the world, with the average score at 0.481 above par.

The last hole of the Green Mile, the tee shot must avoid a bunker on the right as well as a creek that meanders across the entire left-hand side of a narrow fairway. The second must avoid hazards surrounding the green which slopes towards them. If a player needs a birdie on this hole to win the Championship he will definitely have his work cut out.

2017 PGA Championship odds: The favourites

The weather should have less of an impact at Quail Hollow than at the British Open, as the winds should stay much more consistent in comparison to the seaside gusts of Royal Birkdale. Theoretically speaking, this should shrink the likelihood of an outsider win; meaning that backing one of the favourites in the PGA Championships odds could be the smart move.

Despite a poor year amassed by a torrid run of missed cuts, Rory McIlroy began to show why he is still destined for greatness by many at Royal Birkdale. A dismal start to his first round saw him at five over through six. Mcilroy seemed down and out before an emphatic three birdies on the final four holes dragged him back into contention.

His final round of -3 on the Sunday saw him finish T4; a brilliant comeback when you compare it to the start of his week.

In the 2015-16 Tour the 18th par four was statistically the 4th hardest hole in the world, with the average score at 0.481 above par.

However, McIlroy will be going into his first major without JP Fitzgerald after splitting with the caddie who has aided him for over a decade.

Whilst the timing of the split was peculiar (particularly after McIlroy’s glowing review of Fitzgerald’s pep talk during his first round at the British Open), many see this as a welcomed change, if not somewhat overdue. Indeed, it was Fitzgerald’s choice on the tenth that derailed McIlroy’s chances of pushing Speith for the Claret Jug; courtesy of a wrong club selection off the tee which eventually ended in a double bogey.

McIlroy has great memories of Quail Hollow; he holds the course record of 62 (-10) as he won the Wells Fargo Championship; the youngest in the Tour’s history. In fact, Rory is the only player to win the competition twice, both coming at Quail Hollow and could have won it a third if not for a playoff against Rickie Fowler (19.260*).

His strokes gained off the tee (1.261) point to a playing style that suits the course; a naturally long hitter which makes his up-and-down shots simpler. With PGA Championship odds of 8.760*, if McIlroy can stay consistent then he may make the most of his final chance this year at a Major.

Many are comparing (admittedly loosely) Jordan Spieth’s 2016 to Tiger Wood’s 1998. A period of transition in comparison to a meteoric rise (and Masters win) the year before, whilst working on a change of swing before a foray into superstardom. With comparisons like that for Spieth, it is no surprise that he starts as one of the favourites in the PGA Championship odds at 10.360*.

Adam Scott's strokes gained off the tee may just stand at a respectable 0.443, yet it is his greens in regulation percentage of 68.06 that could push him into Sunday’s Championship round.

After his heroics at Royal Birkdale, no one should rule him out for the PGA Championship. A difficult final round at the British Open would have all but crippled many of golfers, but instead, the American showed Championship pedigree as he turned it around on the 13th.

He took an unplayable lie and dropped his ball on the practice range, got a free drop from a band of equipment trailers and hit his driving iron towards the flag. Two shots later and Spieth left with just a bogey which his caddy called the ‘greatest by a mile.’ A few holes later and he was lifting the Claret Jug.

His playing style should not suit the course as his game focuses on very good approach play which may be stretched if his driver isn’t long enough. Yet with the 2nd best greens in regulation percentage on the Tour (70.58), if he can keep consistent with his irons and tame the greens, Spieth may join Woods, Nicklaus, Player, Hogan and Sarazen in the Grand Slam club.

A rather lacklustre performance at the British Open was probably expected for Jon Rahm, as the course favoured the accurate. Whilst his irons aren’t as pinpoint as the likes of Spieth, off the tee Rahm can challenge the likes of Dustin Johnson (14.520*), Brooks Koepka (26.430*) and Adam Scott (42.540*).

Seven top tens in this year’s PGA Tour points to consistency, which should turn into wins if he keeps himself in the front pack. Not necessarily one of the clear front runners at 25.240*, yet Rahm may offer value in what could be a smart bet in the PGA Championship odds.

Outsiders who suit Quail Hollow

Whilst the course will most likely suit the favourites as the wind will play less of a part in proceedings, there may still be outsider value in the PGA Championships odds.

Although not a complete outsider, Justin Rose (37.330*) may have a say in the final outcome at Quail Hollow. His 0.686 strokes gained off the tee, 68.25% greens in regulation percentage and 58.33% scrambling percentage points to a game that should favour the long distances of the course.

Rose has a good recent record at Quail Hollow, finishing third at last year’s Wells Fargo Championship. His final score of -8 points to a good chance of competing come Sunday.

McIlroy has great memories of Quail Hollow; he holds the course record of 62 (-10) as he won the Wells Fargo Championship; the youngest in the Tour’s history.

However, whilst Rose is seen as one of the greatest ball strikers in the field, there are still question marks over his putting. The Englishman ranked just 66th of the 78 players who made the cut for strokes gained: putting during the same Championship. If the greens are his friend in North Carolina, it could well be his weekend.

Whilst his season has been average to say the least, Adam Scott may offer value in the PGA Championship odds at 42.540*. His strokes gained off the tee may just stand at a respectable 0.443, yet it is his greens in regulation percentage of 68.06 that could push him into Sunday’s Championship round.

Staying on the greens in order to have a chance to sink birdies will most likely be critical at Quail Hollow. If he does find himself off the greens, a scrambling percentage of 58.10 cannot be ignored and may help Scott avoid some killer holes.

His -5 at last season’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow was modest, but he avoided any rounds above par for the duration of the weekend. If the winning score stays low, a consistent weekend may give him a chance.

Ready to get involved? Get the best 2017 PGA Championship odds and highest limits for golf betting at Pinnacle.

Odds subject to change

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