Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, will host this year’s PGA Championship. We’re used to seeing Quail Hollow as the venue for the Wells Fargo Championship, but this year it’s taking on a much larger role on Tour.
So while we can assume conditions will be a tad tougher, we have plenty of past performance data from the course, unlike, say, Erin Hills for the U.S. Open.
This is a good thing for punters, prognosticators, and DFS players. Any prediction is reliant on past performance, recent form, and overall pedigree. We should have a good sense of all there for top players heading into the final major of the year.
Let’s take a look at who the oddsmakers favor, based on an average from OddsChecker’s survey of more than 20 major sports books.
Jon Rahm 20-1
The Spaniard hasn’t had any trouble showing up in a big way in his rookie season, although he hasn’t been brilliant in major championships thus far. Certainly, Rahm’s missed cut and temper tantrum at the U.S. Open is concerning. Still, he won the Irish Open recently, which suggests his ceiling is high enough for major victory at Quail Hollow. He hasn’t played in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in his brief career, so lack of experience and demeanor are both concerning.
Hideki Matsuyama 18-1
Matsuyama tied for 11th at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow last year, so the the Japanese national has an aptitude for the course. Two of his last three starts have been majors, and he tied for second at the U.S. Open and tied for 14th at the British Open. In other words, recent form is pretty good. A solid bet at this number, unless you believe the weight of expectations thrust upon him by his country will continue to keep him from winning a major.
Dustin Johnson 10-1
What do we do with Dustin Johnson? How healthy is his back really? And it’s hard not to think back to last year, when he entered the PGA Championship at Baltusrol as the favorite and missed the cut badly. Prior to his top-10 finish at the RBC Canadian Open, he’d given no indication with his recent form that he plans to contend at the season’s final major. He missed the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship in 2011 and doesn’t often play the tournament. Hard to back DJ at 10-1.
Jordan Spieth: 8-1
Obviously, with wins in his last two starts, Jordan Spieth’s form is good. He tied for 32nd in his only turn at the Wells Fargo Championship (his rookie season, 2013), so at least he’s familiar with the course. The pressure of pursuing the Career Grand Slam will be massive, but on paper, Spieth is abundantly deserving of his second-best odds.
Rory McIlroy: 7-1
A man who dominated at Quail Hollow (two wins), Rory McIlroy is rightfully the betting favorite, especially after a good showing at the British Open. However, a split from caddie J.P. McManus suggests there’s behind-the-scenes tumult at Camp McIlroy. And there’s no doubt he has struggled with his game over the past couple of months. Again, however, if he found something at Royal Birkdale, he’s heading a course he’s had no problem eating for breakfast in his career so far.