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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Top 10 bets to win the PGA Championship

15 May 2023

By Dan Ippolito
Just last month, we saw Jon Rahm claim over $3 million and put on the green jacket after an impressive four-day performance at Augusta to win The Masters. Just six weeks later, we are gearing up for this weekend’s PGA Championship, the second of the four majors for the season. Justin Thomas looks to defend his title in this event taking place in Rochester, New York. As a major tournament, LIV Golf players are allowed to compete despite being banned from the non-major tournaments on the PGA Tour. Here, the Casino City team looks at 10 golfers who have a shot to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday evening.

10. Max Homa
In his ninth season on tour, Homa has collected two victories on the 2022/2023 season. He won the Fortinet Championship back in September to start his season and then took home the Farmers Championship title in late January.

Homa hung around for a bit in the Masters until a round-four score of 78 that knocked him down to 43rd place. The 32-year-old followed that performance up by missing the cut in back-to-back tournaments, but in his last outing he showed some signs of promise again. In the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago, Homa looked like himself again after finishing in eighth.

Taking last week off to prepare for this weekend’s major, Homa is a great value at +3500 on bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook to win it all.

9. Patrick Cantlay
Cantlay, currently ninth in the FedEx standings, was the 2021 FedEx Cup winner and has six top 10 finishes from this year to add to his career.

He has only played in 12 events this season, but finishing in the top 10 for half of his outings is a pretty good effort from Cantlay. The 31-year-old has only missed one cut on the season.

Cantlay finished tied for 14th in the Masters. He was much more in the leader mix after Round 3, but a 75 on Sunday knocked him out of contention.

Cantlay missed the cut after opening rounds of 76 and 75 in last year’s PGA Championship, but he looks to not only redeem himself by making it to the weekend, but by putting himself in one of the final groups on Sunday.

Cantlay sits at +2000 on bet365.

8. Rory McIlroy
Back in October, McIlroy got off to a great start to his season by winning his first event he played in at the CJ Cup in South Carolina. It hasn’t been Rory’s best year but he has finished in the top 10 in three out of his eight appearances, despite missing the cut at The Masters and the Players Championship.

Last season, McIlroy finished eighth in the PGA Championship in Oklahoma, so we will see if he can continue such success in New York.

In his 16-year career, McIlroy has demonstrated that he knows how to win with 23-career victories, including four majors. He won this event in 2012 and 2014, can he do it again nine years later?

Everygame Sportsbook lists him at +1100.

7. Viktor Hovland
At just 25 years old, Hovland has already shown he can compete with the best of the best when it comes to his golf game.

Still searching for his first victory of the season, Hovland has made the cut in all 13 appearances and finished in the top 10 five times. In April, he did more than hold his own at The Masters, finishing seventh.

He knows how to get out of the gate quickly. In opening rounds, Hovland is the best this season for putts per round at 27 and also the best on approaches from over 100 yards and in the rough. If he gets into trouble off the tee, he has shown time and time again that he can get himself out and onto the green with a hot flatstick.

At +2500 on Everygame, Hovland is great value with some of the opening round scores he is capable of.

6. Justin Thomas
JT has won two majors in his career since turning pro in 2013, both were the PGA Championship. The first was back in 2017 and the second was last year’s event, so he hopes to defend his title.

Justin Thomas also has a FedEx Cup title to his name which also came in 2017. Thomas is still in search of his first victory on the season with two top-10 finishes in the 11 events played.

Similar to McIlroy, Justin had a more than disappointing Masters as he missed the cut as well. We’ve all seen what Thomas is capable of, though when it comes to competing in the majors and he tends to have his name on the leaderboard come Sunday.

He is third among the PGA Tour in strokes gained around the green, which is a result of his soft hands and touch with his wedges.

Thomas sits at +2200 on bet365.

5. Collin Morikawa
In 2020, Morikawa made his debut in the PGA Championship and ended up winning the tournament by two strokes. A shot that highlighted that round was a drivable par 4 that Morikawa ended up landing 10 feet for eagle to really give him a little breathing room.

In early January, Morikawa was playing his best golf with back-to-back top 3 finishes, but as of late not so much. In the last two tournaments, he has come up short of making the cut. It seems hard to believe a player of his caliber puts up three poor tournaments in a row, let alone misses the cut three straight times.

If you have watched Morikawa play, you know an impressive part of his game is his irons, but his driving has improved. Just under 70%, his driving accuracy ranks third on tour.

If he can continue the solid shots off the tee, it will give his best clubs a great chance to attack pin locations this week and we could be seeing some tap in birdies from Morikawa hopefully late into the weekend.

Everygame has Morikawa at +2800 to win it all.

4. Scottie Scheffler
From February 2022 to the Tour Championship in August 2022, was anyone in golf hotter than Scottie Scheffler? Before you even try to think of a way to say yes, let me just save you the time because the answer is clearly no.

The man won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and The Masters in just five weeks! He followed that up with two second-place finishes at the U.S. Open and the Tour Championship and a third-place finish at the BMW Championship.

A warning to other golfers on tour: He is starting to play how he did during that stretch again. Scheffler’s name is constantly in the mix again lately. So far this year, he has victories at The Players Championship and the WM Phoenix Open.

Since November, Scheffler’s worst finish, yes this is the worst, is 12th place. It helps when you rank first in strokes gained both off the tee and from tee to the green. That is exactly what he has accomplished to this point and is currently in second in the FedEx Cup standings.

At +750 on Everygame, Scheffler is the co-favorite.

3. Xander Schauffele
Another golfer who seems to be catching a little bit of fire lately is Schauffele. In search of his first major win and first win of the 2022/2023 season, Schauffele finished in the top 5 in four out of his last five events, with the only outlier being a 10th place finish in The Masters.

Tenth in the FedEx standings, Schauffele came in 13th in the PGA Championship a year ago. He has made 24 straight cuts, the longest active streak on the tour.

If you give this golfer a mid-longer iron shot, he will not disappoint. In approaches from 150-175 yards out, Schauffele ranks first in that category as his shots will land on average 23 feet from the hole. I can’t say the same for my own golf game, 23 yards maybe.

Xander is +2000 on bet365.

2. Brooks Koepka
We talked about Scheffler’s incredible run a year ago, but back in 2016-2018, Koepka did something similar. He won back-to-back U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. Three majors in two years? Nothing wrong with that.

It was last June though when Koepka joined LIV Golf and can now only take part in majors, although that does seem to be where he shines the most anyway.

In his only PGA Tour outing this year (The Masters), Koepka finished in second place and showed he can still compete with the best there is in golf and I assume we will see more of the same this week.

On Everygame, Brooks is also +2000 to win outright.

1. Jon Rahm
Two consecutive majors wins? That’s right, that is my prediction for Rahm. The 28-year-old from Spain is the leader in FedEx standings with four wins this season, including the impressive win at Augusta just over a month ago.

Rahm’s only other major win came in 2021 at the U.S. Open, but he has his eyes set on claiming his first PGA Championship come Sunday.

With the season Rahm has had, it is a little difficult to find a category he doesn’t excel in. To put his incredible year into perspective, Rahm’s scoring average this year is 68.6, which is good enough for first on tour.

Could we be looking at career win number 12 for Jon? If he plays consistently like he did in the Masters, it is going to be a tall task for the field to beat him to the trophy.

Along with Scheffler, Jon Ram is a co-favorite on bet365 at +750.
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