PGA Championship 2019: Tiger Woods no longer the lone favorite to win at Bethpage Black
Following his epic victory at the Masters Tournament, Tiger Woods was installed as the lone favorite at 8/1 odds to win the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. That remained unchanged up until Monday morning, when the folks in the desert had a slight change of heart just days before the season's second major gets underway.
Not only did Woods' odds go from 8/1 to 10/1, according the latest odds from the Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook, he's also now a co-favorite alongside Dustin Johnson and defending champion Brooks Koepka, who finished in solo fourth on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson thanks to a final-round 65. That performance, in addition to the fact that Koepka has won three of the last seven majors he's played in and finished T-6 and T-2 in two others, will make him a popular pick on Long Island this week. A long, potentially wet course could play right into Koepka's hands, just as it did in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, where Koepka claimed his first major by four strokes.
Like Koepka, Johnson has also been a force in majors of late, finishing T-10, solo third and T-2 in three of his last five. This season the World No. 1 has made nearly $4 million in just 10 starts, winning the WGC-Mexico, nearly capturing the Masters and finishing in the top 10 four other times. If not for a disastrous final-round 77 at the RBC Heritage that he shot while in the final group, he may have been the lone favorite over Woods had he been coming off another win.
As for Woods, his decision to skip the Wells Fargo two weeks ago means he will be making his first start since he won his 15th major at Augusta. The move seems to be part of a larger plan for Woods going forward, as he hopes to be rested and ready for the biggest events on the schedule. Even after the full month away from the game, you still have to like Woods' chances. He's won a major at Bethpage before, and he enters the week ranked first in greens in regulation percentage on tour. Per stats guru Justin Ray, the last time he entered a major first in that category was the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Anyone remember how that went?
Checking in behind the trio at the top is Rory McIlroy at 12/1. McIlroy has not won a major since the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla, though he's had plenty of chances. In 16 starts at majors since, the Northern Irishman has eight top 10s and four top 5s. His lone start since Augusta came at the Wells Fargo, where he tied for eighth after another lackluster final-round performance.
After McIlroy is Rickie Fowler at 16/1, putting him just ahead of 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, who is listed at 18/1. Thomas is joined there by Jon Rahm and Justin Rose, while Jason Day comes in just behind them at 20/1. Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood and Xander Schauffele are 25/1.