PGA Championship: Round 3 odds and predictions

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MATT BROWN, VSiN Host

The elements won at Oak Hill on Friday, with the early wave getting their teeth kicked in all morning. Only two of the nine players under par for the tournament are from the late/early draw. Through two rounds, only four holes are playing under par, and the diabolical 6th hole has produced 152 bogeys or worse, compared to just 17 birdies.

 

Brooks Koepka is doing it again at a major. Koepka’s 66 was the best round of the day and he sits just three strokes off the lead. The more interesting part of Koepka’s round might be that he gained just 0.67 strokes putting. When guys make major moves up the leaderboard, it’s typically because they caught fire witht he flat stick. That wasn’t the case for Koepka, which means there might be even more upside if he can gain at the same rate as Hovland, Conners, Scheffler, and company.

As for the extreme outliers on Friday, Taylor Pendrith’s 1-under really jumps out. Pendrith gained 4.33 strokes putting, by far the most of any player in the field. He lost to the field everywhere else. As you’d guess, that’s unsustainable and I’d imagine he could be an interesting target to fade.

MATT YOUMANS, VSiN host

It was 2014, the year after Brent Musburger spotted Katherine Webb in the stands during the BCS national championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame. Brian Musburger had not yet hatched the idea that would become VSiN. Dave Ross had tweeted only about 5,000 times (he’s at 105,000 now), Wes Reynolds had a full head of hair and Greg Peterson was drinking a case of Mountain Dew a day and weighed 220 pounds.

And 2014 was also the last time Rory McIlroy won a major.

Scottie Scheffler is still my pick to win the PGA and the +140 favorite at DraftKings (+155 at Circa). Scheffler is in a three-way tie for the lead at -5 with Viktor Hovland (+400) and Corey Conners (+650). Most of the players within seven strokes of the lead (+2 or better) remain in the hunt. Three players stand out, in terms of odds value and their potential to win — Brooks Koepka (-2, 10-1 at DK), McIlroy (Even, 24-1 at Circa) and Patrick Cantlay (+1, 44-1 at Circa).

McIlroy flirted with disaster, played mostly mediocre golf and survived to stay in contention.

Rory could get hot. Cantlay shot a second-round 67 and seemed to figure out the tough Oak Hill layout. Koepka, who admitted he choked when leading the Masters on Sunday, is better suited for the chaser role this time.

I’m not betting on McIlroy, but also not blaming anyone who does. Koepka and McIlroy — and maybe Cantlay as a longer shot — have a good shot to hunt down Scheffler and the other leaders on the weekend. This tournament has been wildly unpredictable through two days. Scheffler is the steady hand, but Koepka is dangerous and McIlroy is overdue.

KELLEY BYDLON, Long Shots podcast

Well, Oak Hill certainly came to play.  On top of an already tough course to attack, we saw the weather affect some of the golfers today.

Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) notes on Twitter:

Also, as we look forward:

With as tough as this course has played, the talent atop the leaderboard, and the wind expected to blow hard again at times tomorrow, I doubt we’ll see a change to that trend. If you are looking to add anyone in the outright markets, I don’t think you can look further down than E on the leaderboard. And there’s really no one’s odds I think are worth it, especially with Scottie Scheffler holding a share of the lead. MAYBE if you’re looking for a fun longer shot, look at Shane Lowry (60-1 at DraftKings). He’ll need his putter to stay hot, but if the weather turns ugly, we’ve certainly seen him play well in poor conditions before.

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