When he’s hot, Hideki Matsuyama can be unstoppable. That was the storyline last weekend, and the same theme might be in play this weekend.
“Matsuyama looks like the man to beat,” said Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sports book director.
Two days into the PGA Championship, pre-tournament favorites Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are over par and basically out of it in Charlotte. Matsuyama, meanwhile, has become the new favorite on the adjusted odds board, getting 3-1 at William Hill and 7-5 at the Westgate.
Rain delayed Friday’s second round, which was suspended after most of the top contenders were in the clubhouse. Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner are co-leaders at 8 under par going into Saturday. Jason Day, the 2015 PGA winner, is two strokes back and alone in third. Day is the second choice at 9-2 odds, followed by Kisner at 6-1.
Quail Hollow is a long layout at 7,600 yards, and the course will play even longer if it’s soft and wet on the weekend. That’s one reason Matsuyama and Day, a pair of big hitters, are favored over Kisner.
“I think Kisner gets a bad break with the weather,” Bogdanovich said. “Kisner needs it dry and fast. The course plays so long when it’s wet. The rain helps Matsuyama and Day immensely.”
Matsuyama fired a final-round 61 to run away with the Bridgestone win in Ohio last weekend. He opened the PGA with a 70 before storming up the leaderboard Friday with a 64.
Rickie Fowler, five shots back at 3 under, is the fourth choice on the adjusted odds board at 10-1. Fowler is followed by Louis Oosthuizen (12-1), Francesco Molinari (20-1), Justin Thomas (20-1), Paul Casey (25-1), Brooks Koepka (40-1), Chris Stroud (40-1), McIlroy (50-1) and Dustin Johnson (60-1).
Koepka, the U.S. Open champion, trails by seven strokes. He has fared far better than Masters winner Sergio Garcia, who will miss the cut, and British Open winner Spieth, who is 3 over and talking to himself after almost every shot.
Kisner teed off Thursday at 80-1 odds. Matsuyama — a popular bet at 12-1 and the pick to win by VSiN host Jonathan Von Tobel — is in the conversation with Fowler as the best player never to win a major.
FINAL ROUND UPDATE
Despite sitting one shot off the lead, Hideki Matsuyama remains the favorite heading into Sunday’s final round of the PGA.
Matsuyama is the 3-2 favorite on the Westgate’s adjusted odds board. Kevin Kisner, the leader at 7 under par, is the second choice at 3-1. Kisner held a two-shot lead Saturday on the back nine, but he carded a double bogey on the 16th and stumbled in with a 1-over 72.
Matsuyama and Chris Stroud, the last player to qualify for the tournament, are tied for second. Justin Thomas sits in third at 5 under and 9-2 odds.
“Kisner let everybody else back into it,” Westgate golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “If you look at the pedigree of these guys, Matsuyama has won big tournaments. When these guys have gone out and won against top competition, that helps in these situations.”
The Westgate and William Hill books will offer live wagering during the final round.
PGA adjusted odds
(Posted at the Westgate, entering final round)
Hideki Matsuyama 3-2
Kevin Kisner 3-1
Justin Thomas 9-2
Louis Oosthuizen 13-2
Chris Stroud 10-1
Rickie Fowler 40-1
Grayson Murray 40-1
Patrick Reed 40-1
Gary Woodland 50-1