The 103rd PGA Championship will take place Thursday-Sunday from Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina.
Will 2020 PGA Championship winner Colin Morikawa make it two in a row? Will Brooks Koepka win another major this week?
Our golf handicapper Brady Kannon is here to recap every round and give his best bets for the next day.
Round 4 best bets
Kannon: Phil Mickelson made his way to the tee box on the 12th hole at the Ocean Course at Kiawah on Saturday, 5-under par on his round and 10-under par for the championship. He held a 4-shot lead over his playing partner, Louis Oosthuizen and was 5-shots ahead of Brooks Koepka.
When life looks like Easy Street, there is danger at your door.
Mickelson then played the next two holes in 3-over par and we had ourselves a whole new golf tournament. Oosthuizen, who had played so flawlessly the first two days, lost over three strokes to the field putting on Saturday and hit less than 36% of fairways off the tee. The regression we expected for Phil happened, too, as he hit only half of the fairways and also lost strokes on the greens.
Heading into Championship Sunday, Mickelson is your leader at 7-under par, followed by Koepka at 6-under. They will be the final pairing tomorrow. Oosthuizen is two back at 5-under par. Another six players trail by five shots or less, including Bryson DeChambeau at 2-under par for the championship.
Tomorrow comes trouble, tomorrow comes pain. Now don't think too hard, baby, 'cause you know what I'm saying.
Mickelson, at just a few weeks shy of 51 years old, is the oldest player to ever be the 54-hole leader of a PGA Championship. He's the oldest player to own the 54-hole lead at any major since Tom Watson (59) led the British Open in 2009. Watson ended up losing to Stewart Cink in a playoff that year at Turnberry.
Other than a few players out in the early wave, nobody really made a big charge on Moving Day. The wind is expected to pick up on Sunday afternoon versus what it was on Saturday. The early start times will get the best of it once again but when the leaders tee off, we should have a steady breeze in the neighborhood of 15 miles per hour.
In my opinion, there are probably only 10-12 players (at the very most) that could win this and hoist the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday evening. Koepka is the favorite at + 150 and I think that is too short. If you had to find a bet, I would look to the next four players on the board: Mickelson at 3-1, Oosthuizen at 6-1, or either Kevin Streelman or Bryson DeChambeau, both around 16-1. You may want to consider in-game wagering and if so, you must know that the first three holes on this golf course are relatively tame - and of course remember that the final two holes (17 and 18) are the very hardest.
I have DeChambeau pre-tournament and I've still got a puncher's chance with that ticket. If I was to add anyone at this point, I would go with Sweet Swingin' Louis Oosthuizen. He came off the boil in a big way on Saturday and I would expect him to regain his form on Sunday.
I’ll leave you with a great stat courtesy of frequent "Long Shots" guest, Justin Ray: Thirty-four players have been in the Top 5 entering the final round of a major five or more times in the last 25 years. The players with the best scoring averages in those situations are Oosthuizen (70.14) and Koepka (70.20); Mickelson is seventh, at 70.78
Nothing's for certain. It could always go wrong. We could have us a high time, living the good life, well I know.
Round 3 best bets
Kannon: My time coming, any day, don't worry 'bout me, no. Been so long I felt this way, ain't in no hurry, no. Rainbows end down that highway where ocean breezes blow. My time coming, voices saying, they tell me where to go. -- Grateful Dead
Twenty-seven days before his 51st birthday and nearly 2.5 years since his last PGA Tour victory, Phil Mickelson is telling us he’s a long way from finished. The 2005 PGA Championship winner fired a 3-under par 69 on Friday at the 103rd edition of the championship and is tied for the lead heading into the weekend at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island.
Very un-Phil-esque, he hit over 78% of the fairways in Round 2 and will need to keep that up if this dream is going to be realized. Breathing down his neck are big-game hunters, Louis Oosthuizen (tied with Mickelson at 5-under par) and Brooks Koepka (-4).
Oosthuizen and Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama shot the low rounds of the day, carding 68’s. Matsuyama is 2-off the lead at 3-under par for the championship.
We spoke about Shane Lowry and Bubba Watson possibly being good long shots in Thursday’s column and both continued their solid play. Lowry is at EVEN, five shots back heading into the weekend and Bubba is six back at 1-over for the championship. We also talked about Joaquin Niemann and Jason Kokrak being good bets after Round 1. Both shot even par on Friday and are only four shots off the lead.
The last 33 major champions were at or within six shots of the lead after 36 holes; 29 players meet that criteria after Round 2. The wind on Saturday is supposed to be much calmer than it has been the last two days, but as we have seen it remains a consistent, thick, steady breeze off of the Atlantic, even if it is 5-15 miles per hour less than what we witnessed on Friday.
Feel your way like the day before. Maybe you'll find direction around some corner where it's been waiting to meet you.
As for the bets heading into Round 3, per the adjusted odds, I am focused primarily on players that are only four shots back or less. I still believe Niemann and Kokrak are good values, in the neighborhood of 28-1 and 50-1 respectively. A shot closer to the lead at 2-under par for the championship, I like Sungjae Im at 25-1 or better and Paul Casey at 20-1.
I still believe Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland are real contenders here and I’m happy to have tickets on them pre-tournament -- but at this point, I don’t find their prices to be very attractive.
At the top of the board, I think Oosthuizen has a great chance to win his second major championship and get his first victory ever on American soil. He has a complete game, and this season he’s finally got the putter firing to the tune of No. 1 on Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting. At 6-1 or better, he looks like a bargain at this point. But that amicable, often cocky, Hall of Fame, left-hander is singing a different song this week.
Look out of any window, any morning, any evening, any day. Maybe the sun is shining, birds are winging or rain is falling from a heavy sky. What do you want me to do for you to see you through? This is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago.
Round 2 best bets
Kannon: This must be heaven. You must be the angel I thought I'd never find. -- Grateful Dead
A major championship in the low country, along the shores of the Atlantic, sun-baked and wind-swept. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina presented itself for the first time in nearly a decade and looked terrific. A gorgeous coastal venue with the native grasses, Palmetto trees and glistening intracoastal waterways providing the utmost test to the best field in golf. The first round of the 103rd PGA Championship kicked things off for what looks to be an incredible next three days – both to soak up aesthetically and to also enjoy with a wager … or five.
Was it you I heard singin' while I was chasin' dreams? Driven by the wind, like the dust that blows around.
Canada's Corey Conners ball-struck his way around the sand and marshlands, hitting over 71% of fairways off of the tee, 61% of greens in regulation and gained better than 3.5 strokes on the field putting. A 60-1 shot prior to teeing off on Thursday, Conners fired a 5-under par 67 and leads the PGA Championship by two shots over six players tied at 3-under par, including two-time champ, Brooks Koepka.
When that wind blows, and the darkness starts to fall, I can hear the sirens call.
It's a certain sort of sound from those holding tickets on Conners, saying this is where the rainbow ends and that he is due for a meltdown on Friday. He's not known for his work around the greens, ranking 152nd on Tour in Strokes Gained: Around the Greens, yet he blew away the field today with his putter. I don't expect a total collapse, however, as he is a world-class ball-striker (12th in SG: Off the Tee and 6th in SG: Approach).
I am holding pre-tournament tickets on Viktor Hovland (35-1), Keegan Bradley (250-1) and Tyrrell Hatton (54-1), and I still really like all three of them in the adjusted market. If you still have some bullets left for in-tournament wagering, I don't mind a play on any -- or all -- of the three (Hovland at 8-1 or better, Bradley at 20-1 or better and Hatton in the neighborhood of 30-1).
Obviously, this championship is in its infancy, so there are several players still knee deep in the outright winner conversation. I think Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau are far from done, but the prices are pretty short based on name and reputation. Dustin Johnson may even find his way back into contention as all he really did today was make two double-bogeys; otherwise, he played fine and just couldn't hole a birdie putt, which can change overnight.
I have tickets on Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry and Abraham Ancer, and I believe strong tournament finishes are still in their futures. Long bombs on these guys at 100-1 or better is not crazy in my opinion at this point. If you still have Top-20 finish markets available, even better.
Finally, I like the chances for Joaquin Niemann and Jason Kokrak - two players who found their way into my colleague Wes Reynolds' pocket pre-tournament. Niemann can be found at 35-1 or better and Kokrak at 65-1 or better.
Holes in what's left of my reason, holes in the knees of my blues. Odds against me been increasin' but I'll pull through. I never could read no road map and I don't know what the weather might do but I've got a feelin' there's no time to lose. No time to lose!