Live On Air

Streaming now: Prime Time Action

play Watch Live radio Listen Live

Quail Hollow history favors McIlroy, Fowler in PGA

By Matt Youmans  (VSiN senior editor) 

August 9, 2017 02:10 AM
Rickie Fowler beat Rory McIlroy in a playoff at Quail Hollow in 2012. Fowler, who leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained-putting and ranks No. 2 in strokes gained-total, is a good bet to go under his posted finish position of 17½.
© USA Today Sports Images

In the game of musical chairs atop golf odds boards, Rory McIlroy appears to deserve the catbird seat this week. It’s not because he’s riding a win streak. It’s due to history.

McIlroy is a two-time winner at Quail Hollow, where he shot a course-record 61 two years ago, and plenty of other numbers show he should be the favorite in this week’s PGA Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“It’s deservedly so. McIlroy is the starting point because of his course form at Quail Hollow,” Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman said. “Rory has a fabulous history here. He said there’s a certain comfort level he has on this course, so that’s going to give him a mental edge.”

But his edge is slight over Jordan Spieth, who’s off a British Open win in the year’s third major. McIlroy is the 7-1 favorite at the Westgate, where Spieth (8-1 odds) ranks No. 1 in money wagered and the ticket count. At the South Point and some other Las Vegas books, Spieth is the favorite ahead of McIlroy.

But the horse for the course at Quail Hollow is McIlroy, who has shot par or better in 19 of his 26 rounds in Charlotte, with a field-best scoring average of 69.5.

It’s a long course that will allow McIlroy to unleash his driver. According to, McIlroy averaged 344 yards off the tee, and hit 52 of 56 drives longer than 300 yards, in last week’s Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio. He finished fifth and remains winless this season.

In fact, McIlroy is riding an 11-major winless streak since capturing the PGA for the second time in 2014. But he has gained momentum in recent weeks, and this is his hot spot.

Still, it’s far from a one-horse race. Spieth and long hitters Dustin Johnson (12-1), Rickie Fowler (12-1), Hideki Matsuyama (12-1), Brooks Koepka (20-1) and Jon Rahm (25-1) figure to give McIlroy and golf bettors a run for the money. McIlroy, Fowler and Rahm will play together Thursday in a high-profile threesome.

Entering the Masters in early April, Johnson was the hottest player on the planet and owned the top spot on the odds board each week. But a back injury forced him to withdraw at Augusta, he missed the U.S. Open cut and was just another guy in the British field. In the past four months, it’s a decent bet that Donald Trump has played more rounds of golf than D.J.

Fowler has performed well in all three majors, and he has an impressive track record at Quail Hollow, where he beat McIlroy in a playoff in 2012. Fowler’s form is fine, too. He fired 67-66 in the final two rounds of last week’s Bridgestone to finish one stroke behind McIlroy. Fowler, who leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained-putting and ranks No. 2 in strokes gained-total, is a good bet to go under his posted finish position of 17½.

“Fowler’s got the label of best golfer not to win a major,” said Sherman (@golfodds on Twitter). “He’s been so close. The public will continue to support him until he finally wins one, and that day will come at some point.”

The odds on Fowler have moved from 15-1 early in the week. The 20-1 price posted last week on Matsuyama disappeared after he shot a final-round 61 to run away with the Bridgestone win on a course similar to Quail Hollow.

“Matsuyama has been seeing a lot of support this week,” Sherman said. “And don’t discount Koepka. This is a long course, which will suit him.”

Fowler was the early leader in the U.S. Open, which Koepka won after holding off a strong charge by Matsuyama on the final day.

Expect most of the big names and same characters to be in the hunt this weekend, with a couple of possible additions. Phil Mickelson (50-1) has faded this year, but his Quail Hollow course history is remarkable. Rahm, a flop in the first three majors, fits the profile of a long, accurate driver with the short game to contend.

“I think Mickelson is a good matchup play,” Sherman said. “He could definitely be there on Sunday.”

Best bets: Rickie Fowler (12-1), Jon Rahm (25-1).

Long shots to watch: Justin Thomas (35-1), Justin Rose (40-1), Phil Mickelson (50-1).

PGA Championship propositions

(Posted at Westgate sports book)

Quail Hollow = Par 71

Winning 72-hole score: 271.5 (over/under -110)

Lowest completed round shot by any golfer: 63.5 (over -140)

Will there be a hole in one? Yes plus-130; No -150

Will there be a playoff? Yes plus-300; No -400

Will Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth win the tournament? Yes plus-350; No -450

Finish position by McIlroy: 9.5 (over/under -110)

Finish position by Rickie Fowler: 17.5 (over/under -110)

Finish position by Brooks Koepka 22.5 (over/under -110)

Finish position by Jon Rahm: 24.5 (over/under -110)

Will Phil Mickelson make the cut? Yes -270; No plus-220

Player matchups

Rory McIlroy -150

Jordan Spieth plus-130


Hideki Matsuyama -120

Dustin Johnson plus-100


Brooks Koepka -135

Jon Rahm plus-115


Phil Mickelson -105

Justin Thomas -115


Rickie Fowler -140

Jon Rahm plus-120

back to news

FREE Email Sign-Up

Get the latest sports betting news & VSiN programming updates with this free daily email from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network.


View All
  • USATSI_15426698

    2021 NFL Draft best bets - Prop bets we like

    The 2021 NFL draft will take place April 29-May 1 in Cleveland, Ohio. While it isn't the Super Bowl or NCAA tournament in terms of sports betting...
  • flatter

    Five favorites turn Derby top-heavy

    The rate of attrition from the Kentucky Derby is reaching a hard-to-imagine level. Rather than the usual springtime stories of horses coming up unfit,...
  • kuhn

    UFC 261: Best bets for Smith-Crute

    UFC 261 is slated for a rare triple-title night, and that usually offers matchups with different odds profiles. In this case, we have two established...
  • youmansdraft

    2021 NFL mock draft: Five QBs in top 10 picks

    The 2021 NFL draft is only a week away, beginning on Thursday, April 29. VSiN senior editor and host Matt Youmans gives his first version of a mock draft...
  • jvtrank

    NBA power rankings: Nets fall out of top 5

    Just a few weeks remain in the NBA regular season, but quite a few teams refuse to start buckling down. Brooklyn experienced one of the biggest drops...
  • reynolds

    PGA offers different look with team event

    Stewart Cink, 47, earned his second victory of the PGA Tour season with a four-stroke victory over Emiliano Grillo and Harold Varner III last weekend...
  • biglou

    Best bets for UFC 261 titles

    “Insight the Octagon” lost another best bet on last week’s UFC slate as Drakkar Klose was forced out of his bout with Jeremy Stephens...
  • macneil

    Handicapping marquee NHL games

    Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames (Friday, Saturday and Monday)   After two games in Edmonton, the Canadiens will travel a few hours south...
  • jvtclips

    Clippers sneaking into NBA elite

    Injuries have largely shaped this NBA season. A condensed 72-game schedule over five months has led to injuries to key players on multiple teams that...
  • hill

    Seeking value in NFL win totals

    Some people would say Christmas is their favorite holiday. Others prefer the candy on Halloween or the turkey on Thanksgiving. The revelation of NFL season...
  • tuley

    Tuley's Takes on baseball season

    We’ve taken the last two weeks off in the Tuley’s Takes home office as we spent spring break with the kids and, well, doing some spring cleaning....
  • makinennfl

    NFL stats foretell improvement, decline

    With the NFL draft approaching next week, bettors are ramping up their preparation to take on all the offseason futures wagering options available in...

VSiN Logo Plus

Free Trial

Make a risk-free bet on VSiN!


  • Afternoon subscriber-only email with highlights and best bets from the day's programs
  • Point Spread Weekly, VSiN's digital magazine on sports betting
  • 24-7 Live video stream of VSiN programs plus replays
  • Any special sport-specified betting guides we do
  • All exclusive subscriber-only stories and data on
Sign Up Now
Google Play
App Store