People who are into PGA betting are very excited this week about seeing one of the best fields of the year in a non-major as they tee it up in the Wells Fargo Championship. It starts on Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC.
The tournament will be televised by CBS on the weekend, and they'll be focused, in part, on Phil Mickelson, who is the +1000 favorite. Last year's champion, Rory McIlroy, is +1200 in the PGA betting odds.
Wells Fargo Championship
Quail Hollow Club
Purse: $6.5 million
(All times Eastern)
Thursday & Friday: Golf Channel - 3-6 PM
Saturday & Sunday: CBS - 3-6 PM
PGA bettors know that when you bring together a number of high-ranking world-class players, not to mention a number of former winners of this event, anyone has an opportunity to come away victorious. This is a great field which would be even better had Tiger Woods been able to play, and he would have tee it up if not for the fact that he is sidelined with an injury. One of the reasons they're going to have so many good players is that they are gearing up for the Players Championship, which takes place at TPC Sawgrass next week. It also happens to be the last chance to qualify for The Players, for those who have not already played their way in.
PGA Betting Odds
To Win Wells Fargo Championship
- Phil Mickelson +1000
- Rory McIlroy +1200
- Martin Kaymer +1300
- Nick Watney +1500
- Dustin Johnson +1800
- Jim Furyk +2000
- Bubba Watson +2000
- Hunter Mahan +2500
- Geoff Ogilvy +2500
- Paul Casey +2800
- Martin Laird +3000
- Rickie Fowler +3500
- Justin Rose +4000
- Edoardo Molinari +4000
- Padraig Harrington +4500
- David Toms +4500
- Anthony Kim +4500
- Sergio Garcia +5000
- Webb Simpson +5000
Mickelson is currently fourth in FedEx Cup points. He disappointed at the Masters, finishing in a tie for 27th place after shooting a final round of 74, and he went into that tournament as the PGA betting favorite at +600, considering that he had won the previous tournament at Houston. Last year he performed very well, finishing as the runner-up at Quail Hollow right after his victory in Augusta, and he has also finished in the top ten in the tournament five times in seven attempts.
I imagine that since Mickelson has won so recently, he is the PGA betting favorite for this event at +1000, which puts him just ahead of Rory McIlroy on the list. McIlroy is coming off his collapse in the Masters, where he shot 65-69 in the first two rounds, and 70 in the third, to take a lead into Sunday. But things unraveled quickly for him, and his 80 sunk him into a tie for 15th.
Interestingly, that has been part of a pattern; he is first on the Tour in scoring average before the cut (69.17) but only 150th in Round 3 average and 184th in the final round. Granted, that is a small sampling; last year, he was just the reverse of that - 178th before the cut, 39th in Round 3 and 16th in the final round. McIlroy is +1200 in PGA betting.
Martin Kaymer was last year's PGA Championship winner, and he was the runner-up to Ian Poulter in this year's Accenture Match Play. His other appearances in the U.S. have not been all that successful this year for someone who was ranked #1 in the world; he was tied for 24th in the WGC-Cadillac Championship and tied for 20th in the Transitions Championship. He missed the cut at the Masters, which is the fourth straight time he's done that. He went to Malaysia and got a top ten after that. Kaymer, who is +1300 in PGA betting this week, tied for 11th at Quail Hollow in 2009.
The guy who may merit some strong consideration, based on a very hot hand, is left-hander Bubba Watson, who won last week's Zurich Classic in New Orleans, which catapulted him into the #10 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Watson, who also won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier in the year and lost in a playoff at the PGA to Kaymer last year, currently leads the FedEx Cup points list. He is also tops on tour in Greens in Regulation and second in Driving Distance. The runner-up to Sean O'Hair at Quail Hollow in 2009, he's priced rather long at +2000 in the PGA betting odds.
Don't ignore the guy who holds the tournament record in this event either. Anthony Kim won the tourney in 2008, when it was known as the Wachovia Championship, shooting a 16-under total of 272. Admittedly, Kim will have to improve on recent form if he is going to be a factor; he has missed the cut in three of his last five events. He tied for seventh at Quail Hollow last year and had a fifth place tie in 2007, so he does not lack for history at this venue,. Can he recapture his stroke on a friendly course? If he does, he could cash a big ticket at +4500 in PGA betting this week.