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PGA Championships: 72-hole match bet tips, predictions and odds

The second major of the year is upon us and the PGA TOUR's Mike Glasscott has picked out four 72-hole match bets to follow.

PGA Championship 72-Hole Match Bets

PGA Championship Tips

Akshay Bhatia over Tom Kim @ 4/5

The winner at the Valero Texas Open the week before the Masters, Bhatia won the Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla in 2018.

The left-hander has cashed in six straight events on TOUR and ranks seventh in SG: Total, 28th in Total Driving, and 15th in SG: Approach.

Kim’s strength is finding fairways, but he has not registered a top-10 payday this season in 13 events. Playing three previous PGA Championships, he’s never made the cut.

Cameron Young over Viktor Hovland @ 10/11

Unlike the Norwegian, Young has challenged (2nd at Valspar) and has produced multiple top-10 paydays worldwide.

After missing the cut at the Masters, Hovland took three weeks off before returning last week for the Wells Fargo Championship (T24).

Young continues to chase his first victory, while Hovland is concerned with returning to the swing he used to win the FedExCup title last summer.

Justin Thomas over Cameron Smith @ 5/6

The local, two-time PGA Championship winner at near even money is too hard for me to turn down.

If Smith struggles, it’s usually with the driver. Carving out irons from four inches of Bluegrass and Fescue will put pressure on his putter to keep up.

Thomas isn’t in white-hot form, but with T5 at Harbour Town and T21 at Quail Hollow Club, I’ll let the home crowd pick him up.

Rory McIlroy over Scottie Scheffler @ 5/4

Getting Rory McIlroy at plus money in a head-to-head match-up rarely happens. It shouldn’t happen after winning consecutive starts on the TOUR, but I understand the current streak of the opponent.

I’m leaning on the 10th anniversary of the Ulsterman winning three in a row cumulating with the PGA Championship.

Scheffler has been fantastic, complete understatement I know, but flipping that switch back to that level would be incredible.

I’m betting against it with the hottest player on TOUR.

PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club course guide

Hosting the PGA Championship for the fourth time, Valhalla crowned champions in 2014 (Rory McIlroy), 2000 (Tiger Woods), and 1996 (Mark Brooks). The club has also hosted the 2008 Ryder Cup and the 2011 and 2004 Senior PGA Championship. Only Southern Hills (5) has hosted more times.

The Jack Nicklaus design, opened in 1986, originally played to a Par-72 at 7,144 for the 1996 championship.

The 2014 edition featured T-1 Bentgrass greens, shifted to Par-71 (35-36), and was extended to 7,458 yards.

For 2024, four tee boxes were extended (Nos. 1, 12, 14, and 18), and the course added 151 yards.

Zeon Zoysia fairways and tee boxes debuted in 2021. Valhalla becomes the third PGA Championship to feature Zoysia grass fairways (2018 Bellerive, 2011 Atlanta Athletic Club). With only 23 acres of fairway snaking around doglegs that turn right and left, the four inches of tall fescue and Bluegrass will see plenty of action.

Forced carries into perched and protected greens will test shot-making and decision-making. With only 5,000 square feet to aim for, the putting surfaces, on average, ranked third smallest on TOUR behind Harbour Town and Pebble Beach.

The second major championship of the season will also test putting acumen on pure Bentgrass greens. TPC Craig Ranch is the only TOUR event this season that has featured Bentgrass surfaces on the greens.

Torrey Pines (South) and Corales (Corales Puntacana) are the only courses used this season that measure longer. Featuring six Par-4 holes that extend 472 yards or more, the four Par-3 holes range between 190 and 254 yards. The three Par-5 holes range between 570 and 597 yards.

Sub-Air systems will control the speeds on the greens. Hazards include 62 bunkers and five water penalty areas in play across seven holes.

The 2014 championship produced the third-fewest rounds over par in PGA Championship history.

Jose-Maria Olazabal posted the tournament course record with 63 in 2000.

Tiger Woods and Bob May own the Par-72 scoring record of 270 (-18).

Rory McIlroy owns the Par-71 scoring record of 268 (-16).

PGA Championship preview

The PGA Championship moved to May for the 2019 edition and beyond, which means the fourth PGA Championship at Valhalla will be the first one played in May.

Jack Nicklaus (5), Tiger Woods (4), and Brooks Koepka (3) have won the most stroke-play championships. Other multiple winners in the field this week include Louisville native Justin Thomas (2022, 2017), the oldest major champion, Phil Mickelson (2021, 2005), and reigning Valhalla champion from a decade ago, Rory McIlroy (2014, 2012).

The only all-professional major championship, the field of 156 players includes 20 PGA Club professionals and 98 of the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.

The PGA Championship evolved to stroke play for the 40th edition in 1958. The top 70 players and ties after 36 holes will advance to the final two rounds.

In the last five championships, only Collin Morikawa has won a major championship for the first time.

The last seven championships have been won by four different players. Koepka (3), Thomas (2), Mickelson, and Morikawa.

Koepka, the last player to successfully defend the championship (2018-19), also is the last player to win in wire-to-wire fashion (2019).

The only players to win on debut this century are Shaun Micheel (2003), Keegan Bradley (2011), and Collin Morikawa (2020).

Winning the 2012 edition at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, McIlroy set the record for margin of victory, eight shots.

Mickelson won the 2021 playing at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island at age 51, the oldest player to win a major championship.

The field consists of 16 former champions and 34 players who teed it up in the 2014 event.

The winner will take home 750 FedExCup points.

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