Two majors in 14 years as a professional golfer just does not seem right considering Dustin Johnson’s impact on the sport, but the world’s top-ranked star returns as a favorite to win the 2021 PGA Championship.
“DJ” bombed at the Masters in April when he missed the cut at a major tournament for the first time in nearly three years, but that hasn’t impeded his odds of a comeback win in May.
The second major of the year will be contested at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina between May 20-23, and Johnson is once again at the shortest price of 12/1. The world No. 1 has finished second in each of the last two PGA Championships, but golfing gamblers may be better off wagering their money elsewhere when hedging this year’s winner.
Johnson’s disappointing display at Augusta last month was in stark contrast to his triumph at the previous Masters, where the New York Times tracked his performance in winning by a bigger margin than any before him.
The Golf Paper profiled several stars who have a lot to prove in 2021, and two of the names on that list feature among the odds leaders for this year’s tournament.
One worth special attention is 14/1 Bryson Dechambeau, who tied for fourth at last year’s PGA Championship before going on to win the US Open, his maiden major title. “The Scientist” is renowned for its powerful drives off the tee, but the Ocean Course at Kiawah may demand a little more nuance around the fairways considering it’s highly regarded as a difficult one to play.
With that in mind, Rory McIlroy — another of those players in need of a big 2021 — could strike out from his 20/1 listing as a surprise contender despite being hit-and-miss at the PGA in recent years. McIlroy won this tournament in 2012 and 2014, the former of which just so happened to be the first time Kiawah hosted the PGA Championship.
And then there’s the defending champion, Collin Morikawa, who became the third-youngest player to win the championship when he triumphed at TPC Harding Park at the age of 23 last year. It’s damning of the Californian that his only major title also happened to be the only time he’s finished inside the top 15 of golf’s big four, but 22/1 odds with bet365 bonus for the UK players hint he’s in with a chance nonetheless:
Hideki Matsuyama — winner of the 2021 Masters — and Webb Simpson round out the top 10 odds leaders ahead of this month’s major, each with odds worth more than twice that of leader Johnson.
The PGS Championship has thrown up its share of surprise victors this side of the millennium, but the champions list is largely a collection of household names. Tiger Woods (four titles), Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka (twice) have all lifted the Wanamaker Trophy in modern times, with history suggesting another well-known contender will rise above the competition in South Carolina.
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