Five Outside Contenders For 2019 PGA Championship
The best golfers in the world will descend upon Bethpage Black to compete in the PGA Championship for the second major of the season.
The Championship has been shifted up into May to ease the burden on the end of the schedule after being deployed as the final major competition.
It follows in the wake of The Masters that saw Tiger Woods kick off the season by ending his 11-year drought in the majors. He was one of the leading contenders for the crown, but the PGA Championship has a habit of finding winners from the lower depths of the field.
We’ll now break down the outsider contenders for the crown, using the latest betting odds.
Simpson has pedigree at the majors, having won the US Open in 2012. However, he has not been able to compound his triumph with further success. The 33-year-old did record his best finish at a leading competition since his victory at The Masters last month when he placed in tied-fifth. Simpson was made to rue a slow start to the tournament as he ended only two strokes off the pace of Woods. He carded an impressive third round of eight-under, but could not maintain his charge on day four.
Since then, he has been solid without being spectacular at the RBC Heritage where he finished down in tied-16th, while the American then placed in tied-18th at the Wells Fargo Championship. Simpson has been good, but not quite good enough to make an impact on the PGA Tour this term. It has been the story of his career outside of his 2012 US Open win. However, he may need just one break to secure a second major and at odds of 75/1 with Bet365 there is enough to be encouraged by his form heading into Bethpage Black.
Cantlay has been a model of consistency on the PGA Tour this season and appears ready for a breakout performance at a major. The 27-year-old was an outside contender for The Masters and he proved his pedigree at Augusta by producing a top-10 finish. Cantlay ended the competition nine-under, only four strokes off the pace of Woods. For only his third appearance at one of the most daunting courses in the world it showed that he has the character to handle the big occasion.
The American followed his performance with another fine effort at the RBC Heritage. He produced three impressive rounds, including a five-under 66 on the third day, although it was not enough to take the crown. He placed in third two strokes behind the winner Pan Cheng-tsung at the Harbour Town Golf Links.
Cantlay has all the attributes required to move into contention for the PGA Championship, although experience could be a factor, especially down the stretch at Bethpage Black. His odds of 45/1 with Bet365 highlight his potential, but there is better value to be found with other outside candidates.
The 25-year-old is capable of producing brilliance on the course, but he has had issues with consistency over the course of the season. No performance highlighted this more than his outing at Augusta. DeChambeau began The Masters in excellent touch, leading the way alongside Brooks Koepka on the opening day with a six-under round of 66.
However, the American was unable to sustain his performance over the next three days, dropping three strokes on his second round. He was able to find a semblance of form on the final day, but DeChambeau finished well out of contention on four-under in tied-29th.
He does have a win on the PGA Tour this season back in November in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. There he was flawless for all four days of the competition. DeChambeau is capable of making a charge, but the 25-year-old has to find a way of remaining consistent under pressure. He has not finished in the top 10 of a major yet, but a breakthrough at Bethpage Back could be the spark that ignites a promising career. His odds of 40/1 with 888Sport are worth consideration.
The Japanese has been solid throughout the season, but has not produced the one performance necessary to claim a victory on the tour. He has finished in the top 10 on three occasions, with the closest being his tied-third placing at the Farmers Insurance Open, although he was off the pace of Justin Rose. It has been the same story for his career in the majors.
Matsuyama has been competitive since making his first appearance in 2011. The 27-year-old put in a fine outing at the 2017 US Open, but he could not make ground on Brooks Koepka at the top of the leaderboard. Matsuyama finished tied-second at Erin Hills, four strokes behind the American.
Matsuyama ended The Masters with a solid card of three-under, while backing up that display with under-par finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship and the Byron Nelson. However, it was not good enough even to challenge for those respective crowns. There is a major-winning performance in there for the Japanese, but he needs to harness his potential with one outstanding round to blow away the rest of the field. It could happen at Bethpage Black at odds of 45/1 with Bet365 to claim the PGA Championship.
Poulter produced his best performance at a major in The Masters last month since he finished tied-sixth at the event in 2015. The Englishman put himself in contention for the Green Jacket with three solid rounds, but on the final day he could not muster a charge, carding a one-over round of 73. It has been the story of his career at the majors, failing to make the grade.
Poulter has been extremely consistent this term, making the cut at all 11 tournaments he has competed in. He backed up his Masters’ performance with a top-10 finish in the RBC Heritage. The Englishman paired with Sam Horsfield and was able to finish in tied-ninth in the Zurich Classic.
Poulter has always seem to play at the peak of his powers in team environments, especially the Ryder Cup. However, he has never been able to harness that potential on an individual level. At 80/1 with Bet365, Poulter has tremendous value to break his major duck at Bethpage Black.
Webb Simpson To Win PGA Championship
Thursday May 16th 2019 – Sunday May 19th 2019
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Ian Poulter
- Patrick Cantlay
- Webb Simpson