Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will only be three golf majors played this year.
The first major tournament takes place this week as the 2020 PGA Championship field descends upon TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The event marks the first time this fabled course will host a major, and this is the first time since 1995 that the PGA Championship will be held in California.
As always, Tiger Woods is among the favorites to win the PGA Championship. At this stage in his career, we don’t see Woods competing each and every week, but you can guarantee he’ll be prepared this week while trying to chase down Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 major titles (Tiger has 15).
Woods will be a popular bet for Colorado residents and visitors, who can now legally gamble on sports, so let’s take a look at why he will win the 2020 PGA Championship.
Woods’ Unmatched Experience
There isn’t a more seasoned player taking part in the PGA Championship than Woods, and he has won this major four times during his career.
Woods became the first golfer to win consecutive PGA Championships since Denny Shute (1937) when he won this tournament in 1999 and 2000, and he doubled down on the accomplishment when he won in 2006 and 2007. Additionally, Woods has finished runner-up in this event three times, with the most recent second-place finish coming just two years ago at Bellerive Country Club.
Woods showed that he still has what it takes to win majors over the last two years. He overcame a bad first round at the 2018 PGA Championship to nearly defeat Brooks Koepka, shooting 66 on Friday and Saturday before posting a career-best final round at a major. Tiger shot a 64 on Sunday to move ahead of nine other competitors, but it wasn’t enough to catch Koepka.
“No matter what form Tiger is in, or perceived to be in, we know we’re always going to get his best at the majors,” said Scott Cooley, an odds consultant for SportsBetting.com. “Much like a Tom Brady or Michael Jordan, Tiger has that cut-throat, rise-up mentality when it comes to the big game. You can never count him out.”
No other player in this week’s PGA Championship field has claimed more than five majors in his career. Phil Mickelson holds that honor, but there’s a reason that Lefty is 66/1 to win this event.
Tiger’s Win at the 2019 Masters
After not winning a major for more than a decade, Woods claimed his fifth Green Jacket at Augusta last year. In a performance eerily similar to what we saw out of an aging Nicklaus at the 1986 Masters, Woods held off a stream of challengers as millions cheered on the most storied golfer of the current era.
Woods showed a consistency that he had been lacking in recent years during that major victory. He shot 70-68-67-70 to finish 13-under, keeping Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Koepka in the rearview mirror.
More importantly, Woods looked healthy throughout the 2019 Masters, which is notable considering the various injures he has dealt with over the last decade. A lingering back issue flared up during the Memorial Tournament a couple of weeks ago, and Woods decided to not play in the WGC event last week to prepare and rest.
Harding Park Plays to Tiger’s Strengths
The 2020 PGA Championship will be held on a par-70 course that covers 7,234 yards, making TPC Harding Park considerably shorter than most of the other courses on Tour.
At the age of 44, Woods doesn’t have the power he once possessed so shorter courses play more to his strengths. Bombers like Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy will have their power somewhat mitigated with the shorter distances, and that will help Woods as those are the two favorites to win the PGA Championship.
Woods placed T40 at the Memorial in his first start since The Genesis Invitational back in February, but there was a lot to like despite the disappointing finish. He was excellent with irons in his hands, ranking 6th in strokes gained on approach shots. Tiger finished in the Top 10 in proximity to the hole, too, highlighting how sharp he was with his short game against a loaded field of competitors.
You will never get true value on Woods due to his popularity, but he is still a strong bet with 16/1 odds given all the factors.
SportsBetting.com is a licensed sportsbook in the state of Colorado. Customers 21 years and older within Colorado state lines can wager legally through the website or mobile app beginning September 1. The content above is solely for informational purposes and does not guarantee future winnings.