PGA Championship Odds 2012: Handicapping the Field

Luis Batlle@lbatll1Contributor IAugust 3, 2012

PGA Championship Odds 2012: Handicapping the Field

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    Tiger Woods is emerging back to the top, Adam Scott is finally proving his worth and, as always, new winners continue to make their statements on Tour.

    Make no mistake about it: The headlines are endless in this year's 2012 PGA Championship talks.

    The race for the 2012 Championship comes down to the wire in the final months, as Woods currently sits atop the money list at $ 4.685 million on the year.

    Like Woods, Lee Westwood and Hunter Mahan are two other top-notch contenders for the best season in 2012 and are playing some of their best golf as of late.

    Currently, the Tour features its World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational, in which Woods and several other top players in the sport will be in intense competition in Akron, Ohio. Jim Furyk currently leads the field at the Invitational through one round of play.

    With Bridgestone's heated competition underway, these are the odds for the top-10 players in the golf world to take the 2012 PGA Championship.

Bubba Watson

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    Current World Ranking: 7

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 30/1


    The No. 7 golfer in the World is back in the mix and ready to reel in titles.

    The bar has been set high for Watson this season, and the pressure has gotten to him recently.

    He missed the cut in two consecutive tournaments, including the U.S. Open, before finishing second at the Traveler's Championship and 23rd at the Open Championship.

    There is a great amount of respect for the talent and passion Watson has for the game, but it is safe to say he has underachieved as of late.

    If he continues to miss cuts and finish outside the top-10, this is not going to be a player competing for a Tour title. Truth be told, though, he may already be out of contention, what with such poor play as of late.

Matt Kuchar

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    Current World Ranking: 9

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 30/1


    The American beast is as underrated as any golfer on Tour and is set to climb further up the golf rankings soon enough.

    This season, he is quietly No. 6 on the money list on Tour and has made the cut in 16 of the 17 events he has participated in the season.

    Talk about impressive.

    What's more?

    Kuchar recently posted a ninth-place finish at the U.S. Open Championship. He has two top-10 finishes in his last three tournaments, as he has picked up his play significantly, to say the least.

Hunter Mahan

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    Current World Ranking: 13

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 25/1


    After getting off to an outright impressive start, Mahan has been out of contention at countless tournaments since.

    Mahan began the season with two wins in his first seven tournaments, and his most recent win comes at the Shell Houston Open.

    Since the Shell Houston Open in April, Mahan has finished in the top-10 just once and has failed to crack the top-seven in any championship since.

    It will be integral for this ball-driving talent to pick up his play on the greens if he wishes to remain in contention for the 2012 championship.

Zach Johnson

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    Current World Ranking: 12

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 25/1


    Watch out field, here comes Zach Johnson.

    He currently ranks No. 3 in the PGA Tour money list in 2012 and is destroying the competition this season. 

    Johnson has made the cut in 17 of the 19 events he has played in, recorded six top-10 finishes and has two wins on the season. His most recent victory came in playoff fashion at the John Deere Classic, a tourney in which he outlasted American talent Troy Matteson.

    Like Jason Dufner and Luke Donald, his impressive putting game is exactly what makes this player a primetime threat.

    Look for his game to only pick up as the season goes on.

Jason Dufner

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    Current World Ranking: 8

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 25/1


    Since May of this season, there may not be a more consistent threat in each tournament than Jason Dufner.

    The 12-year pro has three top-four finishes in his last three tournaments.

    Talk about some jaw-dropping numbers.

    Dufner was the winner at the HP Byron Nelson Championship and posted a fourth-place finish at the Open Championship.

    His average of 3.97 birdies per round is the third-best on tour, and it will be exactly what propels this player to the top.

    Make no mistake about it: If there is a dark horse this season, it's Dufner.

Rory McIlroy

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    Current World Ranking: 3

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 20/1


    Former World No. 1 Rory McIlroy has dropped down two spots in the rankings, as a result of his lackluster play in recent months.

    He has missed the cut in two of his last four tournaments played on tour, including one at the U.S. Open in which he was one of the favorites to compete for the title. This missed cut was followed by a 60th place finish at the Open Championship.

    Talk about some tournaments to forget.

    Regardless, there is no denying this player's talent, as he is certainly still in contention to win this year's Championship. 

    The beast from Northern Ireland is currently neck-and-neck with Tiger at the Bridgestone Invitational. These two top-notch talents are tied at even par for the tournament through one round of golf.

Adam Scott

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    Current World Ranking: 6

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 15/1


    Adam Scott had what was a collapse of epic proportions at the Open Championship.

    His four consecutive bogeys opened the door for Ernie Els, who, as a result, slipped into a one-stroke lead. It was the type of defeat that could have any player losing confidence quickly.

    Still, there is no question that Scott will pull through.

    He is far too talented and close to the top of the golf rankings to let this loss get to his head. Scott has been especially solid as of late, boasting a third place finish just before the Open Championship at AT&T National.

    Certainly an emerging talent this season, Scott will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Whether or not he wins the 2012 Championship this year, however, is surely questionable.

Lee Westwood

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    Current World Ranking: 4

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 15/1


    Lee Westwood's chances have dropped significantly after some sluggish play as of late.

    The No. 4 golf talent in the World finished just 45th place at the Open Championship and 61st at the Player's Championship. However, at the U.S. Open, Westwood was a solid 10th place and was able to pull out a fifth place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    Westwood's lethal putting game will be a major reason why this talent is in contention this season. In this regard, he is easily one of the best in the sport today, and he knows he needs to improve the putting game that has recently seen its fair share of struggles.

    Should the putting woes continue, expect Westwood to take a steep drop down the money list in the next few weeks.

Luke Donald

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    Current World Ranking: 1

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 12/1


    Yes, the No. 1 player in the golf world today is not the player odds makers are placing atop the list for a 2012 PGA Championship.

    Still, there is no denying that Donald will be in it to win it in 2012. Not only is he the top player in the sport's rankings, he has also been dominant in his last several tournaments.

    His hot streak dates back to the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, a tournament in which he finished third place. He has recorded three top-six finishes in his last five tournaments, as he is a talent that is always in the mix when the weekend rolls around.

    Currently, he is an impressive third place after one round at the World Golf Championship's Bridgestone Invitational. 

    The No. 14 player on the money list is undoubtedly a contender for the 2012 PGA Championship; make no mistake about it.

Tiger Woods

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    Current World Ranking: 2

    Odds to Win 2012 Championship: 9/2


    Tiger Woods is the outright favorite to win the 2012 PGA Championship, and there are absolutely no surprises here.

    He has won three of his last 10 tournaments on tour and boasts three top-five finishes and two wins in his last six tourneys.

    Woods picked up wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial Tournament and at AT&T National. He also had a noteworthy third-place finish at the Open Championship most recently.

    Talk about impressive.

    It's safe to say that Woods is gradually inching closer to his former self. The No. 1 player on the PGA's money list this season is cruising and will continue to push for a title this year.