Is the smart money on The Open champion Ernie Els?
As the golf world get's ready for the 2012 PGA Championship this week at the famous Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, there will be some interesting challenges.The reason is simple: it is located along the Atlantic Ocean.
Unlike a more traditional American course, this Pete Dye creation is truly affected by the wind. The course actually plays far more like a British Open layout than what fans are used to seeing in a PGA Championship.
It is that wind that really will play all kinds of havoc with how the money lines go as the wagering on the 2012 PGA Championship field begins to fall into place. In fact, how many of the members of the field did well at The Open Championship last month will no doubt play a big role in how they stack up as possible good bets to win at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
The heat will also be another factor. Anyone who has ever been to South Carolina in August knows that heat, humidity and, of course, thundershowers will factor into the storyline of the 2012 PGA Championship.
OK, so it will take someone who can play the wind, won’t wilt under the heat and has the ability to handle the pressure of playing for the final major of 2012 to win come Sunday.
Well, the money line is out (via Bovada) and the top golfers in the world certainly have their backers. Let's take a look at who the smart money says will take home the 2012 PGA crown.
The seventh best golfer in the world is Bubba Watson and he might be a good buy at 33/1.
Watson is a very consistent player, finishing week after week in the top 20 in PGA tournaments. That said, the 2012 Master's champion has the kind of game that very well could score him a win come Sunday.
The money line does not feel that this will be a good week for Watson, but counting him out might be a big mistake.
With odds set at 33/1, his success on courses that are windy and hot seems to be getting overlooked.
The "Big Easy" should be a factor this week at the PGA Championship despite what the money line says about his chances.
Coming into the PGA Championship, Justin Rose is ranked as the world's 10th best golfer.
The Englishman, at 33/1, is a bit of a long shot, however the money line likes him as a dark horse.
He has six top-ten finishes to his credit and is used to playing in the wind while on the European Tour.
Another 33/1 shot, Matt Kuchar, comes to the PGA Championship with a bag full of tricks. His biggest asset is his ability play the iron shots.
The ability to overcome problems has landed him as the world's ninth best golfer and a threat to win this week.
The pride of Adelaide, Australia, Adam Scott at 28/1 is a contender. Ranked sixth in the world, he has had a solid season in 2012. Scott has made the cut in 10 of his 11 outings thus far this season.
His experience as a winner on the European Tour will serve him well this week in South Carolina.
By now you must be seeing the trend: The money line folks seem to like European golfers when it comes to playing this course.
Lee Westwood is the world No. 4 but his 2012 season on the PGA Tour has been uneventful. Nevertheless, at 20/1 Westwood is far from a bad bet to win the PGA Championship.
Heading into a major you might expect that the world's No. 1 might get more respect than a 18/1 shot.
Luke Donald knows how to play these seaside courses as well as anyone in the world and while the money line has him at 18/1, it would be foolish to overlook him as a title contender this week.
Like Luke Donald, world No. 3 Rory McIlroy is an 18/1 shot to win the title come Sunday.
This has been a good year on the PGA Tour for McIlroy despite not winning a major. This week could be the week that the Irishman scores another major title.
This might be a real sucker bet.
Tiger Woods has demonstrated that he has the ability to win again on the PGA Tour, which has been great for ratings. Woods has moved to No. 2 in the world ranking and has three impressive victories to his credit while overcoming more than a few demons in his game.
However, at 7/1, he is the money lines odds-on favorite, and I am not sure that the PGA Championship is where Woods is going to score his first major on the comeback trail.
The smartest bet might just be picking "The Field." It's a 7/1 bet and you get anyone not named Tiger Woods.
True, it might be the easy way out since you really don't have to choose a name, but if picking Woods is the sucker bet, then picking the field is the safe way to go.