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PGA Championship 2013: Odds for Every Player with a Chance to Win the Title

Mike DudurichContributor IAugust 10, 2013

PGA Championship 2013: Odds for Every Player with a Chance to Win the Title

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    Jim Furyk is just over a year removed from a disappointing U.S. Open and Bridgestone Invitational, a pair of tournaments where he blew leads late.

    But he’s obviously moved past those major opportunities lost, as he holds the 54-hole lead at this week’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.

    Furyk posted a third-round 68, giving him rounds of 65-68-68, and leads by a shot over second-round leader Jason Dufner and two over Henrik Stenson.

    It could turn out that redemption is the key motivator in Sunday’s final round as Furyk looks to make amends for his big misses a year ago.

    Dufner also let one get away when he blew a five-shot lead in the final round of the 2011 PGA Championship.

    Can either Henrik Stenson (-7) or Jason Blixt (-6) become the first Swede to win a PGA Championship?

    Here are the 10 guys with the best odds to win.

Dustin Johnson

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    Dustin Johnson has major championship experience.

    He's had a chance to win the biggest prize in golf three times. He led the 2010 U.S. Open by three shots going into the final round but shot 82. In the 2010 PGA Championship, he missed out on a playoff after being penalized for grounding his club in a bunker. Finally, in the 2011 British Open he ended a final-round charge by hitting a ball out of bounds on 14.

    He won in Hawaii to start the season but hasn’t done much since.

    Saturday, Johnson played the way he played when he was getting into contention somewhat regularly. He made two birdies on the front and four on the back and had the round of the day at 65.

    Talk about moving day—Johnson moved up 51 spots on the leaderboard and starts the final round in a tie for ninth.

    Odds: 100-1

Jonas Blixt

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    Jonas Blixt wasn't exactly high on the radars of too many people coming into the PGA Championship.

    They sure are looking at him now.

    He's posted rounds of 68-70-66 and is six under par, three shots behind leader Jim Furyk. More impressive than all of that is that he played 18 holes Saturday without making a bogey.

    Not bad for a guy playing in only his second career major. He made birdies at the first and 18th holes and added two more at the fifth and ninth.

    He has a chance to win, absolutely. He's won twice on the PGA Tour but will absolutely need to post another really good number to be there at the end.

    Odds: 75-1

Lee Westwood

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    Lee Westwood could be considered something of a glutton for punishment.

    After leading the British Open going into the final round and failing to finish it off, Westwood's quest for his first major title continues. In his 63rd attempt, he's making another run.

    Here he is again, shooting a 68 Saturday and sitting in the top 10 going into the final round. Believe it or not, he's finished 16 times in the top 10 in a major.

    As in the British Open, Westwood's ball-striking was really good, hitting 15 greens in regulation.

    At three under par, he can be a factor on Sunday.

    It would be an upset, but he's definitely got game.

    Odds: 60-1

Webb Simpson

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    It figured to be tough to follow a course record-tying round of 64 with another low one, and Webb Simpson did not exactly light it up Saturday, posting a 73.

    He had a triple-bogey seven on the fifth hole and then bogeyed three of his last four holes—hardly the kind of round he would have wanted. He sits eight shots behind leader Jim Furyk.

    He'll have plenty of work to do in the final round, but so will the guys ahead of him. This is the 2012 U.S. Open champion we're talking about here.

    If he can stand up to final-round pressure and those above him on the board can't, he'll be hunting late in the day.

    Odds: 40-1

Rory McIlroy

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    Well, well, well—look who's back in the game at a major championship.

    The Kid made four birdies and a bogey, including birdies on the difficult final two holes, to shoot a 67 and move 22 spots up the leaderboard.

    He actually hit the ball better Saturday, hitting seven of 14 fairways and 10 greens in regulation. One of the real sore spots in his game this year, putting, was very good. He needed just 25 to complete his round.

    It's the best he's played in a long time, and yes, at three under par, he's in the mix again.

    Sunday's round will show whether this was a flash of the "old" Rory or a real sign of progress.

    Odds: 30-1

Steve Stricker

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    Even at age 46, Steve Stricker finds himself in contention at another major.

    He hasn't won one yet, and he's certainly not a lock to win this one, but he has played himself into contention. He made three birdies and three bogeys for a 70 and is knocking on the door at five under.

    He'll obviously not be able to shank a shot out of bounds as he did early in the final round at Merion if he expects to take a run Sunday.

    His idea of playing a limited schedule seems to have worked out rather nicely.

    The PGA Championship is only his 10th event of the year.

    Odds: 20-1

Jason Dufner

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    Like Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner faced the unenviable task on Saturday of trying to follow up a great round of 63 on Friday with another good one in the third round to maintain his lead.

    After parring his first four holes of the third round, Dufner hacked up the par-four sixth, making double bogey. That was bad enough for him, but the double also brought a lot of players back into the tournament.

    He managed to crawl back in and trails Furyk by just a shot going into Sunday.

    He looked shaky off and on throughout the third, and it seems to me his uneasiness on short putts and the occasional loose shot off the tee make him a bit more of a long shot to win.

    Odds: 10-1

Adam Scott

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    The only thing that's a bit troublesome with Adam Scott is the number of putts he's not making with that long putter.

    He's the best player among the leaders and, for the most part, has made swings you'd expect from a Masters champion.

    He was spectacular at times with his ball-striking Saturday, but then he imploded on the 16th, launching a terrible tee shot that got him into some deep rough and led to a double bogey.

    The round of 72 was not the end of the world, but he finds himself four shots behind Furyk with 18 holes to play.

    He's going to have to make more putts in the final round, and if he does, he'll be a two-time major champion in the same year.

    Odds: 7-1

Henrik Stenson

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    Since he hasn't won a major, it's hard to say how Henrik Stenson will play Sunday in the pressure of the final round.

    But nobody is playing much better than him coming into this week.

    Look at this result sheet: third in the Scottish Open, second in the British Open, second in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. And guess what? He's third going into the final round.

    He kept that good thing going, shooting 69 (three birdies, two bogeys), and is two shots behind Furyk.

    Stenson has the power and the short game to win one of these, even at age 37. The question is, will he?

    He's the most dangerous man on the leaderboard and is perfectly suited to Oak Hill.

    Odds: 5-1

Jim Furyk

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    It's been a while since Jim Furyk has been a factor this deep into a major. And make no doubt about it—he's a definite factor.

    But the veteran has very meticulously made his way around the Oak Hill course, making up for a decided lack of length off the tee as opposed to his younger competitors. He's posted rounds of 65-68-68 on a course that was made considerably easier Thursday and Friday and started to show its teeth Saturday.

    He made a birdie on the difficult 17th late Saturday afternoon and then knocked in a long par putt on the final hole.

    He'll need to make all the shots very precisely Sunday if he's going to hold off the horde of challengers.

    As the sun set Saturday, Furyk held the lead as those youngsters stumbled and crumbled around him.

    My money is on him.

    Odds: 3-1

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