The 2014 PGA Championship begins on Thursday, August 7, from Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, and gamblers are already breaking down the sleepers and the favorites to contend for the year’s final major.
While most golf fans are focused on the superior play of Rory McIlroy after he won the British Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, there are a plethora of players who have the skill and the experience to contend for a win at Valhalla.
Here is a full list of odds for the 2014 PGA Championship and the player to watch.
*Odds via OddsChecker.com.
Player to Watch: Rickie Fowler (20-1 Odds)
One of the best players on tour right now is American star Rickie Fowler, and he will look to build off his recent success and finally translate it into a major victory at the 2014 PGA Championship.
Fowler is coming off a solid eighth-place finish at the Bridgestone Invitational, but it has been his performances in major tournaments that have many fans and gamblers taking notice.
After finishing in fifth at the Masters, Fowler managed to score a second-place finish at the U.S. Open and another second at the British Open. His unwavering confidence and ability to rise to the biggest occasions has him as one of the top contenders to win at Valhalla later this week.
When asked about coming in second place at the British Open, Fowler told Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com about the confidence the performance has helped him build:
It's hard to be disappointed about it because it was such a great week. And with the way I had been playing in the majors, there was some pressure to play well this week. But with how comfortable I've been ... it doesn't feel like a big stage. It feels like I should be here. ... There's plenty more to come. I'll take 15 under in a lot of majors and sit there and wait in the clubhouse.
Fowler also took to Twitter to share his excitement about seeing the vaunted course:
At only 25 years old, Fowler is still learning the game. While players like McIlroy and Tiger Woods proved that young stars can make waves right away, it takes others longer to find their rhythm at an elite level.
One aspect of Fowler’s game that has improved greatly over the last year has been his swing. With legendary coach Butch Harmon helping Fowler fulfill his potential, the success rate in majors and other PGA Tour events indicates that the changes have been working.
The official Twitter of Golf Central shared a graphic regarding the impact Harmon had on Fowler’s overall standings:
Rickie Fowler’s work with Butch Harmon is having noticeable effects on his game: pic.twitter.com/k1W4zrQphl— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) August 1, 2014
Fowler’s stats this season in majors are unbelievable. Not only does he possess a 69.8 average score per round during the first three big tournaments, but he also shines in the most important rounds, averaging a fourth-round score of 69.42 in his 21 events this season.
Will Rickie Fowler win the 2014 PGA Championship?
Using his powerful swing, his accuracy off the tee and his ability to get himself out of trouble when he does find the rough, Fowler will be a serious contender at the PGA Championship and has the inside lane to his first major victory.
Predicted Finish: 2014 PGA Championship Winner
*Stats via PGATour.com.