PGA Championship 2021: Odds for Sleepers and Favorites at Kiawah Island

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 17, 2021

PGA Championship 2021: Odds for Sleepers and Favorites at Kiawah Island

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    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    Five first-time men's golf major winners have been crowned in the last three years. 

    At the 2020 PGA Championship, Collin Morikawa emerged out of a large group of contenders in the final round to win his first major title. 

    Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm sit atop the odds chart at DraftKings Sportsbook for the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, but there are a few sleepers who could make some noise as well. 

    One of the best ways to wade through the list of potential sleepers is to look at recent form on the PGA Tour, which leads you to Charl Schwartzel and Daniel Berger.


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    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    Rory McIlroy (+1150; bet $100 to win $1150)

    You are going to hear Rory McIlroy's name mentioned a lot when it comes to a potential winner of the 2021 PGA Championship.

    McIlroy won the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah by eight strokes and is coming off his first PGA Tour victory in 18 months at the Wells Fargo Championship on May 9.

    Nine years ago, the Northern Irishman recorded two rounds of 67 and a final-round 66 to distance himself from the rest of the field. 

    At the Wells Fargo, McIlroy turned in three rounds of 68 or better to fend off Abraham Ancer, Viktor Hovland and Gary Woodland. 

    The victory was a return to form for McIlroy, who missed the cut at The Players Championship and the Masters. 

    If the McIlroy that showed up to the Wells Fargo appears at Kiawah Island, the 32-year-old could be in contention from the start of the tournament. 


    Bryson DeChambeau (+1650)

    DeChambeau is always going to be in the title-winning discussion because of his long-drive ability.

    Kiawah Island could be suited to DeChambeau's strengths because the course is the longest in major history (7,876 yards). 

    The 2020 U.S. Open winner experienced a mixed bag of results in his last five tournaments. He had three top-10 finishes and two placings below 40th.

    At the Masters, DeChambeau struggled with three rounds of 75 or worse that led to 46th place. 

    He bounced back from that with a ninth place at the Wells Fargo, but then he finished 55th at the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic. If DeChambeau takes advantage of the length, he could rebound from his latest poor performance. If he fails to find the fairway, like he did at the Masters, he may struggle again.

    While it feels like DeChambeau only finishes on one of the two extremes of the leaderboard, he is still worth a look because of his potential to out-drive the competition. 


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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Daniel Berger (+3000)

    Daniel Berger might be too low on the odds board for someone hunting for sleeper picks, but the joint-ninth favorite does not come in with as much notoriety as everyone around him. 

    The 28-year-old Floridian only has two top-10 major finishes in his career and has a single top 20 in six PGA Championship appearances. 

    There is hope Berger turns around that form because of how well he played in his last few appearances on the PGA Tour. 

    Berger is coming off a third-place finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic and won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. He also took ninth at The Players Championship in March and tied for 13th at April's RBC Heritage. 

    In his last four top-15 finishes, Berger carded a single round over 72 and has eight consecutive rounds of 71 or better entering Kiawah Island.

    If that form translates to Kiawah, Berger could be in the mix for his first major title. At +3000, he still carries more value than McIlroy, DeChambeau and other favorites. If you think he will play well, but not win, he could be worth the pick at +275 to finish inside the top 10.


    Charl Schwartzel (+11000)

    Schwartzel's finishing position has gotten better in each of his last four starts. 

    The 2011 Masters champion took 26th at Augusta National Golf Club, 21st in a team event at the Valspar Championship, 14th at the Wells Fargo and third at the Byron Nelson.

    In the three individual tournaments, the South African has been consistent with 11 straight rounds of 72 or better. 

    Schwartzel needs to have a few more rounds in the 60s to contend for his second major, but the consistency should at least put him around the top 20 entering the weekend. 

    Schwartzel has made the cut in his last six PGA Championship starts and owns five top-10 major finishes, so the pressure of the moment would not get to him like it might with some others. 

    At +11000 to win outright, Schwartzel carries immense value for a player in his form. If you want to take him in prop bets, he holds the same value at +700 to finish in the top 10 and +350 to land in the top 20.


    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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