Rory McIlroy’s Quail Hollow Successes Make Him PGA Favorite in Las Vegas
Posted on: August 7, 2017, 02:00h.
Last updated on: August 7, 2017, 02:01h.
Rory McIlroy hasn’t won an event since last year’s Tour Championship and has no top three finishes in 2017, but heading into this week’s PGA Championship, the Northern Ireland star is atop the Las Vegas sportsbooks.
Now ranked #4 in the world, the Westgate SuperBook has McIlroy at 7-1 to win his third Wanamaker Trophy. That leads Jordan Spieth at 8-1, Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama (12-1), and Rickie Fowler (15-1). Last year’s winner Jimmy Walker is a longshot at 100-1.
Despite being winless in 2017, McIlroy is coming off two top-five finishes, including a T4 at The Open Championship last month. Paired with his previous strong play at Quail Hollow, and McIlroy is seen as the smart money in Las Vegas.
Spieth, who only needs the PGA to complete the career grand slam, told reporters, “I’d say Rory is probably the guy to beat. I played with him the first two days (at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational) and the way that he is driving the golf ball, if he continues to do it, he just has a massive advantage over the field.”
McIlroy missed the cut at last year’s event held at Baltusrol.
Charlotte’s Quail Hollow has provided plenty of excitement for Rory McIlroy over the years.
He’s competed in seven PGA Tour events there (Quail Hollow Championship and Wells Fargo Championship), making the cut six times, winning twice, and losing in a playoff once. In the six events he’s made the weekend, just 20 total golfers have beat him.
In 2015, he shot a 10-under par 61, a course record. The track is being stretched to 7,600 yards for the PGA, but that will be no problem for McIlroy, one of the longest players on tour. At last week’s WGC-Bridgestone, McIlroy averaged 344 yards per drive.
Rory said Jordan’s looking to take the pressure off himself by saying he’s the favorite.
“I see what’s he’s trying to do,” McIlroy told reporters. “He can be the favorite.” But Las Vegas decides who’s actually the frontrunner, and the odds say it’s McIlroy.
In addition to 2016 champ Jimmy Walker’s long odds of repeating, the SuperBook has a slew of other names with big lines that might appeal to some believers.
Jason Day finished 2016 as the world’s top ranked golfer, but has since fallen to #7. Last year’s PGA runner-up is at 25-1 to win his second Wanamaker Trophy.
A rainy week should leave Quail Hollow wet and extra long, meaning a big hitter like US Open champion Brooks Koepka’s 25-1 odds might be attractive. Phil Mickelson hasn’t won a tournament since 2013, which is why the 47-year-old is at 40-1 in Las Vegas. 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia is listed at 35-1.
Notable past PGA winners include Jason Dufner (80-1), Keegan Bradley (125-1), YE Yang (1000-1), Padraig Harrington (250-1), and Vijay Singh (500-1).
John Daly, the 1991 champ who made history by winning after getting into the tournament as the ninth and final alternate, is at 1000-1 to shock the golfing world again 26 years later.
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