The PGA Championship will be contested from Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York beginning Thursday.
This is the first major for Oak Hill since the 2003 PGA Championship, when Shaun Micheel stunned the field and brought home the Wanamaker Trophy as the 169th-ranked player in the world. Because of the lack of experience here for a lot of the players, it evens out the fieldso there are not many advantages from a historic standpoint.
This is the third time the East Course at Oak Hill has hosted the PGA Championship. Of all the players that teed it up in 2003, 37 of those are back this year, which is roughly 24 percent of field that has seen the course under tournament conditions.
The East Course is a Par-70, 7,163-yard track designed by Donald Ross. It has gone through several modifications throughout the years but Ross' trademark small greens and course routing are still present.
It takes pride in its namesake, oak trees, which can cause trouble for errant tee shots. Making matters even worse, the fairways are less than 30 yards wide and the rough this week is long and dense, so missing the short grass will force a lot of layups as advancing the ball will not be an option in most places.
While the course itself is a challenge, parity remains constant in the majors. In the last 20 majors, there have been 18 different winners with Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson being the only two-time winners over that span. Since 1993, there have been 16 different winners of the PGA Championship with only Tiger Woods (4) and Vijay Singh (2) being repeat winners, which adds even more complications to the scenario. This tournament is known for its surprising winners.
The favorite this week is Tiger Woods (+350). He’s coming off his fourth victory of the season at the Bridgestone Invitational this past week, his eighth win at Firestone. Woods last won the PGA Championship in 2007, which was his fourth and his 13th major championship at the time. He played at Oak Hill in 2003 and it wasn't pretty, shooting 12-over which was good for T39.
The defending champion is Rory McIlroy (+2,500) who ran away with an eight-shot victory at Kiawah Island - The Ocean Course. He later won at the Deutsche Bank Championship and the next week at the BMW Championship, but he has not won since. An equipment change could be part of the problem but any way you look at it, something’s not right. He does not have a Top 25 in his last four starts.
Because of the short price on Tiger, we are catching great odds on others, including Matt Kuchar (+2,500). He has yet to win a major but he looks ready as ever. He has two wins on the season to go along with five other Top 10s including two runner-ups. He’s not missed a cut this season and in the first three majors, he has a T8 at the Masters, a T28 at the U.S. Open and a T15 at the Open Championship.
This week's long shot will be Graeme DeLaet (+15,000). If there is a major that can produce a long shot, this is the one. We have seen it before and we have seen it on this course. DeLaet disappointed us at the Canadian Open with a missed cut but his stats fit the bill here. He is first on tour in greens hit and first in total driving. His five Top 10s show he can contend.
Recommended tournament win six pack at the PGA Championship (all for one unit)
Matt Kuchar (+2,500)
Henrik Stenson (+2,500)
Luke Donald (+3,000)
Keegan Bradley (+3,000)
Graeme DeLaet (+15,000)
2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 30 events: -35.4 Units
Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge - 5 Units
Farmer Insurance Open +3.5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open +19 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship +25.66 units
The Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Tampa Bay Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -1.5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units
The Masters -8 Units
RBC Heritage +27 Units
Zurich Classic of New Orleans -5 Units
The Wells Fargo Championship -5 Units
THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units
HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial -5 Units
Memorial Tournament -5 Units
FedEx St. Jude Classic -5 Units
U.S. Open -6 Units
Travelers Championship -5 Units
AT&T National -5 Units
Greenbrier Classic -5 Units
John Deere Classic -5 Units
Open Championship -5 Units
RBC Canadian Open +10 Units
Bridgestone Invitational 0 Units