2 for the PGA Championship
Going through the list of contenders for this week's PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey, we have the unusual task of examining two logical favorites - Dustin Johnson and Jason Day. That is not without considering what has become the normal last-week's-no-name surprise winner. That was Jhonattan Vegas (oh, can we call him Johnnie Vegas, please, please?). He came from way back to fire nine birdies in the final round and win the Canadian Open. And we'll toss in the stars of the British Open, Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson. But Day and Johnson - the current Nos. 1 and 2 in have shown the most consistently strong play of the lot this year and in recent weeks. Betting on the PGA Championship, they're your guys.
Let's face it; the other two members of the world top 4, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, haven't exactly been magic lately. They certainly have the stuff to do it, but they just haven't been showing it.
Johnson, the winner of the U.S. Open, was just off the pace in the Canadian, at 11 under par and tied for second. That makes five top 5s in his last six starts, and that's nothing to sneeze at. He was a not-too-shabby ninth place in the British Open. He's playing the best golf of his life and crowding Day for the No. 1 spot in the world.
Day is the defending champion in this event; it was last year's PGA Championship triumph that started the run that got him where he is today. He's played just well enough to maintain his No. 1 status, with four top 5s in his last seven starts. He shot -5 last week in the Canadian to finish 14th.
Stars in Scotland
That brings us to Stenson and Mickelson, who stormed through Royal Troon as if they'd been the best in the world all year. But they haven't. The Swede hasn't put up good numbers stateside lately, withdrawing from the U.S. Open, missing two cuts and placing 24th in the Masters in his last four starts in the U.S. Lefty seems to be on the Sunday leaderboard about once a month, but he can't seem to win, despite three runner-up prizes this year.
Look, it's another week in a tough PGA year full of surprises. Not one of the "Big Three" we entered the year following has won a major. If you find Day or Johnson at around +600 or better in PGA Championship betting odds, take either one.
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