A familiar track is on tap for 160 of the world’s top golfers as the final major of the year is held at Quail Hollow later this week. The Charlotte course has hosted a PGA event for each of the past 14 years, but this will be the first PGA Championship held at the club.
Rory McIlroy has won twice at Quail Hollow, emerging victorious at the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship and again at the Wells Fargo Championship five years later. That 2015 victory featured both a scoring record (-21) and a margin of victory milestone (seven strokes) for the course’s flagship event.
Jimmy Walker (100/1) enters the week as the defending PGA champion and will look to become the first back-to-back winner since Tiger Woods won at Medinah and Southern Hills in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Below, we take a look at five players who look like good picks this week in our PGA Pick ‘Em Contest.
Rory McIlroy (7/1): The No. 4 player in the world arrives in Charlotte with the best odds of anyone in the field. He has posted a pair of backdoor top five finishes in his last two starts at Royal Birkdale and Firestone and looks poised to put everything together and win his first tournament in nearly a year this week.
Like we touched on above, McIlroy’s strong history at Quail Hollow will surely help his chances. He’s the only player in the field that has already won here on two separate occasions.
Hideki Matsuyama (12/1): While McIlroy may have the best odds, Matsuyama will likely be the most popular pick here. The fanfare isn’t unwarranted.
He is coming off a win at the WGC-Bridgestone, where he posted a final round 61 despite not “being too sure of his swing.”
He has also placed in the top 15 at each of this year’s majors, including a second place finish at the U.S. Open. We could very well see the first-ever Japanese major champion crowned on Sunday.
Jon Rahm (20/1): Despite plenty of success in his brief professional career, Rahm has struggled to find his major championship groove. With that said, there is plenty of value here at 20/1.
The Spaniard has played well on Bermuda grass (which is featured heavily at the new-look Quail Hollow) in the past and should be able to top his previous high major finish (23rd at last year’s U.S. Open).
Brooks Koepka (25/1): Like the man above him, the fact that there are seven men with better odds before him gives Koepka a lot of value at 25/1. He has a pair of top 10 finishes (both majors, including a win at the U.S. Open) in two of his last three starts and a short game that has recently come around to match his long ball off the tee.
Maybe the broadcast crew will even get his girlfriend’s name correctly this time around.
Kevin Chappell (80/1): Based on his past performances at Quail Hollow, the former Bruin might be a good darkhorse pick this week.
Chappell has finished 16th and 11th in two of his last three starts in Charlotte and has jumped to 26th in the world after a pair of top 15 finishes at Firestone and Glen Abbey, respectively.