PGA Championship sleeper picks to watch: Here’s who might break out at Kiawah Island
First, move your eyes up. All the way up. There, for two of the past four tournaments on the European Tour (and two of his past three) is Garrick Higgo. He was your winner at the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open at the end of last month, and at the Canary Islands Championship at the start of this one.
Now, move your eyes down.
On the odds board for this week’s PGA Championship, there’s Higgo again. At DraftKings, for example, he’s at 140-1 odds, tied for 50th among players, along with Charley Hoffman and Francesco Molinari.
It’s OK for your eyes to widen.
All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Pricing may vary.
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As bettors search high and low for value at Kiawah Island, a good number have zeroed in on Higgo, according to oddschecker.com, a site that tracks both odds and which players are the most popular with gamblers. Jordan Spieth, Viktor Hovland and Rory McIlroy — all among the top 10 in odds — have received the most bets. But sixth is Higgo. (And Keegan Bradley is fifth, Sam Burns seventh and Charl Schwartzel ninth.)
“Most surprising among the top 10 may be Garrick Higgo,” said Kyle Newman of oddschecker.com. “Higgo has been great on the European Tour — he has two wins this year — but this will be his first major. Still, bettors do seem to like him.”
Our staff likes a few more sleepers, too. They’ve each made a long-shot bet using odds from DraftKings to assist you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league, (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook or through free-to-play Chirp Golf, an app from our parent company that is available in the App Store and at Google Play.
On to our picks — and info on how to bet for free.
Sleeper pick: Cameron Tringale, +11,000. Took a hit at Wells Fargo with an MC, but his three starts before that: T3, T9, T13. His third-place finish at the RSM Classic, at Sea Island, last fall proved he’s comfortable on breezy oceanside courses.
Sleeper pick: Marc Leishman, +7,000. The Ocean Course is long, difficult and a windy place to play golf, but it’s a course that fits Leishman well. He’s talked several times before about learning to play in the wind while growing up in blustery Warrnambool, Australia, and he actually prefers a ball flight that’s low and that he can work both ways. His stats from this season won’t jump off the page, but he’s played well lately (T28 or better in his past four, including a win) and should have a good chance this week.
Sleeper pick: Gary Woodland, +10,000). The last time we entered a seaside major championship where everything hinged on a stiff breeze, Gary Woodland won by three strokes. If the wind stays home, there are worse bets than Woodland, who’s see-sawed a bit of late, but has two top-10s in the past two months.
Sleeper pick: Max Homa, +17,500. This pick is justifiable on its own — Homa has big-time game — but Homa’s fill-in caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, is the X-factor that could propel him to the big-time this week. Sometimes these guys need a little tweak in their routine to focus them in. Caddies don’t matter a ton, except when they do.
Sleeper pick: Matt Jones, +17,500. The Aussie has had some great performances on tough golf courses this year (T8 at the Genesis, a win at the Honda). He’s a perfect sleeper this week!
Sleeper pick: Garrick Higgo, +14,000. Garrick Higgo might not be a familiar name to American fans, but the South African has been one of the hottest golfers in the world this spring. He owns two wins and two top 10s in his past four starts on the European Tour, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he keeps up his hot streak on U.S. soil.
Sleeper pick: Lee Westwood, +11,000. I don’t think he’s a sleeper, but the odds say he is. The career renaissance is capped by his first major win.
Sleeper pick: Rickie Fowler, +17,500. We’ve come a long way with Rickie that he’s now considered a long shot. For years, Fowler entered each major with a cloud over his head as the “best player to never win a major.” After he watched the Masters at home, I’m counting on Rickie playing with extra purpose this week.
Sleeper pick: Shane Lowry, +10,000. The 2019 Open Champion has proven he can compete in windy conditions. He finished eighth at the Players and T9 at the RBC Heritage, so I’m eager to see how his game will play at Kiawah this week.
Sleeper pick: Jason Kokrak, +13,000. It’s been a quietly strong season for the veteran, who has added a much-improved short game to his power repertoire.
Sleeper pick: Joel Dahmen, +35,000. Dahmen captured his first PGA Tour win at the 2021 Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in March, and he finished T10 in last year’s PGA Championship. Taking sleeper picks is always a bit risky, but Dahmen should be coming into this week with confidence he can win. His happy-go-lucky attitude may also work well at the Ocean Course, where being able to roll with the punches can be invaluable.
Sleeper pick: Garrick Higgo, +14,000. The 21-year-old lefty is on an absolute heater at the moment, with two wins in his past three European Tour starts. The PGA Championship is a completely different beast, but I have a weird feeling he’s going to contend in his first major.
Sleeper pick: K.H. Lee, +22,500. You’re telling me I can get K.H. Lee, the man who barely missed a shot all last week, at 225-to-1??? Give it to me!
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