Corey Conners, of Canada, reacts after a putt on the 17th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Kiawah Island, S.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
- Corey Conners leads the 103rd PGA Championship by two shots over six golfers after 1st round play
- Viktor Hovland and two-time PGA champ Brooks Koepka favored right behind the Canadian
- See the updated odds at Kiawah Island, SC below for Friday’s second round within the story below
The first round of the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island played very difficult on Thursday, with just 30 golfers shooting under par. The best round of the morning wave was a solid 3-under, 69. Then Corey Conners shot a blistering 5-under, 67, to become the first Canadian to lead after any round of a major since Mike Weir at the 2009 US Open.
Some of the bigger names and tournament favorites like Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas struggled, forcing them to make up some serious ground to get back into this championship. With similar conditions expected on Friday, low scores will be scarce, but the course is playing extremely fair.
It wasn’t all carnage in the opening round, however for some top notch golfers within two of Conners’ lead, including Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland. Read on to see the updated PGA Champinship odds and the best bets heading into Friday’s second round.
2021 Updated PGA Championship Odds
|Golfer||Position||Score||Odds at FanDuel|
Odds as of May 20th at 8:00pm EST
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Koepka Contending at Another Major
There’s an old adage in golf – “beware the injured golfer” – and that is absolutely what the field should be scared of regarding two-time champion Brooks Koepka. He’s missed both cuts since returning from a knee injury at the Masters and last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson, and still looks awkward bending down to read putts.
However, we were high on him before the week at +4500 odds because he has an innate ability to perform best on the grandest stages.
Brooks Koepka’s Best PGA Championship Finishes
After a dreadful opening double bogey, the four-time major champ rallied to shoot a stellar 3-under, 69, good enough to tie him for second. Koepka hit the ball beautifully, ranking third in strokes gained approaching the green.
He currently sports the third shortest odds to win, but had he been at perfect health coming, most definitely he’d be the favorite going forward. At +1000 odds, Koepka is still very much worthy of a wager based on his four major titles since 2017 and his elite ball striking.
2021 PGA Championship Best Live Value Picks
- Jon Rahm (+1600): Jon Rahm had a wholly uneventful round of golf Thursday, posting two birdies against two bogeys to shoot even par, just five strokes back. Third this season in SG: off-the-tee and fourth in greens in regulation, which should give him plenty of chances to rebound with a morning tee time. He was the second favorite entering the week, and though he didn’t have a stellar first day, still sports intriguing odds.
- Gary Woodland (+2900): The 2019 US Open winner has seen a resurgence in his game following a setback after he won his first career major. He shot a 2-under, 70, and fifth in SG: approaching the green. Was sixth in his last start at the challenging Wells Fargo Championship. He also loves the PGA, having posted back-to-back top-10’s in 2018 and 2019.
Michael “Hound Dog” Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statistician for the SC with Jay Onrait Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he’s been featured on Sportscentre, That’s Hockey, That’s Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.