Justin Thomas picked up his third win of the season on Sunday at the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Photo by @PGATour (Twitter).
- Justin Thomas now has the second shortest PGA Championship odds following his win at the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational
- The victory propelled Thomas to No. 1 in the world rankings
- Read below for analysis on whether or not Thomas is a good bet to win the PGA Championship at his new price
What’s old is new again atop golf’s world rankings. Justin Thomas, who last held the top spot back in 2018, jumped ahead of Jon Rahm on Sunday after winning the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
A victory to return to World No. 1. 🏆
Justin Thomas earns his 13th PGA Tour title at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at 13-under par. pic.twitter.com/ADsA70QMCN
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) August 2, 2020
The victory was Thomas’ third of the season and has given him a sizeable lead in the FedExCup standings. It also prompted online sportsbooks to shorten his odds for the first Major of the season.
2020 PGA Championship Odds
|Golfer||Current Odds at FanDuel||Odds on July 27th|
Odds taken Aug. 2nd.
Thomas’ 2020 PGA Championship odds are now the second shortest on the board at +1100. Interestingly enough, the only player with shorter odds is two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka, the man Thomas outdueled on Sunday.
Win or lose today, look out for Brooks Koepka at Harding Park.
— Mike Lupica (@MikeLupica) August 2, 2020
Koepka and Thomas have combined to win the last three PGA Championships, and right now no one is better suited to make a run at the Wanamaker trophy than JT.
Thomas is the Total Package
Combing through the strokes gained data over the last 12 months it’s easy to see why Thomas has a PGA Tour best four wins since the start of last August. He ranks first in strokes gained tee-to-green, second on approach, third in ball striking and sixth around the green.
Justin Thomas Strokes Gained Ranks Last 12 Months
|SG: T2G||SG: BS||SG: APP||SG: OTT||SG: ARG||SG: P|
He’s also gained strokes off-the-tee in every event but one over that stretch, and as he proved on Sunday, he’s no slouch with the putter.
Solo leader. @JustinThomas34.
Let the back 9 on Sunday begin.#QuickHits pic.twitter.com/7JEKf56WMY
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 2, 2020
Thomas made a handful of clutch birdie putts during his round of 65 on Sunday, and his short game bailed him out of trouble numerous times down the stretch, including this beautiful up and down on 18.
Beautiful touch from @JustinThomas34 on 18.
This shot sealed the victory @WGCFedEx. 🏆#QuickHits pic.twitter.com/fpx2Em3UKe
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 2, 2020
There isn’t a weakness in his game, and all facets will surely be tested next week at TPC Harding Park.
A Strong Fit at TPC Harding Park
Here’s what we know about next week’s PGA Championship Venue. The course is a par-70 that will play anywhere from 7,234 to 7,400 yards. The fairways are narrow, the greens are small and the rough is ankle deep. It’s going to demand accuracy and length off the tee, and precise iron play. Thomas is one the premier drivers of the golf ball on Tour and there’s arguably no better iron player.
.@JustinThomas34 wins in Memphis. pic.twitter.com/qsZch3xVk1
— Skratch (@Skratch) August 2, 2020
Also working in his favor is the fact that he excels on fast greens. The putting surfaces at TPC Harding Park are expected to be very quick, and Thomas ranks first in the field in putting between 10-15 feet when sorting by lightning fast green speed. If his irons are dialed in like they have been since the restart, we can expect him to be facing plenty of putts from that length, which should be money in the bank for JT backers.
2020 Masters Odds Tracker
Is There Any Value Left?
If you want to bet Thomas to win his second career PGA Championship title, I’ve got some bad news for you. Any bet on JT at +1100 is now a -EV wager. At that number, he’d need to win 8.33% of the time for you to break-even long term, and that’s just not feasible in a game as volatile as golf. That’s not to say a bet on Thomas wouldn’t be entertaining, or that he isn’t deserving of having the second shortest odds, just know that you’re getting the worst of the number.
@DJohnsonPGA makes it look so simple. pic.twitter.com/bmhw012tuD
— WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (@WGCFedEx) July 31, 2020
One player whose price is looking better each day is Dustin Johnson. The 2016 US Open winner rebounded this week with a T12 after back-to-back brutal performances at the Memorial and 3M. A week ago his PGA Championship odds were +1400, the same as JT, but now they’ve been lengthened to +2200.
DJ’s game was sharp at the WGC FedEx St. Jude, as he gained strokes almost everywhere, finishing ninth in the field in strokes gained tee-to-green. His off the tee play is his greatest strength and he’s just over a month removed from winning at the Travellers. He also has a strong history at the PGA Championship, finishing 10th or better five times, including runner-up in 2019.
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.