2024 PGA Championship odds, favorites: Why you should root for these nine

In the final three majors of the year, there are always 156 golfers to figure, 156 guys to solve. Not all of them have a chance of winning, of course, and its normally easy to spot the pretenders from the jump. What’s not always as easy is figuring out who to cheer and why to cheer for them.

There are some serious historical implications presented by the 2024 PGA Championship — some you have perhaps considered, but others may have fallen by the wayside. Whether you hope history gets made or you want to see your favorite golfer simply claim the year’s second major, having rooting interest beyond the oddsboard is a terrific way to enhance your viewing experience.

Let’s take a look at what’s at stake this week and why to cheer for some of the top players in this year’s field as Valhalla hosts the PGA Championship for the first time in a decade.

1. Scottie Scheffler: The No. 1 player in the world rolls in as a new dad having won two consecutive tournaments and four of his last five starts. In the last 40 years, only Tiger Woods (2002) and Jordan Spieth (2015) have taken the grand slam to a third major. Woods got his chances literally blown away by insane conditions during the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield, while Spieth narrowly missed a playoff during the 2015 Open at St. Andrews. Scheffler has a real chance to take this year’s slam to Pinehurst, which would be an amazing outcome that would captivate the golf world at a time when it needs a feel good story such as that. He enters at a Tiger-like number. Odds: 4-1

2. Brooks Koepka: If you like history, there are three great and realistic options this week (and one even better but maybe unrealistic option): Scheffler’s slam (see above), Rory McIlroy’s return (see below) and Koepka’s sixth major championship (see the record books). Brooks might not be the easiest character in the world to cheer on, but if greatness is your thing — and it’s everybody’s thing to some degree — then look no further than the reigning champion. He has a chance to join Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino with six major championships — all by the age of 34. A win here would get him within one of … Arnold Palmer. Odds: 14-1

3. Rory McIlroy: An historic career is mostly still on track, but a major championship would supercharge him toward the “totally made up but still preposterously impressive” 40 PGA Tour/six major championship club. A win here would also mean that, for the second consecutive year, the PGA Championship would be the fifth major win for somebody. Odds: 7-1

4. Viktor Hovland: Last year’s tough runner-up finisher (along with Scheffler) to Koepka does not have quite as confident of a handle on his game presently, but he is perhaps the easiest athlete to cheer in all of sports. Smiling in victory, smiling in defeat, smiling if he finishes T37, Hovland seems to love the game and the competition. Among those who have not yet won a major championship, the only golfer who rivals his jovial nature is perhaps Tony Finau. If Hovland can somehow get into contention again this year, he’ll have a ton of support. Odds: 40-1

5. Max Homa: I said during the Masters that he’s the best quote in golf right now, and I still believe that. That event at Augusta National was his first true contention at a major, but he was fully committed to owning it. Though the PGA is not quite at the level of the Masters in terms of how much it means, I would imagine Homa will deliver the goods from a quote standpoint if he finds himself back in the mix. Most golfers (heck, most athletes) don’t give much, especially when things are going well. Homa gives you his entire heart almost every time. A scenario in which he does that this week is worth rooting for. Odds: 25-1

6. Bryson DeChambeau: There are a number of reasons to root for players. While perhaps goodwill and excitement are not the two that come to mind with DeChambeau, I can promise you that the quotes and the content would be off the charts. He tried to win the Masters (and almost pulled it off) while using a set of 3D printed golf clubs. Bryson is nothing if not a provider of drama and theatrics. Given how tepid golf has seemed at times over the last few months, he’s worth cheering just for that. Odds: 22-1

7. Rickie Fowler: Is there anybody in golf who has accomplished as much and been as beloved without a major victory? If last year’s U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country club was any indication, it would be incredibly popular and fun if Fowler was not just in contention but ended up getting his first major victory. Throw in the fact that he nearly won here in 2014 when McIlroy took the title, and it’s hard to imagine a more fairytale outcome than that one. Odds: 200-1

8. Jordan Spieth: Incredibly, Spieth could be responsible for the most historic win out of them all this week if he’s able to pull off what, for him, would be a miracle victory at Valhalla. If he wins on Sunday, he joins Tiger, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen and Gary Player as the only golfers to win all four major championships. However you feel about Spieth — and plenty of people have plenty of their own thoughts and feelings about him — that’s an outcome worth rooting for. Odds: 70-1

9. Ludvig Åberg: The 24-year-old took a rip at Scheffler during the Masters but ultimately came up short in his first major appearance. He is as likable as a player gets. Åberg has a perfect golf swing and is young enough that it would be easy to project a significant major career if he were to finish T2-1 in his first two such starts. Odds: 18-1

Who will win the 2024 PGA Championship, and which longshots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine to see the projected PGA Championship leaderboard, all from the model that has nailed 11 golf majorsincluding the last three Masters.

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