Round 2 of the PGA Championship is today. It is the golf season’s second major and happens to be at one of the toughest golf courses you will find. Bethpage Black is not for the average player. “Highly Skilled Golfers Only” as you can see on the sign in the photo. Truly this is one of the toughest tests for any professional. Today’s bets will have an emphasis on how difficult this course is. So often at Bethpage Black, scores will be higher than average, so it’s critical to find consistent players who can fight their way through their round. As always, these golf bets are draw no bet:
Charles Howell III – Byeong-Hun An
Howell III @ (1.90/-110)
Howell III: +2
This first matchup is between two golfers who vary greatly on my trust scale. As mentioned Bethpage Black is one of the hardest courses where bogey avoidance is key and avoid big scores throughout the round. This matchup represents a big difference in that department. In terms of bogey avoidance Charles Howell III ranks 6th on the entire PGA tour this season. An, on the other hand, ranks 176 out of 214. Also, Howell III is the type of player who will never win many tournaments but also won’t miss many cuts. All around he’s a solid golfer who is worth using in this situation. An, really struggled yesterday losing over three strokes putting during his round. This is pretty consistent with his overall putting ability as he ranks near the bottom on the PGA Tour. He also ranks near the bottom in driving accuracy. He can drive the ball a long way, but if he is not on his game, he could be in trouble. A positive sign with Howell is he managed to stay afloat despite only hitting 43% of fairways. As I mentioned, a player who is the model of consistency that should hit more fairways today than yesterday if you believe in his ability. I believe An will have to significantly improve overnight to have a chance here.
Kyle Stanley – Lucas Bjerregaard
Stanley @ (1.86/-115)
Another matchup where bogey avoidance statistics differ greatly. While Kyle Stanley is just average in bogey avoidance, Bjerregaard ranks 7th worst in this category. Bjerregaard is somewhat of an unknown commodity, he has had his good moments, but has blown up many times on the course and has struggled. I personally have no interest in betting on a player who could fall apart at any point in his round. He played well in round 1, but I would be willing to assume the big scores will come at some point. The wind will be up tomorrow and players will need to be in survival mode. Kyle Stanley is someone who I do have an interest in. Despite the same score as Bjerregaard, his statistics show positive signs. First, he’s driving the ball well, hitting 93% of fairways in round 1. The only place he struggled was putting, which I expect to turn around as Kyle Stanley happens to be 3rd best in the field on fast greens. If he finds the fairway at the same rate as he did in round 1, he’s someone who has a great iron game and could go shoot a good score if the putts start dropping for him.
Scott Piercy – Julian Suri
Piercy @ (1.86/-115)
This final bet comes down to recent form. Heading into this tournament, Scott Piercy went 74 straight holes without a bogey. As you have read throughout this article, we are going with players who statistically appear to be able to limit their mistakes. Piercy ranks 8th in bogey avoidance. Another interesting fact about Piercy is that he’s played the last three events at Bethpage Black. Missed one cut and finished 22nd in 2016 Barclays and 23rd in 2009 Us Open. He has experience at this course, unlike Julian Suri. In terms of Suri’s game, he rarely plays in the United States, so not a lot of season-long statistics but his first round was concerning. He had a solid score but only hit around 40% of greens and fairways. He was saved by his putting, gaining nearly two strokes. He only birdied two holes the entire round, one on a par 5 (easier hole) and another where he made a 50-foot putt. I am not confident enough in Suri’s game right now. Trusting Piercy here.