Best two-ball bets and parlay for Friday at the PGA Championship: X marks the spot

Xander Schauffele at the U.S. Open
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Ricky Dimon

Golf · 1 month ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Rory McIlroy has the lead at the 2022 PGA Championship following Day 1 (and he was a big 2-ball winner for me, easily beating Jordan Spieth!). The Northern Irishman is 5-under, 1 shot clear of Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge. Tiger Woods (+4) was a bit of a disappointment, but he is by no means out of it.

As expected, it was a fun opening round at the PGA Championship. Without further ado, it’s time to dive into some of the best two-ball bets for Friday at Southern Hills. I went 2-1 on Thursday, so let’s keep the momentum going.

Xander Schauffele (-115) over Hideki Matsuyama

Schauffele had no trouble beating Matsuyama in round one, 2-under to 2-over. It’s not at all surprising, either. Although Schauffele has been somewhat inconsistent in 2022 with a pair of missed cuts, when he’s been good he’s been really good. The Olympic gold medalist already has 6 top-13 finishes this year, including T5 at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson. Clearly from what we saw on Thursday he has another good week going. Matsuyama delivered a couple of solid weeks this spring, but he is still a far cry from the player than won the Masters last spring. I wouldn’t be shocked if Schauffele wins this matchup by at least 4 strokes yet again.

Sam Burns (-130) over Si Woo Kim

Both Burns and Kim came in at 1-over on Thursday. I am more encouraged by Burns’ round, which was uneventful to the tune of 2 bogeys and 1 birdie. Those kinds of rounds will always work at majors, especially in tough conditions. The 25-year-old American was 2-over for much of the round but picked up a late birdie on 17 to give him some momentum heading into Friday. Kim, on the other hand, found himself at 2-under early before fading. The 26-year-old South Korean has not placed better than T37 in any of his last four tournaments and he is coming off a missed cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Burns posted two top-10s in March, including a victory at the Valspar Championship. All signs point to Burns in this matchup.

Abraham Ancer (-125) over Patrick Reed

Ancer has not been great this season, but a 67 on Thursday was extremely impressive. The former Oklahoma University standout made 6 birdies, including on 18. Still, this is more about fading Reed than backing Ancer. Reed has been a complete disaster in 2022, with 4 missed cuts in his previous 7 starts and no finish better than T26 since the second week of January. It is true that the former Masters champion’s first round was impressively uneventful, with 2 birdies and a bogey in the first 3 holes followed by 15 consecutive pars. But for a player like Reed who generally makes tons of birdies, a lock of them on the scorecard is alarming. There is no reason why Ancer shouldn’t take care of business in this matchup just like he did on Thursday.

A three-leg parlay with and Schauffele, Burns and Ancer pays out at +495 odds.

Pickswise is the home of free expert Golf Picks and Golf Predictions. Our PGA expert picks go live every Monday or Tuesday, so check out our latest golf picks, best bets and analysis for the PGA Championship.

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