PGA Championship Golf First Round Leader Odds, Predictions & Best Bets: Stephan Jaeger bombs his way to an early lead

Stephan Jaeger watches his shot from the 17th tee during the third round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament.
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Steve Palmer


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Been handicapping golf since 2001 and to date have had only two losing years. One of the leading voices of golf betting in the UK. For Steve Palmer media enquiries, please email
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Pre-tournament rain has softened Valhalla Golf Course ahead of the 2024 PGA Championship, but a sunny and calm Thursday is expected in Louisville, before a more unsettled Friday. It remains to be seen whether any draw bias develops, with a Friday thunderstorm threat and the potential for spells of heavy rain. Wind speeds are set be low throughout, so it seems likely both sides of the draw should get the chance to be competitive.

The 2 headline acts – Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler – are on opposite sides of the draw. McIlroy will be alongside Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose, teeing off at 8:15 am ET, while Scheffler has Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark for company at 2:13 pm ET. Let’s get into my PGA Championship first round leader best bet, available at HUGE +8000 odds, as well as my best threeball picks.

See our golf expert’s 2024 PGA Championship best bets, including a +7500 longshot

2024 PGA Championship First Round Leader best bet: Stephan Jaeger (+8000)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

First-round-leader bettors are pointed towards a strong early effort from Stephan Jaeger. The in-form German has been driving superbly and is well-equipped to take advantage of the soft, calm morning conditions. He carried a hot putter at Quail Hollow last week and can do plenty of damage from a 7:42 am ET launchpad. At +8000 odds, he warrants consideration.

Byeong Hun An to beat Alexander Njork and Eric Cole in 8:10 am ET threeball (+100)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.

The soft morning conditions should be no problem for Byeong Hun An, who has been striking his ball with huge authority in recent weeks, and the classy Korean looks the pick of the first-round threeball options at +100 to defeat Alexander Bjork and Eric Cole.

An has a significant driving-distance edge over his playing partners on this long, soft terrain, and has arrived at Valhalla carrying much more confidence. An has finished 4th and 3rd in his last 2 PGA Tour starts, while Bjork has gone 9 tournaments without a top 30 and Cole finished last of the 68 players in the Wells Fargo on Sunday, closing with rounds of 80 and 77.

Find out our golf expert’s 2024 PGA Championship best prop bets, including 3 nationality prop picks

Sepp Straka to beat Nick Taylor and Takumi Kanaya in 9:10 am ET threeball (+115)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Sepp Straka can also approach a soggy Valhalla morning with the tools to flourish. The Georgia-based Austrian has been swinging superbly, finishing 16th in the Players Championship, 16th in the Masters, 5th in the Heritage and 8th at Quail Hollow. Playing partners Takumi Kanaya and Nick Taylor lack the necessary punch off the tee. Straka finished 7th in last year’s PGA Championship, before 2nd place in the British Open and a Ryder Cup debut, so he has grown comfortable on the biggest stages.

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