PGA Championship Betting 

Since its inception in 1916, the Professional Golf Association (PGA) has become the world’s preeminent golfing authority. It conducts four major international tournaments a year, including the PGA Championship held in August, which serves as the climax of the season’s schedule.

The annual event was first proposed by department store owner Rodman Wanamaker, founder of the PGA, as an all-professional tournament. He personally put up $2,580 as a prize fund along with a variety of trophies and medals. Today, the winner’s share is around $1.35 million of a $7.5 million purse, and the champion receives the coveted Wanamaker Trophy, a sterling silver loving cup that weighs 27 pounds, stands 28 inches tall, measures 10 inches in diameter, and stretches 27 inches from handle to handle.

The inaugural PGA Championship was a match-play event, won by British pro Jim Barnes at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. Most recently (2010), the 92nd edition was won by Martin Kaymer of Germany at the Whistling Straits Golf Course in Wisconsin. In total, 71 different courses in 25 U.S. states have hosted at least one installment of the PGA Championship.

Each year, the PGA Championship boasts the season’s strongest field in golf. Since 1994, it has always featured more players in the Top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings than any other tournament. In fact, in 2002, 98 of the top 100 participated.

Not surprisingly, the biggest names in golf have raised the Wanamaker Trophy above their heads. During its 36-hole match-play era, from 1916 to 1956, Walter Hagan won five times, while Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead each succeeded three times. The tournament switched to a 72-hole stroke-play format in 1958, leading to five wins for Jack Nicklaus and four for Tiger Woods.

Two-time winners of the PGA Championship are numerous, including American greats Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Larry Nelson, and Dave Stockton, among others. There have been three non-U.S. double champions, too: South Africa’s Gary Player, Zimbabwe’s Nick Price, and Vijay Singh representing Fiji.

One notable name missing from the long list of PGA Champions is that of Arnold Palmer. Although he finished runner-up on several occasions and was the first-ever first player to record four rounds in the 60s in a major Championship, the Wanamaker Cup always eluded him. The oldest player ever to win it was 48-year-old Julius Boros, who outlasted Palmer in 1968 at the Pecan Valley Country Club in San Antonio.

Betting on the PGA Championship typically gets into full swing right after the third major of the season, the British Open, which is held in mid-July. The field for ante-post wagering includes 156 golfers. Fully 20 of the spots available are allotted to club professionals, with the balance being made up of players from the Top 100 along with the top finishers emerging from a club pro championship held in June. Amateurs are not invited, although they may qualify through the club pro tournament route.

Apart from wagering on the outright winner, typically at long odds, it is also possible to bet on the Top European in the tournament as well as who will fail to make the cut. Player match betting is also offered, whereby bookmakers pair up two players in a hypothetical 72-hole contest and wagers are made on which one will end up with the better 72-hole score. Should a player fail to make the cut, all ante-post and match bets on the golfer are lost. Winnings are paid only for those who complete the entire four rounds.

Other markets that attract attention during the PGA Championship are Three Ball Betting and Two Ball Betting. Ball betting refers to wagers on which player will have the round’s best score within a group of threesome or twosome. Live Betting or so-called In-Running Betting is offered, too, whereby wagers can be made on virtually every aspect of the game, from whether a specific putt will be made or missed to which player’s drive will be longest on a given hole.

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