They call the PGA Championship "Glory's Last Shot" because it's the final major championship of the golf season. And when the 94th edition of the tournament begins Thursday on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort in South Carolina, the storyline might as well be titled "Tiger's Last Shot."
As has been the case in the previous three majors this year, Tiger Woods is the Bovada betting favorite to win — this time at +800. Tiger has a PGA Tour-high three wins this year but is 0-for-3 in 2012 in the only events he truly cares about: Woods finished tied for 40th at the Masters, tied for 21st at the U.S. Open (despite leading after 36 holes) and tied for third a few weeks ago at the British Open.
Woods remains at 14 major championships for his career, still four behind the record set by Jack Nicklaus. If Tiger can't add No. 15 this weekend, it would mark the fourth straight season he hasn't won a major. His last major victory was the epic 19-hole playoff duel with Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open. Tiger has won the PGA Championship four times, most recently in 2007.
There remains a prop at Bovada on how many majors Tiger will win this year -– obviously it will only be one or none. If Woods were to win this week, that prop also pays off at +800. None is at -1600. Tiger is the +450 favorite as well to be the top American finisher, which he was tied for at the British Open.
There has been one big trend at this year's first three majors: the eventual winner had to rally on Sunday. Bubba Watson (+4000 this week) was three shots back entering the final round of the Masters; Webb Simpson (+3300) was four shots back on Sunday at the U.S. Open; and Ernie Els (+5000) was six out when he began his final round at the British Open. The last year in which no 54-hole leader won a major was 1989.
Perhaps no player deserves a win this week more than Australian Adam Scott, after he bogeyed the final four holes at the British Open to lose the tournament in devastating fashion. Scott is +2800 to win his first major and +250 to have a Top-10 finish. He has three career Top 10s at the PGA Championship, with the last being a seventh-place finish a year ago.
Is this the week that world No. 1 Luke Donald or No. 4 Lee Westwood win their first major? Prior to Els winning the British Open, the previous nine major winners were first-timers. Donald is a second-favorite this week at +1800. Westwood is at +2000. Both players finished tied for eighth at the PGA Championship last year in Atlanta.
You can also bet on the Big 5 of Tiger, Donald, Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson vs. the field this week. That group is +275 with the field at -400. McIlroy, who has mostly struggled the past few months after reaching No. 1 in the world briefly, is at +1800 to win, while Johnson is +3300.
Will there be a wire-to-wire winner this week? That's unlikely considering it has happened only four times in PGA Championship history, with the last being Tiger in 2000. That's a yes-only prop at +1600.
This will be the first time that the Kiawah Island course hosts a major, although the 1991 Ryder Cup was played there. It's considered a very unpredictable course because of the wind. So in that respect it may play like a British Open. The par-72 Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere: 10 right along the Atlantic. It's also the longest course in major championship history at 7,676 yards. The shortest hole is the 188-yard No. 5 and that's the +550 favorite to have the first hole-in-one in the tournament. No hole-in-one at all in the PGA is -200.
Golf fans may have seen the Ocean course without realizing it as it was the setting for the movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance," starring Will Smith and Matt Damon.