2019 PGA Championship predictions: Expert picks and odds for Bethpage Black, Tiger Woods, more

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Who are you picking to win the 2019 PGA Championship? That's what everyone wants to know this time of year, and rarely has the decision at the top been more difficult. All eyes are on Tiger Woods coming off his stunning Masters victory, though he will be bucking history if he hopes to pull off the double. No player has won the Masters and PGA Championship in the same season since ... you guessed it ... Jack Nicklaus in 1975.

There is a strong field of generational talent set for Bethpage Black this week, and we would be remiss without mentioning Rory McIlroy, who is arguably golf's most consistent player right now, and some of the other young guns looking to claim the year's second major title. With the PGA Championship moved up from August to May, it will be interesting to see how the entire field adjusts both this weekend and down the stretch of the 2019 season. Narrowing this field down to a champion and top finishers is a tough task, but we here at CBS Sports are certainly up to it.

So who will win the 2019 PGA Championship, and which long shots will stun the golfing world at Bethpage Black? Visit SportsLine now to see the 2019 PGA Championship projected leaderboard -- from the model that nailed the winners of four golf majors -- and find out.

2019 PGA Championship predictions

Kyle Porter, golf writer

Winner -- Jason Day (25-1): Quietly having a terrific season, Day has been immense at past PGA Championships with his only major win coming in 2015 at Whistling Straits. Since then, he has a 2nd, a T9 and a T19 in the past three years. He also has the best score to par of the 30 golfers who made the cut at both the 2012 Barclays and 2016 Barclays at Bethpage Black. 

Sleeper -- Emiliano Grillo (150-1): Shot four rounds of even par or better in 2016 at The Barclays to finish T2, one back of Patrick Reed. Has the game from tee to green to get it done but is currently 208th in putting. All it takes is one hot week. 

Top 10 lock -- Rory McIlroy: Big surprise here that I'm picking the No. 1 golfer in strokes gained who also has eight top 10s in nine stroke-play events on the PGA Tour and two PGAs to his name. I like huge limbs.

Top 5 in order: Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods

Surprise prediction: Brooks Koepka finishes outside the top 20. It seems like everybody in the golf media world is hopping on the bandwagon, so I'm going to head the other direction for the time being. Which definitely means he's going to win by six and grab his fourth major championship. 

Lowest round: 65 (-5)
Winning score: 275 (-5)
Winner's Sunday score: 69 (-1)


Chip Patterson, writer

Winner -- Dustin Johnson (10-1): While D.J.'s span of winning stretches back to the beginning of the decade, his reign as the best golfer in the world really only covers the past three years. The world No. 1 has been beating on the door in the past couple majors to double his count, and I think a weekend of deep drives and solid work on the greens -- Johnson currently ranks No. 5 on the tour in strokes gained putting -- leads to a couple of 2-under and 3-under rounds that can propel him to the top of the leaderboard by Sunday evening. 

Sleeper -- Sergio Garcia (60-1): Something has to give with Sergio. He has five top-10 finishes in nine PGA Tour events this season but is currently carrying a streak of six straight missed cuts in majors with no top-20 finishes since he won the Masters in 2017. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with his game; it has just been some big numbers early in these tournaments that have him spending the weekend watching with the rest of us. I say Bethpage, a place where he finished in the top 10 at both U.S. Opens (2002, 2009), is the place he reverses course.  

Top 10 lock -- Xander Schauffele: In just eight major starts, Schauffele has four top-six finishes and has been the runner-up twice. He's going to continue to exceed expectations until he breaks through with a win, even as he has already notched two victories this season. It's possible that comes this week but personally, I feel much better about him playing well -- because he almost always has his best stuff at the big tournaments these days -- and finishing in the top 10. He's a top-10 player in the world! Why wouldn't he be top-10 at the PGA? 

Top 5 in order: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy

Surprise prediction: Jordan Spieth will miss the cut. Spieth enters the PGA Championship without a top-20 finish in 13 events this season and a scoring average (71.175) that would mark as the worst of his career by more than a stroke if it held for the year. The reason no one is beating the drum for the potential of a Spieth slam at Bethpage is that he's outside the top 200 in both strokes gained off the tee and driving accuracy.  

Lowest round: 64 (-6)
Winning score: 274 (-6)
Winner's Sunday score: 69 (-1)


Adam Silverstein, deputy managing editor

Winner -- Rickie Fowler (16-1): This course sets up nicely for Fowler, and with all of the attention going to Woods and nearly all of his peers entering event, the pressure is off as one of the best players in the world continues the search for hiss first major championship. Call this a gut feeling more than anything as, despite Fowler's strong play in these events, he's never really all the way atop the leaderboard by the time Round 4 comes to a conclusion. Plus, Rickie has two top-15 finishes at this tournament over the last couple of seasons. 

Sleeper -- Ian Poulter (60-1): With top 20 finishes in each of his last four events, including a T12 at the Masters (which would have looked far better if not for a final-round 73), Poulter has been playing some great golf as of late. He's not historically great in this event with only two top 20 finishes in 16 appearances, but this is called a "sleeper" for a reason.

Top 10 lock -- Rory McIlroy: McIlroy is a backdoor top 10 waiting to happen with seven in the last four years alone. The problem is he's also missed four cuts in that same span.

Top 5 in order: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy

Surprise prediction: Phil Mickelson will miss the cut. Lefty has missed consecutive cuts at the PGA Championship and been unable to make the weekend in three of his last seven majors. I don't like rooting against anyone in this manner, but it worked for me for a couple years with Zach Johnson at the Masters, so I'll throw Lefty to the fire this time around.

Lowest round: 64 (-6)
Winning score: 272 (-8)
Winner's Sunday score: 69 (-1)

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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