PGA Championship Odds 2021: Predictions, Picks and Sleepers for Kiawah Island

Rory McIlroy is the bookmakers' favorite to win the PGA Championship this week, as the second major of the season returns to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort for the first time in nine years.

The Northern Irishman triumphed when the South Carolina course hosted the PGA Championship in 2012, claiming his second major in less than a year.

Another PGA Championship and The Open followed two years later, but McIlroy has failed to add to his majors collection since 2014.

Here's a breakdown of the favorites and the outsiders to keep an eye on this week.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy arrives in South Carolina full of confidence after winning the Wells Fargo Championship last week, his first PGA Tour title since November 2019.

The bookmakers' favorite at 11-1, the Northern Irishman won by a record eight strokes at Kiawah Island in 2012. In recent years, however, the 32-year-old has found the PGA Championship tougher going. McIlroy has just one top 10 finish in the tournament since 2015.

Rory McIlroy at the PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a practice round for the 2021 PGA Championship on May 18 at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth

After a difficult couple of years, Spieth returned to form last month, winning the Texas Open—his first PGA Tour victory in four years—and finishing third at The Masters. The Texan arrives in South Carolina with the second-shortest odds at 14-1 and there are several reasons to consider him a potential winner.

The Ocean Course is as close to a links course as can be found in the U.S., something that should play into the hands of Spieth, who won The Open in 2017. Additionally, the course was designed by Pete Dye, who was responsible for the layout of TPC River Highlands, where Spieth won the Travelers Championship four years ago.

The three-time major winner ranks fourth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained on approach over the last 24 rounds and has gained four or more strokes on approach in each of his starts since the beginning of February, bar the Genesis Invitational.

Spieth missed a few weeks of action after contracting COVID-19 shortly after The Masters, but he should have a great chance to complete his career Grand Slam.

Jon Rahm

The world No. 3 is still looking for his first major win and has the second-shortest odds of any player alongside Spieth and Justin Thomas, despite struggling to find form after finishing fifth at The Masters.

At the same time, there are plenty of reasons to feel positive about Rahm. The Spaniard is a brilliant links player and, although he doesn't possess the power of Bryson DeChambeau, he is a great striker of the ball. Given that the last 36 majors were won by players ranked in the world's top 50 and that 15 of the last 21 went to first-time winners, backing Rahm at 14-1 could be a shrewd decision.

Viktor Hovland

The Norwegian arrives at the PGA Championship in great form after back-to-back third-place finishes in his last two starts at the Valspar Championship and the Wells Fargo Open. Hovland ranks second in the field in strokes gained over the last 24 rounds, third in strokes gained off the tee and 11th in strokes gained in approach over the same period. At 22-1, Hovland could be excellent value.

Collin Morikawa

Morikawa is a 30-1 shot to defend the title he won at Harding Park in San Francisco nine months ago. The 24-year-old missed the cut at the Zurich Classic in his latest start, but had two top 20 finishes in his previous two events, including 18th place at The Masters.

Morikawa ranks No. 1 in strokes gained on approach and first in strokes gained tee to green over his last 24 rounds. He could be a player to watch in South Carolina.

Tyrrell Hatton

Hatton won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January—his third title in 11 months—before cooling off. However, he finished a career-best 18th at The Masters and Kiawah Island should suit his style. The Englishman relishes links courses—he won the Dunhill Links Championship back-to-back in 2016 and 2017—and finished third at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town last year on a course designed by Dye.

Like Rahm, he fits the profile of a major winner in terms of world ranking—Hatton is No. 9—and in terms of not having won one of golf's four big tournaments yet, making him too good to pass up at 85-1.