Handicapping golf’s three young guns: Spieth, McIlroy and Day

The PGA Tour is turning over a new leaf after the 2015 schedule. Former tour headliner Tiger Woods is a shell of his former self and may never play another PGA event in his life, due to mounting injuries. And his decline, as well as some of golf’s other gatekeepers stepping back, has opened the door for the younger – and more promising – players on tour.

Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day top that list, which is why oddsmakers have special prop odds on how many major tournaments – The Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship – each one will win in 2016. Here’s a look at those odds and some sports betting picks:

Jordan Spieth

0 majors (-110), 1 major (+150), 2 majors (+600), 3 majors (+2,000), Grand Slam (+8,000)

The fact that zero is a slight favorite, with 10 cent vig on the price tag, tells you just how good Spieth is – especially when it comes to the biggest tournaments of the year. He won the Masters and U.S. Open last year and finished fourth in the British Open and runner-up at the PGA Championship. For 2016, Spieth will aim for another dominant showing at Augusta National after recording a record 28 birdies in 2015. It would seem reasonable for the Texas native to win at least one major event this coming year.

Rory McIlroy

0 majors (-150), 1 majors (+160), 2 majors (+750), 3 majors (+5,000), Grand Slam (+15,000)

McIlroy was shutout in the major tournaments of 2015, missing the Open Championship due to an ankle injury – unable to defend his 2014 title – and posted his best work at Augusta with a fourth-place finish at the Masters. Last season was plagued by fatigue, injury and a hectic schedule, which had McIlroy waning midway through the calendar. However, it seems as though he’s healthy and refocused on golf. He’ll be a live bet for the 2016 Masters – the only major tournament missing from his resume.

Jason Day

0 majors (-275), 1 major (+225), 2 majors (+1,200), 3 majors (+10,000), Grand Slam (+25,000)

It would seem the golf oddsmakers aren’t giving Day much credit, even though he won the 2015 PGA Championship and the FedEx Cup. He’s knocked on the door of other major tournaments during his career, posting a second-place finish in the Masters, a runner-up twice in the U.S. Open, and a T4 in the Open Championship. Outside of the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open has been his better of the four events. The tournament is being held at the Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania this coming year.

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