Fanatics Signs Justin Thomas Ahead of PGA Championship, Scheffler Big Favorite

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Fanatics Sportsbook is the most rapidly expanding sportsbook operator in the United States. Ahead of golf’s second major of the year, the apparel giant that has ventured into iGaming and sports betting has announced its signing of one of the game’s biggest stars.

Justin Thomas celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills. Thomas this week signed with Fanatics Sportsbook to promote the book’s sports betting business. (Image: Getty)

Fanatics Sportsbook on Tuesday told that Justin Thomas, currently No. 31 in the controversial Official World Golf Ranking, has signed on as an “Official Sports Betting Partner.” In the role, JT, as Thomas is affectionately known, will hype product enhancements to the Fanatics Sportsbook, help create social media content, and engage with the Fanatics community.

The announcement comes before the 2024 PGA Championship tees off tomorrow at Valhalla Golf Club in Thomas’ home city of Louisville. The Kentucky native’s two major victories both came at the PGA Championship (2017, 2022).

Thomas is among the frontrunners this week. At +4000, only 10 players have shorter lines.

If JT hoists the Wanamaker Trophy for a third time come Sunday evening, he would join an esteemed list of three-time or more PGA champions that includes five World Golf Hall of Famers — Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen at five PGA titles, Tiger Woods with four, and Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead with three.

Can Anyone Beat Scottie?

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler has unquestionably been the hottest golfer on the planet this year. He’s won four of the 10 events he played, including the Masters in April, and has finished in the top 10 in nine of those tournaments.

However, Scheffler would likely say his biggest prize this year was the recent birth of his first son. Scottie has been away from the game since winning the RBC Heritage at Harbor Town on April 22.

How will being a father impact his performance this week? Bettors aren’t concerned there will be some rust.

Scheffler is dominating the PGA betting action, with BetMGM telling that he’s on about 20% of the book’s tickets and responsible for more than a quarter of the overall money on the tournament.

Scheffler is at +450 to win his first PGA, a line that implies a winning chance of over 18%. That’s an exceptionally high implied offering in a competitive major field consisting of 156 golfers.

After Scheffler, last week’s Wells Fargo winner Rory McIlroy has the shortest odds at +750. McIlroy is also fresh off some major family news, though his news surrounds his recent filing for divorce from his wife Erica Stoll.

Brooks Koepka, whose game is seemingly built for majors, is next at +1400 with Xander Schauffele. Jon Rahm and Ludvig Aberg round at the top five at +1800.

LIV, Tour Breakdown

In other golf news this week, talks about a potential merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf have seemingly stalled or worse. The revelation came with Jimmy Dunne’s resignation, the architect of the Tour-LIV tentative agreement announced last summer.

Dunne said in his resignation that there’s been “no meaningful progress” towards a financial agreement with Saudi Arabi’s Private Investment Fund (PIF), which is bankrolling LIV.

Unifying professional golf is paramount to restoring fan interest and repairing wounds left from a fractured game. I have tried my best to move all minds in that direction,” Dunne said.

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