Scheffler, Rahm, McIlroy Are The Favorites At 2022 PGA Championship

Written By Jordan Hansen on May 18, 2022
2022 John Deere Classic

The 2022 PGA Championship tees of this week and Iowa sportsbooks favor world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, followed by John Rahm and Rory McIlroy.

The second of golf’s four majors unfolds at Southern Hills Championship Golf Course in Tulsa, OK. The tournament begins each day at 7 a.m. CBS and ESPN share broadcast coverage. Early birds need an ESPN+ subscription then CBS jumps in for the weekend rounds.

  • Thursday and Friday
    • 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on ESPN+
    • 1-7 p.m. on ESPN
  • Saturday and Sunday
    • 7-9 a.m. on ESPN+
    • 9 a.m. to noon on ESPN
    • noon to 6 p.m. on CBS

Somewhat shockingly, Phil Mickelson won the event a year ago to become golf’s oldest major champion. He isn’t in the field, however.

Organizers set the total purse at $12 million, with a new champion getting nearly $2.2 million.

Scheffler’s year

It has been a pretty good year to be Scottie Scheffler. Not only did he win The Masters in April, the top-ranked golfer, is also dominating the money leader scoreboard with nearly $10.3 million so far this year. Cameron Smith trails by nearly $4 million.

Scheffler competed in 15 events so far this season with 11 top-25 finishes — seven inside the top 10 — to go with four wins, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in March. He has been fairly well-rounded in his game, as his driving distance and approaches rank near the top of the PGA.

Putting, however, has been more of a challenge for him this year. Will that be his downfall? Hard to tell, but Scheffler is between +1100 and +1200 this week. He’s around +330 to make the top five and +160 to make the top 10.

As you can see, picking the correct champion can be a long shot. Sportsbooks set a wide range of golf odds to keep each hole and each shot more interesting.

About the 2022 PGA Championship course

Windy and warm weather should greet golfers in Oklahoma this week (shocking, we know) though it is not supposed to get too hot. Wind might pose a bigger challenge. Gusts impact drives and approach shots but remember the short game too. It presents challenges of its own. Designers gave the course a makeover since the PGA Championship was played there in 2007. Fun fact, Tiger Woods won that.

“I think the green complexes are perfectly fitting to the holes. There’s going to be a lot — the greens play maybe three quarters of the size that they actually are,” Jordan Spieth told CBS earlier this week. “There are a lot more runoffs than I remember into Bermuda chipping areas and into runoff areas that are mowed. … But I think it’s going to be a really firm and fast PGA, and I think it’s going to be one of the higher scoring PGAs that we have seen.”

Gil Hanse and company supervised reconstruction of the course in 2018-19. Designers removed many of the trees and greens are more generous than they were before. The 2022 PGA Championship field faces less rough and more bunkers in 2022.

It should be a fun ride.

Yes, Tiger is back again

Tiger Woods returns to the field and has dominated the news cycle this week. A number of golfers fielded interview questions about him in the week leading up to his first event back since the Masters in April. He’s currently 234th in the FedexCup rankings.

Tiger wants to capture the all-time PGA Tour victories mark and he’s currently at 82 wins.

Tiger, of course, continues his comeback from a gristly car accident in which he nearly lost his leg. It really is nothing short of a medical miracle he is still able to play professional golf.

Tournament organizers paired Woods with Rory McIlroy and Spieth for the first two rounds. Woods is +6500 to win, +1200 to finish in the top-five and +600 to finish in the top-10 this weekend. He’s -118 to make the cut at FanDuel.

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“I feel like I can, definitely,” Woods told ESPN this week when asked if he could win the tournament. “I just have to go out there and do it — I have to do my work. Starts on Thursday and I’ll be ready.”

Iowa connections at the 2022 PGA Championship

The 2022 PGA Championship features two competitors from Iowa, by the way. Zach Johnson and club pro Sean McCarty will grace the course in Tulsa.

Johnson, of course, is the well-established winner from Cedar Rapids. McCarty, from West Branch, is a former state and Big Ten Champion when he golfed for the University of Iowa in the ’90s. He’s actually competed in tour events before, his last at the 2018 PGA Championship.

He is one of the 20 club pros to get the chance to qualify for the tournament.

“It’s just been kind of an experience. I’m playing smarter than I probably ever used to,” McCarty told Iowa’s News Now earlier this week. “I hit more fairways than I used to and it’s a little bit easier that way.”

Zach Johnson slipped a bit in the PGA rankings this year, currently down to 250th. He missed the cut in six events after finishing the year ranked 175th in 2021 and 97th in 2020. Johnson’s best PGA finish was at the Desert Classic earlier this season, where he finished tied for 14th at La Quinta Country Club. He also finished 13th at the Valero Texas Open.

DraftKings gives Johnson +50000 odds to win the 2022 PGA Championship, +13000 to finish in the top five and +4500 to finish in the top 10. McCarty, meanwhile, comes in at +100000 to win, +25000 to finish in the top five and +10000 to finish in the top 10.

Photo by Eric Gay / AP
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