Past majors at Southern Hills Country Club have been scorchers, but when the 2022 PGA Championship tees off Thursday, May 19, the weather should be manageable. Southern Hills will be a challenge like any other major, but the triple-digit temperatures that have been the norm in four previous PGA Championships and three US Opens shouldn’t be an issue in May. Tiger Woods won the 2007 PGA Championship in the last major played on the storied course in Tulsa. The 15-time major winner is one of numerous champions expected to be in the 2022 PGA Championship field, including world no. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who won the Masters last month.
Caesars Sportsbook lists Scheffler and 2021 US Open champion Jon Rahm as the 11-1 co-favorites in the latest 2022 PGA Championship odds. They are followed closely by several former major champions, including four-time winner Rory McIlroy (12-1) and two-timer Collin Morikawa (14-1). There are 12 players priced at 20-1 or lower, including Justin Thomas (14-1), Dustin Johnson (16-1), Brooks Koepka (18-1) and Jordan Spieth, while Woods is 40-1. Before you make any 2022 PGA Championship picks, you need to see what golf proven insider Sal Johnson has to say.
The esteemed golf insider has been around the game for many years and knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour, and he is tuned in to the major championships.
In his last set of predictions for SportsLine, he nailed the Masters for the third time in four years. Johnson backed Scheffler, who has just been playing too well to be ignored. “Scheffler is on a run where he has been hard to beat, and I see it rolling on at Augusta National,” he said before the 25-year-old got his fourth victory of the season. He also called Woods’ unlikely victory at Augusta in 2019 and Dustin Johnson’s 2020 win, when he shot a tournament-record 20-under 268.
At the PGA Championship, the past two winners were surprises, with 50-year-old Mickelson winning last year and Collin Morikawa taking the 2020 title in his second major start. But Johnson backed the winner the previous two years, as Koepka won in 2018 then joined Woods as the only back-to-back PGA winners the following year. “This is a course he can attack and play well on,” Johnson said of Koepka before the 2019 event. Koepka took a seven-shot lead into the final round and held on in the raging wind at Bethpage for his fourth major title.
Now, Johnson, the first producer of “Inside the PGA Tour” and longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, has released his highly confident 2022 PGA Championship picks. The picks from the founder of GOLFstats, the world’s top golf statistics database, will surprise you. You can see them here.
Top 2022 PGA Championship expert picks
One shocking choice from Johnson: The expert is fading Cameron Smith, even though he has two victories this season and was in contention at the Masters. The 28-year-old hasn’t been quite the same since his triple-bogey on the 12th hole at Augusta that took him out of contention. He missed the cut in his last stroke play event, the RBC Heritage, and tied for 21st at the Zurich Classic along with Marc Leishman. Southern Hills is a ball-striker’s course, and Smith hasn’t fared well at venues like it. “I just don’t think Southern Hills will suit his eye,” Johnson told SportsLine.
On the other hand, Scheffler should feel right at home at Southern Hills. The world’s top-ranked player had a strong week at Augusta National to post his fourth victory of the season. He kept his driver in play, hitting 77 percent of fairways, which had been the only weakness. His iron game is immaculate (fourth in greens in regulation), and he is one of the best putters on tour (20th in strokes gained). That’s why he ranks fifth on tour in scoring average (69.68) and averages 4.93 birdies per round (third). He also has had success at Southern Hills, winning a Big 12 championship there in 2015.
The expert also knows Rahm has not been as consistent as he was last season, but he still has finished in the top 15 in more than half his events (six of 11). He won his last tournament, the Mexico Open, and his putter was much better in that outing. That has been his only weakness, as he leads the tour in greens in regulation (73.83 percent), strokes gained off the tee, and strokes gained tee-to-green. The Spaniard crushes it off the tee (third in driving distance) and hits almost 65 percent of fairways (43rd), a combination that puts him first in total driving.
How to make 2022 PGA Championship picks, bets
Johnson also is high on a massive long shot at Southern Hills who comes in around 100-1. His excellent tee-to-green game should fit Southern Hills like a glove. You can only see who it is at SportsLine.
Who wins the PGA Championship 2022 at Southern Hills? And which epic long shot is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Sal Johnson’s full leaderboard, picks and analysis for the 2022 PGA Championshipall from the insider who is tuned in to what it takes to win a major championship.