There are plenty of multiple major winners in the 2022 PGA Championship field, but could a first-time champion be crowned this weekend when the 2022 PGA Championship concludes at Southern Hills? The event tees off Thursday in Tulsa, where players like 15-time major champion Tiger Woods, four-time winner Rory McIlroy and three-time champ Jordan Spieth will aim for more glory. Emerging stars like Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele, Cameron Smith, Will Zalatoris and Sam Burns will try for their first taste of major success. The PGA Championship has produced 22 first-time major champions in the past 36 events, including Collin Morikawa (2020) and Justin Thomas (2017), who are among the 2022 PGA Championship favorites again this year.
World no. 1 Scottie Scheffler is the 11-1 favorite in the latest 2022 PGA Championship odds from Caesars Sportsbook along with Jon Rahm. McIlroy and Thomas are both 14-1, while Spieth (16-1) and Morikawa (18-1) are near the top of a loaded PGA Championship 2022 lineup. Woods is a 50-1 long shot as he continues to recover from injuries from a severe car crash. 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, Johnson knows it would be foolish to go against Scheffler at this point, especially on this course. The 25-year-old played here twice collegiately, winning a Big 12 championship in 2015, and he has called his all-time favorite course. That might be partly because his game fits perfectly. It is a shot-maker’s course, and he has been making all the shots. All four of his career tour wins have come since February, including at Augusta National. He is sixth in scoring average, third in greens in regulation and ninth in total strokes gained.
The expert also knows Rahm is a premier shot-maker and expects him to make a strong run at his second major title if his putter holds up. Rahm was 18th in the field in strokes gained on the green while winning the Mexico open his last time out, but he is 108th for the season. Still, the Spaniard is elite in every other phase, ranking first in total driving as well as greens in regulation and 11th in scoring average. The 27-year-old tied for 27th at the Masters, done in by a third-round 77, but he was in the top 10 in all four majors last year, winning the US Open.
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.