2022 PGA Championship Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Tiger Woods 2022 PGA Championship Southern Hills
Tiger Woods on from the 14th green during a practice round at Southern Hills CC on May 16, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ahead of the 2022 PGA Championship. (Photo by Andrew Redington via Getty Images)

The season’s second major golf championship gets underway this week with the 104th edition of the PGA Championship.

Contested at historic Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the always-underrated major promises to be a table setter for the final three months of the season.

The 156-player field includes most of the world’s top-ranked players and marquee names, but will not include the defending champion, Phil Mickelson, who decided to withdraw and avoid the attacks from the far-left golf media.

While Phil was a disappointing ‘no,’ Tiger Woods is an exciting ‘yes.’ The 15-time major winner will tee it up for the first time since the Masters.

Jordan Spieth plays a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive CC on Aug 9, 2018 in St Louis, MO. (Photo by Richard Heathcote via Getty Images)

Other storylines include: a resurgent Jordan Spieth appears well positioned to complete the career Grand Slam. Can world No.1 Scottie Scheffler continue his dominance as he looks for his second major of the season?

Or what about Rory McIlroy: can he finally win a fifth major, and a third Wanamaker trophy? Can Justin Thomas break his year-plus winless streak with a second PGA major? Will Patrick Cantlay – the best player without a major – close the deal? Then there’s big-game savant Brooks Koepka: will he overcome nagging injuries to secure major No. 5?

Additional storylines are many and overflowing, involving the likes of Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele, among others.

Will the winner be one who’s historic, or a one-time supernova who was part of history.

Since 2000, the list of players to hoist golf’s biggest trophy include the likes of Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel, Y.E. Yang, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner and Jimmy Walker. But it’s also included Woods – three times, Koepka, McIlroy and Mickelson – twice, as well as Jason Day, Thomas and Morikawa, once each.

Here’s more on what to expect this week in Oklahoma for the 104th PGA Championship.

PGA Championship At-a-Glance

2022 PGA Championship Southern Hills 16th Hole Flag
Tiger Woods walks toward the 16th hole during a practice round at Southern Hills CC on May 16, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ahead of the 2022 PGA Championship. (Photo by Darren Carroll / PGA of America via Getty Images)

2022 PGA Championship
Dates: May 19-22, 2022
Where: Tulsa, OK
Course: Southern Hills
Distance: Par 70, 7556 yards
Architect: Perry Maxwell (1936)
Redesign: Gil Hanse (2019)
Field: 156 players
Format: 72/36 stroke-play
Purse: $15,000,000
Winning Share: $2,700,000
Trophy: Wanamaker Trophy
2021 Champion: Phil Mickelson 

How to Follow the PGA Championship

Tiger Woods 2022 PGA Championship Southern Hills
Fans watch Tiger Woods from the 12th tee during a practice round at Southern Hills CC on May 16, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ahead of the 2022 PGA Championship. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird via Getty Images)

TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 2-8 p.m. (ESPN); Sat-Sun: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (ESPN), 2-7 p.m. (CBS)

STREAMING: Thu-Fri: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (ESPN+)
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PGA Championship History

Jim Barnes, PGA golf champ, and Jack Dempsey, heavyweight champ
Champions of the links and mitts: World famous world champions Jim Barnes, PGA golf champ, and Jack Dempsey, heavyweight champ, together at Tampa, Fla on Feb 9, 1926. (Bettman via Getty Images)

Today’s PGA Championship can be credited to the work of business mogul Rodman Wanamaker 105 years ago in New York City, who gathered a collection of golf professionals, which led to the formation of the PGA.

The first winner of the iconic tournament was Englishman Jim Barnes, who beat the great Scotsman Jock Hutchison, 1 up, in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. Barnes walked away with the Wanamaker trophy, a check for $500 and a diamond-studded gold medal donated by Wanamaker.

The next two editions were canceled due to World War I, but Barnes returned n 1919 and successfully defended his PGA title.

Barnes, who has been called the ‘Great Forgotten Champion,’ would go on to win the 1921 U.S. Open and 1925 British Open. (The Masters was not founded until 1934.)

The PGA Championship was a match play event for its first 39 editions, but by the late 50s due to the advent of TV and many of the big names (Snead, Hogan) no longer dominating, the PGA was pressured by network television broadcasters to switch to stroke play.

Lee Trevino wins the Wanamaker Trophy at the 1974 PGA Championship
Jim McKay, Jack Nicklaus, and winner Lee Trevino at the US PGA Golf Championship at Tanglewood Park in Clemmon, NC on Aug 11, 1974. (Photo by Al Satterwhite of ABC via Getty Images)

For most of the modern stroke-play era, the championship was played in mid-August on the third weekend before Labor Day, serving as the fourth and final major of the golf season, using a tagline of “Glory’s Last Shot.”

In 2013, the tagline had been dropped in favor of “The Season’s Final Major”, as suggested by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem who felt the slogan weakened the stature of its season-ending money grab: the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Beginning in 2019, the tournament was moved to May to provide a better flow to the golf season – with the PGA Tour’s two flagship events: The Players Championship (Mar.) and The Tour Championship (Aug.) bookending four consecutive months of majors (April: Masters, May: PGA, June: U.S. Open, July: British Open).

The Wanamaker Trophy stands nearly 2.5 feet tall and weighs 27 pounds. The trophy was lost, briefly, for a few years until it showed up in 1930 in the cellar of L.A. Young and Company. Ironically, this cellar was in the factory which made the clubs for the man responsible for losing it, Walter Hagen.

Hagen claimed to have trusted a taxi driver with the precious cargo, but it never returned to his hotel. There is a smaller replica trophy that the champion gets to keep permanently, but the original must be returned for the following years tournament.

Phil Mickelson Crowd
Phil Mickelson is followed up the 18th fairway by a gallery of fans after hitting his approach shot during the final round of the 2021 PGA Championship held at the Ocean Course of Kiawah Island Golf Resort on May 23, 2021 in Kiawah Island, SC. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins via Getty Images)

Notable winners of the Wanamaker Trophy in the match-play era include Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, and Ben Hogan. Legends who won the PGA in the stroke-play era include Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who won his second last year at the age of 51, becoming the oldest major winner in history.

Hagen and Nicklaus share the record for most PGA Championships with five apiece. Two surprising names missing from the winner’s list are Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, who had close calls, but were never able to claim victory and close the door on the grand slam.

Jack Nicklaus wins the Wanamaker Trophy at the 1980 PGA Championship
Jack Nicklaus speaks to the crowd after winning the PGA Championship at the Oak Hill CC in Rochester, NY on Aug 10, 1980. (Photo by Brian Morgan of Popperfoto via Getty Images)
History: Recent Winners

2021: Phil Mickelson (-6)
2020: Collin Morikawa (-13)
2019: Brooks Koepka (-8)
2018: Brooks Koepka (-16)
2017: Justin Thomas (-8)
2016: Jimmy Walker (-14)
2015: Jason Day (-20)
2014: Rory McIlroy (-16)
2013: Jason Dufner (-10)
2012: Rory McIlroy (-13)

History: Records

264 – Brooks Koepka (2018)

-20 – Jason Day (2015)

Winning Margin
8 – Rory McIlroy (2012)

20 – Gene Sarazen (1922)

51 – Phil Mickelson (2021)

5 – Walter Hagen (1921, 1924-27)
5 – Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980)
4 – Tiger Woods (1999-00, 2006-07)

4 – Jack Nicklaus (1964, 1965, 1974, 1983)

The Course: Southern Hills

2022 PGA Championship Southern Hills 9th green
A general view of the 9th green during a practice round at Southern Hills CC on May 16, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ahead of the 2022 PGA Championship. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird via Getty Images)

The club was established in 1935 from land donated by multimillionaire oilman Waite Phillips (of the ‘Phillips 66’ family),

The course was designed by famed architect Perry Maxwell and opened for play in 1936. Gil Hanse restored the championship course in 2019 to reflect Maxwell’s original vision.

The clubhouse, also opened in 1936, was designed in “English country manor” style by Tulsa architects John Duncan Forsyth and Donald McCormick.

Maxwell’s signatures are contoured fairways, undulated greens, and swells around (and on) the greens, commonly called “Maxwell rolls.”

The closing hole is brutal: a 490-yard par-4 that requires an uphill approach to a back-to-front sloping green.

Interesting Nugget: Hubert Green played the final round of the 1977 U.S. Open at Southern Hills under a death threat He would win by a shot.

Interesting Nugget 2: On May 27, 1981, Roger Wheeler, a Tulsa businessman and owner of Miami’s World Jai Alai, was murdered in the parking lot of the club. The killing was ordered by Winter Hill Gang mobster Whitey Bulger, who discovered that Wheeler had uncovered the gang’s ongoing embezzlement scheme from the jai alai organization. The killing was portrayed in the movie Black Mass.

Course Data

Name: Southern Hills CC
Ownership: Private
Stats: 18 Holes, Par 70, 7556 yards
Architect: Perry Maxwell (1936)
Redesign: Gil Hanse (2019)
Established: 1936

Vault: 2021 PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson and caddie Tim Mickelson
Phil Mickelson and caddie Tim Mickelson celebrate with a fist pump after making a birdie putt on the 9th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort on May 21, 2021, in Kiawah Island, SC. (Photo by Keyur Khamar PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson survived a rollercoaster Sunday round at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course to post a 73 and claim a stunning two-shot victory at the PGA Championship.

Mickelson set a ton of records, but the biggest headline is becoming the first player to win a major title after turning 50.

It was his sixth major championship and with it comes a five-year PGA Tour exemption, which essentially ended his Champions Tour career.

Top-10 Finishers

Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 4)
1. Phil Mickelson -6 (+1)
2. Brooks Koepka -4 (+2)
2. Louis Oosthuizen -4 (+1)
4. Padraig Harrington -2 (-3)
4. Shane Lowry -2 (-3)
4. Harry Higgs -2 (-2)
4. Paul Casey -2 (-1)
8. Abraham Ancer -1 (-7)
8. Justin Rose -1 (-5)
8. Collin Morikawa -1 (-4)
8. Jon Rahm -1 (-4)
8. Collin Morikawa -1 (-4)
8. Will Zalatoris -1 (-2)
8. Scottie Scheffler -1 (-2)
8. Tony Finau -1 (-1)
8. Rickie Fowler -1 (-1)
8. Kevin Streelman -1 (+3)

The PGA Championship Field

Tiger Woods Birdies 18th at Bellerive
Tiger Woods reacts to making a birdie on the 18th hole during the final round of the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive CC in St. Louis, MO. Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGAA via Getty Images

The field this week in Oklahoma will include most of the world’s marquee players, headlined by 15-time major winner Tiger Woods.

Woods will be joined top-ranked stars such as former PGA champion Justin Thomas; newly-minted Masters winner Scottie Scheffler; reigning U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm; two-time major winners Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa; three-time major winner Jordan Spieth; and four-time major winners Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka.

The betting favorites this week are Rahm and Scheffler, who are listed at 12-1. JT, Spieth and McIlroy were next at 16-1, followed by Morikawa (20-1) and Hideki Matsuyama (22-1).

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth Masters
Justin Thomas putts on the 8th green as Jordan Spieth looks on during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 07, 2021 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

DJ, Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Viktor Hovland round out the top-10 favorites at 25-1.

Other top betting offers include Koepka and Will Zalatoris at 33-1; and Joaquin Niemann, Sam Burns and Shane Lowry, who are all listed at 40-1. Finally: Daniel Berger, Max Homa and Matthew Fitzpatrick are the only other players with odds better than 50-1.

Field Analysis: Key Players

Tiger Woods – The 46-year-old has recorded four of his 15 career major victories at the PGA Championship, winning in 1999, 2000, 2006, and 2007. Among his last five starts in this major, Tiger has missed the cut three times and finished T37, but he was solo-second to Brooks Koepka at Bellerive in 2018. At last month’s Masters Tournament, Tiger did extremely well to make the cut – something Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau all failed to do, but on the weekend, he looked like someone who hadn’t competed in a year – shooting two rounds of 6-over 78 to finish T47. Still, it’s Tiger. He cannot be counted out anywhere.

Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas
Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas walk the first hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany on Dec 07, 2019 in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Justin Thomas – The 14-time Tour winner has not landed in the winner’s circle since claiming the PLAYERS in March 2021, but the 2017 PGA Championship winner looks very close, with six top-10 results in just nine (stroke-play) starts on the year, including a T5 at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson and a T8 at the Masters.

Scottie Scheffler – In terms of who’s playing the best among the best, it’s hands-down Scheffler, who’s won four times and posted two additional top-15 finishes (T7, T15) in his last seven starts. Further, the 25-year-old has made just 10 major starts in his career, and the PGA has been arguably his best, finishing T4 and T8 the past two years, respectively.

Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth
Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth walk to the 17th green during the first round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera CC on Feb 17, 2022 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (Photo by Ben Jared / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth – The Texan is entering on fire too – as the one-time “Golden Child” of golf is in his best form since 2017, as he seeks to claim the career grand slam. In his last two starts, the three-time major winner has won the RBC Heritage in a playoff over Patrick Cantlay, and finished runner-up to K.H. Lee at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson. The 28-year-old has twice finished inside the top 3 at the PGA Championship.

Jon Rahm – The Spaniard currently holds the world No. 2 position and is coming off his first victory of the PGA Tour season, winning the Mexico Open. The reigning U.S. Open champion has finished inside the top 13 in three of his last four PGA Championship starts, including a T8 at Kiawah Island last year.

Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith
Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith on the 1st tee box during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua on Jan 9, 2022 in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. (Photo by Ben Jared / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Cameron Smith – At times, the 26-year-old Aussie has looked like the best golfer on the planet, winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January and The PLAYERS Championship in March. He was in second through 54 holes at The Masters as well. Shockingly, a T25 at the 2015 PGA Championship was his only top-40 finish in this event.

Collin Morikawa – The world No. 3 has proven himself to be unflappable on the major stage, having won twice in just nine starts, including a victory at TPC Harding Park at the 2020 PGA Championship. On the current season, the 25-year-old has six top-10s in just 10 starts and shot a final round 67 last month to finish fifth at the Masters.

Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa
Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa will form the top team at the 2022 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. (Photo by Gregory Shamus via Getty Images)

Viktor Hovland – One of the youngest star players in the field, the 24-year-old Norwegian currently ranks 6th in the OWGR and has been as high as third this season. Hovland has done everything in his career except contending in a major, as his best finish was the T12 at last year’s Open Championship. On the season, Hovland won the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and finished runner-up at Bay Hill in March.

Patrick Cantlay – The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year has not been particularly stellar in majors, with just two top-10s in 20 starts, and went through about a two month slump earlier in February through mid-April, but the 30-year-old UCLA product seems to be close to his best, losing a playoff to Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage, and winning the Zurich Classic in his last start, in which he teamed up with Xander Schauffele.

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay Win 2022 Zurich Classic
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay celebrate after winning the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana on April 24, 2022 in Avondale, New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Sarah Stier via Getty Images)

Xander Schauffele – The Olympic gold medalist re-appeared in Dallas last week, exploding in the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson to the tune of an 11-under 61 to finish the week 23-under. While he has yet to win a major, Schauffele has consistently finished well in the biggest events, with nine top-10s in 19 major starts.

Dustin Johnson – Of all the top betting favorites (excluding Koepka and Tiger whose questions are more related to injuries), DJ enters in the most curious form. Now ranked outside the top 10 (No. 12), the longtime world No. 1 enters off a T59 (Byron Nelson) and missed-cut (RBC Heritage). In the season’s two biggest events, though, DJ posted a pair of top-12 finishes: The Masters (T12) and The PLAYERS (T9). He also added a final-four finish at the high-profile WGC-Match Play event.

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka
Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka punch knuckles after finishing their rounds on the 9th green during day one of the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession on Feb 25, 2021 in Bradenton, FL. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka – The Florida State product does not need help getting himself hyped for majors, as he has consistently excelled on the biggest stages, winning four times in a three-season blitzkrieg. Starting in 2020, though, the two-time PGA winner has battled through a multitude of injuries which has limited his play and hampered his once-dominant style. Still, all this, the 32-year-old has posted four top-10 finishes in the seven major starts he’s made during this time span (post 2017-19).

Hideki Matsuyama – With two wins on the 2022 PGA Tour season, Matsuyama has again asserted himself as one of the best in the game. He also comes into Southern Hills hot, closing last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson with a 10-under 62 that catalyzed a T3 finish.

Shane Lowry and Hideki Matsuyama
Shane Lowry and Hideki Matsuyama during Rd3 of the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind, on Aug 7, 2021 in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo by Ken Murray / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Shane Lowry – The Irish star pulled off a six-stroke romp at the 2019 Open Championship, and has continued to be relevant on the major stage ever since, including top-12 finishes in three of his last four major appearances. The PGA Championship has been especially good for him, as the 35-year-old has four top-10s in his last seven starts, including a T4 at Kiawah Island last year. Lowry has been in stellar form the past several months, finishing T13 or better in his last five individual stroke-play events. He will enter Tulsa off back-to-back T3s (Hilton Head and the Masters).

Joaquin Niemann – The 23-year-old Chilean secured his second career PGA Tour win earlier this year against a stacked field at the Genesis Invitational. He enters off a pair of top-25 finishes, including a T12 at the RBC Heritage. The world No. 16 is currently ranked ninth on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and his elite game sMatsuyamahould keep him relevant in his first start at the PGA since 2018.

Will Zalatoris and Joaquin Niemann on the 16th hole during the first round of the PGA ZOZO Championship at the Narashino CC in Inzai, Chiba on October 21, 2021. (Photo by Takashi AOYAMA / AFP via Getty Images)

Will Zalatoris – The 25-year-old has more than proven that the biggest stages are not too much for him, with four top-10s in his last five major championship starts, including a T8 last year at Kiawah Island. And before last week’s gaffe at the Byron Nelson (MC), Zalatoris was on a T5-T6-T4 streak.

Sam Burns – The LSU product owns three wins and six top-10s in his last 25 PGA Tour starts. During this span, though, he’s entered four majors with a T76 (2021 British Open) his only finish in the money. His other results: WD (2021 PGA), MC (2021 U.S. Open), MC (2022 Masters). He’s too good to continue with these major duds.

Max Homa and Sam Burns on the 17th hole during the first round of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Feb 10, 2022 in Scottsdale, AZ. (Photo by Christian Petersen via Getty Images)

Max Homa – The 31-year-old L.A. native enters off a win at the Wells Fargo Championship, his second PGA Tour win of the season. As phenomenal as Homa has been in the past few years, however, he’s been a complete no-show in the majors, having failed to finish better than T40 in any of his ten major starts. At the PGA Championship, he has been especially bad, chasing a T64 in his 2019 maiden event with missed cuts in the last two editions. Still, his confidence should be sky-high and there isn’t any real reason why he shouldn’t be much better in the majors. At 50-1, he’s the epitome of a sleeper pick.

Top-15 Betting Favorites

Odds Rank-Player (Odds)
1. Jon Rahm (12/1)
1. Scottie Scheffler (12/1)
3. Justin Thomas (16/1)
3. Jordan Spieth (16/1)
3. Rory McIlroy (16/1)
6. Collin Morikawa (20/1)
7. Hideki Matsuyama (22/1)
8. Cameron Smith (25/1)
8. Dustin Johnson (25/1)
8. Patrick Cantlay (25/1)
8. Viktor Hovland (25/1)
8. Xander Schauffele (25/1)
13. Brooks Koepka (33/1)
13. Will Zalatoris (33/1)
15. Shane Lowry (40/1)
15. Sam Burns (40/1)
15. Joaquin Niemann (40/1)

Joel Cook contributed to this report. Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images



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