Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's US PGA Championship Tips 2022

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Well played if you were on K.H. Lee at Monday prices up to 125/1 (Unibet) at the Byron Nelson. He certainly likes playing at TPC Craig Ranch, and he actually impressed being grouped with Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas at points throughout the tournament. Many would have crumbled.

Onto this week and the 104th PGA Championship is visiting the Champions Course at Southern Hills Country Club for the fifth time. It should be an absolute feast of golf with the deepest field in Major Championship golf present, although there will be no defending champion with Phil Mickelson a no-show.

Read my 2022 PGA Championship research preview for full winners’ trends and key statistics.

Before I go into the detail surrounding the PGA Championship. we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System around Major season. Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, +6,100 strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

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The 2022 US PGA Championship looks to be the most competitive Major in recent history with a whole host of top players looking more than capable of winning at Southern Hills. The second Major Championship of 2022, it’s great to see that a number of bookmakers have risen to the challenge.

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Course Guide: The Champions Course at Southern Hills Country Club has hosted 7 Major Championships, including the U.S. Open 3 times (1958, 1977, 2001) and 4 PGA Championships (1970, 1982, 1994, 2007). Indeed it’s the only course to host the PGA Championship 4 times, a lead it will extend with is year’s PGA Championship. Interestingly it also hosted the 2021 Senior PGA Championship won by Alex Cejka, with that tournament being played on the Gil Hanse-renovated golf course.

Champions Course, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Designer: Perry Maxwell, 1936, with Gil Hanse 2019 renovation; Course Type: Classical, Technical; Par: 70; Length: 7,365 yards; Holes with Water In-Play: 15; Fairways: Astro Bermudagrass; Rough Astro Bermudagrass with Tall Fescue 2.25″; Greens: 5,047 sq.ft average featuring Pure Distinction Bentgrass.

Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for Southern Hills, and how they compare to recent courses on Tour:

  • Champions Course – Southern Hills: Average 40 yards wide.
  • TPC Potomac: 250 yards from the tee: 32 yards wide; 275:30; 300:27; 325:23; 350:27.
  • Harbour Town: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:26; 300:22; 325:26; 350:22.
  • Oaks Course: 250 yards from tee: 33 yards wide; 275:34; 300:29; 325:27; 350:26.
  • Copperhead: 250 yards from the tee: 24 yards wide; 275:20; 300:21; 325:23 350:19.
  • TPC Sawgrass: 250 yards from the tee: 31 yards wide; 275:32; 300:30; 325:28 350:20.
  • Bay Hill: 250 yards from the tee: 32 yards wide; 275:33; 300:33; 325:39 350:29.
  • PGA National: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:27 350:25.
  • Riviera: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26 350:28.
  • TPC Scottsdale: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:30; 300:28; 325:27; 350:27.
  • Pebble Beach: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:33; 300:29; 325:30 350:26.
  • Torrey Pines South: 250 yards from the tee: 26 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
  • TPC Stadium: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26; 350:24.
  • Waialae: 250 yards from the tee: 34 yards wide; 275:32; 300:34; 325:37; 350:34.
  • Plantation Course: 250 yards from the tee: 59 yards wide; 275:61; 300:65; 325:60; 350:62.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes other Gil Hanse designs/renovations include:

  • Aronimink Golf Club – 2019 BMW Championship
  • Plainfield CC – The Barclays – 2011 & 2015
  • Ridgewood CC – The Barclays / Northern Trust 2010, 2014 & 2018
  • Trump National Doral – 2014 through 2016 WGC Cadillac Championship
  • TPC Boston – Deutsche Bank / Dell Technologies Championship through 2018 plus 2020 Northern Trust
  • Winged Foot – 2020 U.S. Open

Course Overview: The Champions Course is a Perry Maxwell 1936 original. We see another Maxwell design on the PGA Tour each year in the form of Colonial Country Club. The Champions Course has been updated by the modern day renovation master Gil Hanse.

Hanse naturally has added length to the Champions Course. Where it played as a 7,131 yard, Par 70 in 2007, expect a 7,365 yard, Par 70 in 2022. Holes are typically tree-lined but sparsely when compared to say an Augusta National or Wentworth. There are plenty of doglegs and green complexes are small for the length of course. 5,047 sq.ft on average, they are smaller than the greens we see at TPC Sawgrass, which plays as a 7,250 yard, par 72. Many of the green complexes are also surrounded by swales and short-grass run off areas, which can feed into bunkers, or even worse creeks. The par-4 4th and 18th holes are great examples, where elevated greens with severe run-off surrounds can see well struck approaches, which come up just a yard short, trickle 30-50 yards back downhill.

From a length perspective, the Champions Course carries 2 par-4s – the 2nd and 18th, which are approaching 500 yards. However for a Major venue, the 3rd, 7th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 17th are sub-450 yards, which will be gettable for straight and true hitters. The 2 par-5s are also worthy of note. The 5th and the 13th are in both instances well over 630 yards – in most circumstances 3 shot par-5s, which will play to the strength of the best wedge players.

In summary, with freshly opened holes via tree removal, wider fairways, new bunkers and exposed green edges, Southern Hills won’t look or function much like the restricted layout that Tiger Woods dissected in 2007. At the 2007 PGA Championship, the fairways at Southern Hills played to widths of 27 or 28 yards, surrounded by gnarly Bermuda rough which was in its prime in August. Most fairways are now in the 40 yard-wide range, and with the PGA being played in May when it’s much cooler, the rough won’t have nearly the same impact on play. I’d say that longer drivers of the golf ball are very much in play this week – but that’s very much standard for a PGA Championship.

The real challenge will be approach shots to small and compartmentalised greens. Hitting and holding greens has never been more challenging at Southern Hills, with most perimeter hole locations being recaptured by Hanse’s work. That challenge will be even greater with strong winds likely this week, whereby any player hitting over 70% Greens in Regulation will be very close to the top of that category. So scrambling and sand saves on this heavily bunkered golf course, will be absolutely vital this week for players wanting to be towards the top of the leaderboard.

us pga championship tips

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); 2011: Keegan Bradley (-8); 2010: Martin Kaymer (-11); 2009: Y.E. Yang (-8).

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats | Majors Stats | SG Stats.

Published Predictor Model: Our published predictor is available here. You can build your own model using the variables listed on the left hand side. Top 10 of my published predictor are Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry, Cameron Smith, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler.

Winners & Prices: 2021: Mickelson 250/1; 2020: Morikawa 35/1; 2019: Koepka 11/1JF; 2018: Koepka 20/1; 2017: Thomas 45/1; 2016: Jimmy Walker 150/1; 2015: Day 14/1; 2014: McIlroy 5/1F; 2013: Dufner 40/1; 2012: McIlroy 20/1; 2011: Bradley 175/1; 2010: Kaymer 50/1. Average: 51/1.

For a full summary of winner’s odds on the PGA Tour since 2010 click here.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Tulsa, Oklahoma, is here.

204mm of rain has fallen in Tulsa, Oklahoma since the turn of May. That’s a lot. 25m of that fell on Friday prior to tournament week. However no rain is forecast this week, giving Course Superintendent Russ Myers the perfect base to get turf speeds correct.

With no rain to speak of, the weather interest this week comes in the form of Oklahoma’s infamous wind. Warm temperatures – up to 30 degrees Celsius – will be in play across Thursday and Friday, combined with southerly winds which look set to blow up to 30 mph on Thursday and 40 mph on Friday. A weather front then hits before play on Saturday with temperatures collapsing to a maximum of 17 degrees Celsius. combined with winds up to 30 mph. However the wind changes from a southerly to a northerly making the course play completely different. The wind seemingly relents on Sunday, with a slight improvement in temperatures.

Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the WGC Dell Match Play / Qatar Masters which includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour events. Players’ rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Louis Oosthuizen;  2) Cameron Champ; 3) Erik van Rooyen; 4) Oliver Bekker; 5) Jason Kokrak / Mito Pereira; 7) Patrick Cantlay / Jon Rahm; 9) Corey Conners / Tony Finau; 11) Matt Fitzpatrick / Jordan Spieth; 13) Joaquin Niemann; 14) Collin Morikawa / Cameron Young; 16) Lucas Glover; 17) Matt Jones; 18) Anirban Lahiri; 19) Brendan Steele; 20) Laurie Canter / Brian Harman / Viktor Hovland / Scottie Scheffler; 24) Abraham Ancer / Max Homa / Bernd Wiesberger.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Collin Morikawa / Kevin Na / Scottie Scheffler; 4) Patrick Cantlay / Ryan Fox; 6) Cameron Smith; 7) Bernd Wiesberger; 8) Sam Horsfield; 9) Sergio Garcia; 10) Pablo Larrazabal / Justin Thomas; 12) Joel Dahmen / Padraig Harrington; 14) Cameron Tringale; 15) Harold Varner III; 16) Stewart Cink / Viktor Hovland; 18) Jordan Spieth; 19) Max Homa; 20) Hudson Swafford; 21) Laurie Canter / Sebastian Munoz; 23) Marc Leishman; 24) Hideki Matsuyama; 25) Dean Burmester / Russell Henley / Henrik Stenson.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Brooks Koepka; 2) Cameron Young; 3) Jordan Spieth; 4) Scottie Scheffler; 5) Padraig Harrington; 6) Matt Jones / Bernd Wiesberger / Aaron Wise; 9) Justin Harding; 10) Robert MacIntyre; 11) Sergio Garcia / Jhonattan Vegas; 13) Oliver Bekker; 14) Jon Rahm; 15) Jason Day / Pablo Larrazabal; 17) Adam Hadwin / Lucas Glover; 19) Matt Kuchar / Sepp Straka / Justin Thomas; 22) Anirban Lahiri; 23) Sam Horsfield; 24) Tom Hoge / Kevin Na / Charl Schwartzel.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Scottie Scheffler / Bernd Wiesberger; 3) Collin Morikawa; 4) Patrick Cantlay; 5) Brooks Koepka; 6) Shane Lowry / Jordan Spieth; 8) Sergio Garcia; 9) Mito Pereira; 10) Oliver Bekker / Ryan Fox; 12) Corey Conners / Justin Thomas / Aaron Wise; 15) Jon Rahm / Pablo Larrazabal; 17) Justin Harding / Sam Horsfield / Kevin Na; 20) Keegan Bradley / Laurie Canter; 22) Padraig Harrington / Jhonattan Vegas; 24) Matt Jones / Cameron Young.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Troy Merritt; 2) Lucas Herbert / Shane Lowry; 4) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Min Woo Lee; 6) Justin Rose / Harold Varner III; 8) Viktor Hovland; 9) Sam Horsfield; 10) Sebastian Munoz / Alex Noren; 12) Jon Rahm; 13) Seamus Power; 14) Pablo Larrazabal; 15) Billy Horschel / Matt Kuchar; 17) Zach Johnson; 18) Justin Thomas; 19) Beau Hossler; 20) Abraham Ancer / Joaquin Niemann; 22)  Cameron Tringale; 23) Brian Harman / Max Homa; 25) Erik van Rooyen.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Pablo Larrazabal / Shane Lowry / Scottie Scheffler; 4) Ryan Fox; 5) Oliver Bekker; 6) Justin Harding / Sam Horsfield / Jon Rahm / Harold Varner III; 10) Collin Morikawa; 11) Troy Merritt; 12) Corey Conners / Mito Pereira / Justin Thomas; 15) Jason Kokrak / Sebastian Munoz; 17) Cameron Tringale; 18) Keegan Bradley; 19) Matt Kuchar; 20) Laurie Canter / Tony Finau / Maverick McNealy; 23) Alex Noren; 24) Aaron Wise; 25) Patrick Cantlay / Rory McIlroy / Xander Schauffele.
  • Top 25 SG Total PGA Tour Exclusive: 1) Shane Lowry / Scottie Scheffler; 3) Jon Rahm / Harold Varner III; 5) Collin Morikawa; 6) Troy Merritt; 7) Corey Conners / Mito Pereira / Justin Thomas; 10) Jason Kokrak / Sebastian Munoz; 12) Cameron Tringale; 13) Keegan Bradley; 14) Matt Kuchar; 15) Tony Finau / Maverick McNealy; 17) Alex Noren; 18) Aaron Wise; 19) Patrick Cantlay / Rory McIlroy / Xander Schauffele; 22) Kevin Na; 23) Jordan Spieth; 24) Sergio Garcia / Viktor Hovland / Cameron Smith.

Look at our Strokes Gained PGA Championship Cheat Sheet – click here.

Here are some comments about the Champions Course, Southern Hills Country Club and how it will play from the tournament organising PGA of America:

Kerry Haigh (PGA of America Chief Championships Officer (2021): “It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to see what is happening this year at the Senior PGA Championship to help us for next year. We’ll be using different tees, but we will re-remember the green complexes, and how tough and challenging they are, which hole locations work, which ones are challenging. I’ve never had this opportunity to have a major championship the year before another major championship. It’s great.”

Southern Hills is magnificent. The quality of Gil’s (Hanse) work is outstanding and Russ Myers is one of the best superintendents in the country. The course is just one great hole after the next, perfect greens, great bunkering. It will test the best players in the world. The last two PGAs there were won by the best player in the world at that time. That it itself is a great reflection on the course.”

Russ Myers (Course Superintendent) (2022): ” When they played it here in August 2007, the rough was like hitting out of a thick Brillo pad. Now with the tournament in May, the rough will be full and uniform, but it’s not going to put up the same fight against the club that it would in August.

“It’s so hard to get close to the pins because the greens are not large, and they’re compartmentalised, you can go out and hit 18 greens and two-putt each one and shoot 70 and be disappointed because you feel like you should’ve shot 64. In terms of green speeds, we won’t be out there with 13 or 14 stimpmeter readings. You just can’t do it, you lose too many good hole locations. I don’t know exactly where Kerry is going to have us, but we’ll be pretty close to where we are for everyday play.””

Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for the last 12 winners of the PGA Championship:

  • 2021 – Phil Mickelson: Round 1: 8th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2020 – Collin Morikawa: Round 1: 33rd, Round 2: 25th, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2019 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2018 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 33rd, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2017 – Justin Thomas: Round 1: 44th, Round 2: 7th, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2016 – Jimmy Walker: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2015 – Jason Day: Round 1: 3rd, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2014 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2013 – Jason Dufner: Round 1: 11th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2012 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2: 5th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2011 – Keegan Bradley: Round 1: 36th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2010 – Martin Kaymer: Round 1: 44th, Round 2: 15th, Round 3: 4th.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the winners of the PGA Championship and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2021 – Phil Mickelson: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: Level, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2020 – Collin Morikawa: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 6 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2019 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 1 ahead, Round 2: 7 ahead, Round 3: 7 ahead.
  • 2018 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 2 ahead.
  • 2017 – Justin Thomas: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 5 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2016 – Jimmy Walker: Round 1: 1 ahead, Round 2: Level, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2015 – Jason Day: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 2 ahead.
  • 2014 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2013 – Jason Dufner: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 2 ahead, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2012 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 3 ahead.
  • 2011 – Keegan Bradley: Round 1: 8 back, Round 2: Level, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2010 – Martin Kaymer: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 4 back.

Incoming form of PGA Championship winners since 2010:

  • Phil Mickelson: 69th Wells Fargo/MC Valspar/21st Masters/MC Texas Open.
  • Collin Morikawa: 20th St Jude/48th Memorial/1st Workday/MC Travelers.
  • Brooks Koepka: 4th Byron Nelson/2nd Masters/56th WMP/56th Players.
  • Brooks Koepka: 5th Bridgestone/MC Canada/39th Open Champ/19th Travelers.
  • Justin Thomas: 28th Bridgestone/MC Open Champ/MC Quicken/MC Travelers.
  • Jimmy Walker: 14th Canada/MC Open Champ/16th Bridgestone/MC US Open.
  • Jason Day: 12th Bridgestone/1st Canada/4th Open Champ/9th US Open.
  • Rory McIlroy: 1st Bridgestone/1st Open Champ/14th Scottish Open/MC Irish Open.
  • Jason Dufner: 4th Bridgestone/26th Open Champ/MC Travelers/4th US Open.
  • Rory McIlroy: 5th Bridgestone/60th Open Champ/ 10th Irish Open/MC US Open.
  • Keegan Bradley: 15th Bridgestone/43rd Greenbier/22nd Canada/MC AT&T National.
  • Martin Kaymer: 22nd Bridgestone/7th Open Championship/MC Scottish Open/6th Open de France.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2010. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2021 – Conners – PM -5/67 – 66/1.
  • 2020 – Day / Todd – AM/PM Split -5/65 – 50/1 & 90/1.
  • 2019 – Koepka – AM -7/63 – 25/1.
  • 2018 – Woodland – PM -6/64 – 100/1.
  • 2017 – Kisner/Olesen – AM/PM Split -4/67 – 80/1 & 125/1.
  • 2016 – Walker – AM -6/65.
  • 2015 – D Johnson – AM -6/66.
  • 2014 – Chappell/Palmer/Westwood – 1AM/2PM -6/65.
  • 2013 – Furyk/Scott – AM/PM Split -5/65.
  • 2012 – Pettersson – AM -6/66.
  • 2011 – Stricker – AM -7/63.
  • 2010 – Kuchar – PM -5/67.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of pure Bentgrass green PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 8 – Rory McIlroy.
  • 7 – Justin Rose.
  • 6 – Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods.
  • 5 – Zach Johnson, Jordan Spieth.
  • 4 – Patrick Cantlay, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Na, Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson.
  • 3 – Lucas Glover, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Francesco Molinari, Adam Scott.
  • 2 – Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, Jason Dufner, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, K.H. Lee, Brian Harman, Martin Kaymer, Chris Kirk, Jason Kokrak, Marc Leishman, Troy Merritt, Patrick Reed, Xander Schauffele, Jhonattan Vegas.
  • 1 – Daniel Berger, Cameron Champ, Tony Finau, Padraig Harrington, Max Homa, Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner, Russell Knox, Joaquin Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Seamus Power, Scottie Scheffler, Charl Schwartzel, Scott Stallings, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Streelman, Matthew Wolff.

Winning prices in the PGA Championship can vary significantly. Short prices such as Rory McIlroy – who’s won this title twice at 20/1 (2012) and 5/1 (2014) – and Jason Day at 14/1 (2015) have had much recent success. Throw in Brooks Koepka at 11/1 and 20/1 over 2019 and 2018 renewals, plus Collin Morikawa at 35/1, Justin Thomas at 45/1 and Jason Dufner at 40/1. So 8 of the last 10 PGA Championships have been won at 45/1 or less.

To this point there are also four triple-digit exceptions since 2009, with Phil Mickelson’s 250/1 win last year at Kiawah Island very fresh in the mind. Jimmy Walker is another as he played brilliantly throughout at Baltusrol in 2016 to lead from start to finish and capture his first Major title at an unbelievable (after the tournament) 150/1. He joined Keegan Bradley (2011) and Y.E. Yang (2009) who won at 175/1 and 150/1 respectively.

The PGA Championship in recent history has seen a plethora of long hitters getting the job done, with many capturing their first Major titles. Exclude Oak Hill in 2013 (7,163 yard Par 70) and TPC Harding Park (7,234 yard Par 70), which weren’t your stereotypical long PGA Championship venue, and Y.E. Yang (2009), Martin Kaymer (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011), Jason Day (2015), Jimmy Walker (2016) and Justin Thomas (2017) have all been long off the tee and captured first-time Majors to boot. Add Dufner and Morikawa to that first-time list on those short Par 70s. Rory McIlroy (winner at Kiawah Island in 2012 and Valhalla in 2014) and Brooks Koepka who drove the field into submission at both Bellerive (2018) and Bethpage Black (2019), provide even more evidence that long hitters have a distinct advantage at “traditional” PGA Championships. Kiawah Island was by the coast, but both of those renewals were won by Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson – the latter still ranked 50th in Driving Distance on the PGA Tour when becoming the oldest Major champion at 50 years of age last year.

Naturally the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone South is no more, but the idea that a player will need to be playing well in their immediate start, which for most of the elite will be either the Wells Fargo Championship at TPC Potomac, or last week’s Byron Nelson in Texas, should be one to consider and we have masses of precedent here. Going back to 2006, every winner of the PGA Championship has played within the past 2 weeks prior to their victory and up until Phil Mickelson, had finished no worse than 28th (Justin Thomas 2017). Phil being Phil finished 69th at the Wells Fargo.

Go back further to 2002, 2004 and 2005, and you will see that PGA Championship winners Rich Beem, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh finished 1st, 10th and 1st respectively in their preceding outings. So strong form in seems a prerequisite.

My selections are as follows:

Scottie Scheffler 3pts EW 12/1 (9EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Looking at Majors Championships since 2006, we have seen 4 players win back-to-back Major titles. 2006 saw Tiger Woods (who else) win the Open and PGA Championships. 2008 saw Padraig Harrington again win the Open and the PGA Championships. Jump 6 years to 2014 and Rory McIlroy performed the same feat winning The Open at 18/1 and the PGA Championship as 5/1 favourite. And 2015 saw Jordan Spieth win Major Championships at The Masters – he was 11/1 – and backed that up in July with the U.S. Open at 9/1.  They were his first and second career Major wins.

Another fascinating angle here at Southern Hills Country Club in particular becomes apparent when you take the past 2 PGA Championships held here across 1994 and 2007. The former saw Nick Price arrive with inbound form of 1st (Western Open)- 1st (Open Championship)- 4th (St Jude), freshly ensconced as the World’s Number 1. He proceeded to beat Corey Pavin to win his 2nd PGA Championship and his 3rd Major title. 2007 saw Tiger Woods win this from Woody Austin of all people. Tiger naturally was the World Number 1 and had won 4 titles in 2007, but no Majors. He arrived fresh from winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.

So at the very head of the market I’m taking current World Number 1, Scottie Scheffler. Winner at Phoenix (we were on-board), Bay Hill, Austin Country Club and Augusta National so far in 2022, he gives me the feel of Jordan Spieth back in 2015 who won back-to-back Majors, which were the first two of his career. With strong and testing wind forecast for the first 3 days this week, it’s interesting to note that Scottie’s Arnold Palmer Invitational and Masters victories came in very similar windy, technical conditions with winning totals of -5/283 and -10/278 respectively. So he has the right mentality.

And across my 8-week Strokes Gained Analysis he unsurprisingly ranks 1st in this field for Approach, Tee to Green and Strokes Gained Current Form categories. 6th for Approach and 8th for Tee to Green last week at the Byron Nelson, he also ranked 4th for Greens in Regulation and 10th for Ball Striking. A quiet putter led to a 15th place finish – the perfect prep for his real target this week. RESULT: MC

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Jordan Spieth 2.5pts EW 18/1 (9EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Jordan Spieth has to be a danger this week as he goes for his career Major Championship Grand Slam.

The Texan has always been the sort who goes well in tough, grinding, windy conditions and that’s hardly surprising given his Lone Star golf upbringing. Wind and Texas golf are intrinsically linked and the fact that Tulsa is only 260 miles north of Spieth’s Dallas base in neighbouring Oklahoma for me has to be a huge positive.

To support the geography angle it’s worth noting that Jordan has won twice in Texas (Colonial Country Club – a Perry Maxwell original design & TPC San Antonio), with an additional 6 runner-up and a further 8 top-10 finishes in his home Lone Star state. Amazing stuff! Apart from a Major Championship in Texas, Oklahoma is undoubtedly an ideal location as in essence it will be like playing at home for the World Number 8.

More confidence can also be gleaned from looking at Spieth’s Major history. His 2015 Masters victory came off a 2nd the week before in Houston; his U.S. Open victory the same year came off of a 3rd place finish at The Memorial a fortnight prior; and his 2017 Open Championship victory came off of a win at The Travelers on his previous outing. Spieth is undoubtedly a creature of habit and one to follow when he’s playing his very best golf.

Those patterns also stretch to Strokes Gained as Jordan ranked 1st, 2nd and 1st for Tee to Green across 2015 Houston Open, 2015 Memorial and the 2017 Travelers prior to winning his Major titles. Safe to say, runner-up last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson came with Spieth ranking 7th for Off the Tee, 4th for Approach and 2nd for Tee to Green. With Augusta National the natural comp course for Southern Hills this week, Spieth’s record there reads 2nd (2014), 1st (2015), 2nd (2016), 3rd (2018) and 3rd (2021). RESULT: T34

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Hideki Matsuyama 1.5pts EW 30/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

Hideki Matsuyama when on a roll is always a player to keep very close tabs on.

8 PGA Tour victories, including the 2021 Masters Tournament, is far more than plenty of players who are above the 30 year-old in the betting market. Hideki is also Bentgrass green positive with 7 of his 8 victories coming on greens with Bent as a key constituent of them. His liking for them can be easily seen with victories at Muirfield Village (2014), Sheshan (2016), Augusta National (2021) and Narashino (2021) all coming on pure Bentgrass. A Major Championship performer, Matsuyama has a win, 4 top-5 and a further 3 top-10 finishes in golf’s biggest tournaments since 2013, and across our Major Championship result tracker he ranks 8th in this field of regular Major performers, just behind the second favourite Jon Rahm.

After a sterling 14th place finish when defending his Green Jacket at Augusta National – he was 2nd going into the weekend – Hideki had time off to get his niggling neck injury sorted out, and the Japanese re-emerged last week at the Byron Nelson, playing as if he’d never been away. 1st for Strokes Gained Approach and 3rd for Tee to Green, Hideki was 10th for Greens in Regulation, 12th for Total Accuracy and 9th for Ball Striking. His Sunday -10/62 was trumped by Xander Schauffele’s -11/61, and although Schauffele is highly respected for this week, I’m taking the Major-winning World Number 11 at a substantially bigger price, especially as Hideki already has 2 wins this season across the ZOZO Championship and Sony Open.

2nd and 7th for Strokes Gained Tee to Green at Augusta National both last year and this, the Champions Course at Southern Hills should really appeal to a natural ball-striker who can move the ball both ways. And Matsuyama has performed admirably across other stretching Par 70 set-ups in recent years, finishing 4th at East Lake in 2018 and 2nd at Memorial Park in Houston, Texas in 2020. RESULT: T60

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Mackenzie Hughes 1pt EW 300/1 (10EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

With tough, grinding conditions forecast, I’ll also include the “magic beans” of Mackenzie Hughes in my PGA Championship squad.

A Jordan Spieth or Matt Fitzpatrick “light”, Hughes often pops up on tough, technical, assignments when scoring is high and where hitting Greens in Regulation is hard for the whole field. He’s also the sort of player who plays his best golf from 150 yards and in, with a decent wedge, scrambling and putting game.

A prime example was the Wells Fargo Championship a fortnight ago. Set on a short, hard Par 70 just outside of Washington DC, the tournament was wet and windswept for huge portions. Mackenzie ranked 15th for Strokes Gained on Approach, 16th for Tee to Green and 12th for Greens in Regulation on his way to 9th spot. Mackenzie really is a rarity these days on the PGA Tour – a player who thrives on tough golf courses, when conditions and topography limits predictable outcomes of approach shots, when the ball hits the ground.

4th at the 2021 ZOZO Championship (Narashino), 7th at the 2020 Houston Open (Memorial Park), 7th (72-hole scoring) at the 2020 Tour Championship (East Lake), 10th at the 2020 BMW Championship (Olympia Fields) where he was 3rd going into Sunday, 2nd at the 2020 Honda Classic (PGA National) and 8th at the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge (Colonial) where he was 2nd going into Sunday. The worse the conditions, the better Mackenzie Hughes’ chances.

The World Number 69 also has a decent recent Major Championship CV. 50th at Augusta National last month, Mackenzie was 6th at last year’s Open Championship played at Sandwich. He was also 15th at last year’s U.S. Open held at Torrey Pines South. 10th in the current President’s Cup Qualification standings for the International Team, this week, offers-up a good opportunity to prosper, whilst others falter and I’ll take a 60/1 for a top 10 finish each-way shot, with Paddy Power. RESULT: MC

If longshots are to your liking the check out Paul Williams’ 3 triple-digit selections for the US PGA Championship.

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 12:40BST 16.5.22 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.