All in all, an entertaining week last week at TPC Craig Ranch for the AT&T Byron Nelson, where plenty of eagles and birdies were the story of the week. K.H Lee was the eventual victor, posting a score of -26 which led to a 1 shot victory over local favourite Jordan Speith.
Our 80/1 tip Sebastien Munoz led for 54 holes but made a sluggish start to his final round, going +1 thru his first 6 holes. He did eventually rally towards the finish however to finish T3 and just 2 shots behind the winner, so another successful and profitable week for the preview with a full place with him!
PGA Championship Preview
First seen in 1936, Southern Hills has quite a history hosting 7 major championships so far as well as 7 standard tour events – the Majors include; the US Open 3 times (1958, 1977 and 2001), the PGA Championship 4 times (1970, 1982, 1994 and 2007) and the Senior PGA Championship last year. Winners of these events are listed below.
US Open Winners @ Southern Hills
- 1958 – Tommy Bolt
- 1977 – Hubert Green
- 2001 – Retief Goosen
PGA Championship Winners @ Southern Hills
- 1970 – Dave Stockton
- 1982 – Raymond Floyd
- 1994 – Nick Price
- 2007 – Tiger Woods
Senior PGA Championship Winner @ Southern Hills
- 2021 – Alex Cejka
As usual for this time in the preview lets have a look what we have on offer this week at Southern Hills. It is set up to be a proper Major test for the players and I can’t wait to lay it out for you below.
About Southern Hills
- Par 70, 7558 yards approx.
- 1936 Perry Maxwell Design, 2019 redesign by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner
- 4 x Par 3s – ranging from 173-251 yards
- 12 x Par 4s – ranging from 371-527 yards
- 2 x Par 5s – No. 5 being 656 yards and No. 13 being 632! (long right?...)
- Bermuda grass runs from Tee 2 Green then Bentgrass is seen on the green complexes
The 2019 redesign of Southern Hills seen various changes made by Hanse and Wagner. Every green complex was rebuilt along with every bunker on the golf course, raising the greens in the process and making bunkers deeper. The runoff areas around each green were trimmed down to fairway length and the fairways were slightly widened with slopes being exaggerated. These changes to the fairways have seen the creek that runs through the whole concourse come into play more and more on most holes.
Below is a list of the last 5 PGA Championship winners. Normally I would go into the stats of the previous winners etc. However, as you now know, Southern Hills has not hosted the PGA Championship since 2007 – when the course played 550 yards shorter and the redesign had not happened yet.
There are a few names that played in the 2007 edition that will be teeing it up this week, names like; Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Stewart Cink, Lee Westwood and Lucas Glover. All these guys played and made the cut that week for your notes. But as I say, take this with a pinch of salt due to the course changes.
PGA Championship Previous Winners
- 2021 – Phil Mickelson -6 (Played at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course)
- 2020 – Collin Morikawa -13 (Played at TPC Harding Park)
- 2019 – Brooks Koepka -8 (Played at Bethpage Black)
- 2018 – Brooks Koepka -16 (Played at Bellerive GC)
- 2017 – Justin Thomas -8 (Played at Quail Hollow Club)
Average Winning Score -10
Like every golfing Major, the PGA Championship always gets played on long and difficult courses where grinding out rounds seems to be the trend. Southern Hills this week will not be an exception to this. And a lot of people are saying that bombers will prevail here but I am not so sure.
Before we dig into the field this week and the betting market, lets have a quick look on what stats I am keeping in mind this week when building my betting card and a quick reason as too why they feature.
Stats to consider
Keeping it as simple as I can for readers this week and for myself, as I have a tendency to over analyse big weeks and overthink selections.
SG: OTT – Okay fairways are wider than usual, but plenty of doglegs are in play and players will have to shape the ball both directions off the tee to navigate these and leave themselves in the best places possible for an angle into these tight greens.
Greens in Regulation/SG: Approach – Greens are small and very well protected by deep bunkers, Iron play is going have to be hot if guys want to compete this week.
Scrambling – Following the redesign of Southern Hills, runoff areas have been shortened to fairway length grass, meaning they will be quick. The greens have also been raised, increasing the speed of the runoff areas and the difficulty navigating them. Not only will players have to Scramble well to over come these but grinding in general will be a massive factor this week as players will run into trouble at some point, it is a Major at the end of the day.
Putting Average/Bogey Avoidance – Always has to be factored in if a player wants to stay at the top of leaderboards, especially on Major weeks. Greens are small but very undulating, hence me include 3 putt avoidance also.
PGA Championship Betting Odds
Earlier last week, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods both declared themselves to play at Southern Hills. Tiger has been on the property now for a good week or two playing the odd practice round and is said to be good to go for this week. Phil unfortunately will not defend his PGA Championship as he withdrew from the field over the weekend for reasons unbeknown to the golfing world. But for the second time this year, we get to see Woods tee it up competitively! And I’m here for it, at a venue he won at in 2007 also.
There are plenty of ways guys can qualify to be in this weeks event so I won’t bore you with the ways in, let me just say this, this field is the best you’ll get. The only guys I can see other than Phil that aren’t teeing it up who qualified are Paul Casey and Harris English, these are out on Medical grounds.
Top of the market at around 11/1 we have World Number One and the very in-form Scottie Scheffler. His last 7 starts on Tour since the middle of February read 1-7-1-55-1-1-15. He can clearly be excused for the blip that was the 55th placed finish at The Players Championship where weather was a massive factor. Other than that, the guy has been sublime and I really cannot write him off to win his second major in a row, the boy has 0 weaknesses.
World Number 2 Jon Rahm is second favourite this week at around 12/1. Winner on his last time out in Mexico, I feel like that will have eased a lot of self-brought on pressure to Jon as he was winless until then on the season and has been unlucky when in contention a few times. On a course where T2G game needs to be sublime and the driver needs to behave, can we trust Jon? I am not so sure.
At 14/1 we then have Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. JT didn’t do a lot wrong last week at Craig Ranch where he finished tied for 5th place. He is the model of consistency this season without winning, he has racked up 12 top 20 finishes out of 15 appearances in 2022. His Irons are electric but his putter is still cold and can cost him this week so backers of JT will have to hope the flat stick turns up.
We have seen Rory McIlroy once since his 2nd place finish at The Masters and that was at the Wells Fargo Championship where he finished 5th that week in a weak field. He is always a strange one for me and I will never back him at these numbers due to his poor record on a Thursday/Friday in Majors where he is renowned for starting slowly.
We then have 7 players between 16/1 and 22/1. The field is crammed full of the world’s best golfers and therefore the market is very busy at the top with 14 guys below 30/1.
Collin Morikawa, Jordan Speith, Patrick Cantlay, Cam Smith, Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Viktor Hovland come next in the market. Where too start with this range.
Morikawa is not showing the best of form this year and his scrambling is a question mark here at Southern Hills as it looks to be such a crucial attribute to have this week so I will give him a miss.
Speith needs the PGA Championship to complete the career grand slam of golfing Majors to go with his Masters, US Open and The Open Championship wins. He finished 2nd and only 1 shot off the eventual winner last week at Craig Ranch in his native Texas. He struck the ball Tee 2 Green wonderfully and he is hitting his driver the best I’ve ever seen Speith hit it.
Hovland I don’t like here, I was a backer of Viktor for the Masters this year and he disappointed, mainly with the short irons, around the greens and on them. So I wont be taking him for the second Major in a row.
The last 4 on the list; Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Cam Smith and Xander Schauffele. Now, I cannot separate these lot. I would not put anyone off backing any of these 4. Dustin is hitting it gret again Tee 2 Green and we know what he is capable of. Cantlay and Smith show no weaknesses on the course lately and are proper grinders. And Xander is solid in Majors and never goes away.
A late mention for some guys I heavily looked into and was in my betslip at some stage but got removed late on; Dan Berger, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Max Homa.
I could go on all day about the top players and how they have great chances etc. it’s a major at the end of the day. A big name will win it, and we will see some top performances this week, so other than reading my tips below, just enjoy the talent on offer at Southern Hills this week, it promises to be a top week.
PGA Championship Betting Tips
I have gone with a bookie this week that has offered 8, 10 and 12 places, so next to the selections below in brackets is the number of places I have taken the player at. 1pt each way as always to keep it consistent. Let’s have a profitable week again!
Patrick Cantlay 22/1 (8 places)
Xander Schauffele 22/1 (8 places)
Corey Conners 45/1 (10 places)
Billy Horschel 70/1 (10 places)
Alex Noren 100/1 (12 places)
USPGA Championship Betting Tips
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