The PGA Championship is the second of the four Major tournaments held during the calendar year… coming after last month’s US Masters, it will be followed by the US Open (June) and then the Open Championship (July).
The PGA Championship started out as a matchplay tournament in 1916 before switching to the current, and standard, strokeplay format in 1958. And although it’s not played at the same course each year, the custom with the PGA is that it’s usually staged towards the east of the mainland US – with New York State hosting the most renewals (13). And to date only 8 times has the tournament been held “out West”.
The field is the normal 156 made up of the game’s leading players, past champions and special invites. There are also 20 places for players drawn from the Professional National Championship (a competition for club professionals), so there’s always a fair share of unknowns in the line-up. To date there have been 103 PGA champions – mostly US players! On 85 occasions the trophy has been lifted by an American, followed Australia (5), England, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Fiji & Northern Ireland (2 each) and Ireland, South Korea & Germany (all 1). Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus (5) have won the PGA the most times, followed by Tiger Woods (4).
Formerly billed as “Glory’s last shot” – because it was the last Major of the calendar year – 2019 marked a new place in the schedule for the PGA Championship as it slotted in between the US Masters and the US Open.
Prizemoney $12m ($2.16m to the winner)
-6 Phil Mickelson ($201)
-4 Louis Oosthuizen ($71)
-4 Brooks Koepka ($41)
-2 Shane Lowry ($71)
-2 Padraig Harrington ($251)
-2 Paul Casey ($67)
-2 Harry Higgs ($751)
PGA Championship: The Course
The PGA Championship is a moveable feast although, as stated above, it’s generally played in states to the east of the USA. This year the action is at Southern Hills GC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is the seventh time the USGA has selected Oklahoma to play the championship, and the fifth time Southern Hills has been used (the last time was in 2007, and guess who won…? Tiger Woods).
The course is a par-70 but measures 7,556 yards. Originally a Perry Maxwell layout which opened in the late 1930s, the course was re-worked by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner in 2018 and then re-opened in 2019. There will be only two par-5s in use for the PGA Championship… but both measure more than 630 yards!
72-Hole Record 264: Brooks Koepka (2018).
18-Hole Record 63: Brooks Koepka (2019) – recorded many times, most recently in 2019.
It’s PGA Championship week.
The stage is set at Southern Hills.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 16, 2022
PGA Championship: Past Winners
2020 Collin Morikawa
2019 Brooks Koepka
2018 Brooks Koepka
2017 Justin Thomas
2016 Jimmy Walker
2015 Jason Day
2014 Rory McIlroy
2013 Jason Dufner
2012 Rory McIlroy
PGA Championship: The Weather
A mostly dry week is forecast with a daily precipitation forecast of 10%-50%-20%-10% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures will be in the mid 80’s to start, cooling towards the weekend, with cloud cover throughout the week. Winds will be moderate, with maximum wind speeds reaching 16-18mph.
PGA Championship: Value Bets
Xander Schauffele (each-way) $22 with TopSport
The man from San Diego is another searching for a maiden Major win in Oklahoma this week, but at 28 he’s very much coming into the sweet spot (in terms of age) to bag a top prize. And to be fair, with a best of 2nd (US Open), 2nd (US Masters) and 10th (USPGA) he’s been knocking on the door for some time. A recent win in the Zurich Classic, with Patrick Cantlay, will have been a further boost coming into this week, and his fifth place last week in Texas was brought home with a blistering 61 on Sunday. Usually a rock-solid performer, all that Schauffele is missing from his CV is a Major win, and this week could well see him break his duck. Another great tee-to-green exponent, if he can get his short game on-point then Schauffele must surely feature come Sunday.
Hideki Matsuyama (each-way) $22 with TopSport
In Matsuyama we have a player who until last year’s Masters win, was very much in the Schauffele mould. A great player and multiple PGA Tour winner, who lacked a Major title. So his 2021 win at Augusta changed all that, and also ended a 3-year barren streak where many doubted his ability to remain among the game’s elite. After that win, Matsuyama won again in the Zozo Championship, and again in Hawaii at the start of this year. Another who is bouncing into Tulsa on the back of a Top 5 in Texas (sealed with a fourth round 62) Matsuyama is another who will be seen to best effect on this ball-striker’s course. With the pressure very much off, the 30-year-old IMO represents better value than a few right at the top of the market.
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