The 2022 PGA Championship tees off Thursday, May 19 at Tulsa’s Southern Hills, and the field for the PGA Tour’s second major is loaded with former champions. Some of them are still at the top of their games, with two-time winners Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, 2020 champ Collin Morikawa and 2017 winner Justin Thomas among the 2022 PGA Championship favorites. Four-time champ Tiger Woods will be back in action for the first time since a respectable 47th-place finish at the Masters last month. Phil Mickelson, who won in 2005 then shocked the golf world by winning again in 2021 at age 50, also is expected to compete in the 2022 PGA Championship field.
Caesars Sportsbook lists Masters winner Scottie Scheffler and Mexico Open winner Jon Rahm as the 11-1 co-favorites in the 2022 PGA Championship odds, with McIlroy right behind at 12-1. Morikawa and Thomas are both 14-1, and Dustin Johnson (16-1), Cameron Smith (16-1) and Koepka (18-1) also are among the top 2022 PGA Championship contenders. Before you make any 2022 PGA Championship picks, you need to see what proven golf 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 doesn’t expect Southern Hills to give Scheffler any trouble. His all-around game is too strong for a course to throw him off, especially a shot-maker’s paradise like this one. Iron play and putting will be the key to winning, and Scheffler is 20th on tour in strokes gained putting and fourth in greens in regulation (71.26 percent). His only knock has been his driving accuracy at times, but he throttled back at Augusta and hit more than 77 percent of fairways (his best mark all season). He also won the Big 12 individual men’s title at Southern Hills in 2015 to lead the University of Texas to the conference championship.
The expert knows Rahm remains one of the best players on the planet and is eager to see how the Spaniard follows up his victory at Vidanta. That was his seventh PGA Tour victory, to go with seven on the European tour and his first since the 2021 U.S. Open. He hasn’t been in the dominant form that propelled him to world No. 1, but he has elite stats and has finished in the top 15 in six of 11 tournaments. He smashes it off the tee (third in driving distance) and hits lasers to greens (first in greens in regulation), so if his putter is on, he could be chasing a win.
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 Championship, all from the insider who is tuned in to what it takes to win a major championship.