The second major of the year gets under way Thursday with the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.
Field Level Media’s golf experts preview the event and provide their best bets entering the championship.
Tulsa, Okla., May 19-22
Course: Southern Hills Country Clubs (Par 70, 7,556 yards)
Purse: TBD ($12M in 2021)
Defending Champion: Phil Mickelson
FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-8 p.m. ET (ESPN). Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (ESPN), 2 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS)
PGA Tour Live: Daily feeds on ESPN+ beginning at 8 a.m. ET
Social Media: @PGAChampionship (Twitter)
–Mickelson is only the third defending PGA champion in the past 75 years not to defend his title while he continues an extended break from the PGA Tour.
–Tiger Woods won the last time the event was held at Southern Hills in 2007. The course underwent a significant renovation led by Gil Hanse in 2018-19. Southern Hills played host to the 2021 Senior PGA Championship and was chosen as this year’s venue after the PGA of America pulled it from Trump Bedminster. The course’s two par-5 holes will each play longer than 630 yards this week.
–Woods will tee it up for just the second time since severely injuring his leg in a February 2021 car accident. The 15-time major champion is a four-time winner of the Wanamaker Trophy.
–Bryson DeChambeau is in the field after having taken a break since the Masters to heal from a wrist injury.
–The field also includes 20 PGA of America club pros who earned spots via qualifiers.
–Americans have won the past six PGA Championships.
–Scottie Scheffler (+1200 at BetMGM) has won four of his past seven starts, including the Masters, and won the 2015 Big 12 Conference Championship at Southern Hills. He shot a 64 in a recent practice round and called it one of his favorite courses. Scheffler is second at the sportsbook with 8.7 percent of the winning tickets backing him while he leads with 14.9 percent of the handle.
Scheffler is also +1200 at DraftKings, where he has been backed by 11 and 14 percent of the action, respectively. He is being offered at +1100 at BetRivers, where he accounts for 11.4 percent of the bets 15.8 percent of the handle – more than twice as much as any other player in the field.
–Jon Rahm (+1200) leads the tour in strokes gained tee-to-green, off-the-tee and in greens in regulation this season. He’s coming off a win in his last start in Mexico.
–Rory McIlroy (+1600) had not played Southern Hills before this week. Part of his preparation for the event was watching flyover videos. A two-time PGA champion, McIlroy is seeking his first major title since 2014.
–Justin Thomas (+1600) won his lone major at this event five years ago. However, he has been backed by a modest 4.3 percent of the bets and 4.0 percent of the handle at BetMGM. Thomas has been supported by 3.0 percent of the action in both markets at +1800 at DraftKings and is eighth in the field with 3.9 percent of the handle backing him at +1400 at BetRivers.
–Collin Morikawa (+2000) won in 2020 among two wins and five top-10s in nine career Majors. The largest single bet at BetRivers has been a $3,405 wager at -400 for Morikawa to make the cut.
–Jordan Spieth (+2000) makes another attempt to complete the career Grand Slam while coming off a runner-up finish at the Byron Nelson. He leads with 8.8 percent of the winning tickets at BetMGM and is second with 11.8 percent of the handle while his odds have lengthened after opening at +1600.
Spieth is also second with 7.6 percent of the handle at +1800 at BetRivers. One bettor at the sportsbook wagered $2,000 on Spieth at -151 to card a better first-round score than Woods.
–Cameron Smith (+2200) is attempting to become the first player to win the Players and a major in the same year since Martin Kaymer (U.S. Open) in 2014. He is also +2200 at BetRivers while drawing 6.9 percent of the handle.
–Brooks Koepka (+4000) withdrew from last week’s event but is a two-time PGA champion who has not missed the cut in nine previous starts.
–Daniel Berger had brought in the largest outright winner bet as of Wednesday afternoon at BetRivers, where there was a $1,780 wager at +5500.
–Woods is a +6600 longshot as he enters the tournament ranked 818th in the world. He has been backed by 6.0 percent of the bets and 5.6 percent of the handle at BetMGM, making him the biggest potential liability in the history of the sportsbook. Woods is a +7000 longshot at BetRivers, where he is fourth with 5.2 percent of the handle backing him.
–Field Level Media