PGA Championship Picks
The Bearded Talisman’s picks for the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Xander Schauffele to WIN (20-1)/for Top 5 (6-1) – Top 10 player in world golf rankings. Plays well in majors. Playing well lately. 2 Top 5s in 2022, and a win with Cantlay in New Orleans at The Zurich Classic team event. He looked tired and off Masters week, and that is rare. He shot 26 under with no bogeys the final 49 holes last week at Byron Nelson. He looked unbeatable.
Patrick Cantlay to WIN (22-1) – Reigning FEDEX Champion started 2022 with 4 straight Top 10s. His last 2 starts he lost a playoff to Jordan Spieth at RBC Heritage and won The Zurich Classic with Schauffele. Ranked 5th in the world, the only knock on him is that he usually does not play well in majors, but keep in mind since the start of 2021 he’s won more money than anyone in the world playing golf.
Collin Morikawa to WIN (20-1)/for Top 5 (3.5-1) – Two-time major champion. 3 Top 5s in 2022. Ranked 3rd in the world. Well-suited for this course with his strong irons and exceptional bunker play. Clutch putter. Elite player in virtually every aspect of the game. Wants to be the number one ranked player in the world and has the game to do it.
Jordan Spieth to WIN (14-1) – Currently ranked 8th in the world after being ranked 82nd in the world at the end of 2020. Finished 1st and 2nd in his last two starts. Three-time major champion and the only major he has not won is the PGA Championship. Given the way he’s looked the last 2 times out, I’d be very surprised if he didn’t play well this week.
Cameron Smith to WIN (22-1)/for Top 5 (6-1) – Ranked 4th in the world. Has 4 Top 5s in 7 starts in 2022, including winning The Tournament of Champions AND The Players Championship. Elite bunker player. Elite irons player. Elite putter. Sneaky long off the tee. Plays well in majors. There are very few golfers who could argue they have better short game than Cam’s, and that is the most challenging aspect of Southern Hills.
Victor Hovland for Top 10 (2.6-1) – Former Oklahoma State golfer and ranked 6th in the world. He resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma, only an hour from Southern Hills. He has 4 Top 10s in 2022. I don’t think he’s a good bet to win it because ultimately his mediocre bunker play will cost him, but I think he’s a good bet for a 5th Top 10 with his elite overall ability and knowledge of the course.
Tommy Fleetwood for Top 20 (4-1) – Tied for 10th at RBC Heritage and Tied for 14th at The Masters, Fleetwood has 4 Top 20s in his last 7 starts. He has finished 2nd in 2 majors and 4th at another. Very good irons player and great putter. Justin Rose always speaks highly of Fleetwood’s talent. I feel like he has the game of someone who is more of a Top 20 player than his current ranking of 44th, and this week he will take a step in the right direction.
Talor Gooch for Top 20 (+500) – Born in Midwest City, Oklahoma, Gooch went to Oklahoma State University. He has 4 Top 20s in 10 stroke play events this year, including 2 in his last 4. He finished 14th at The Masters and is ranked 35th in the world. The last 3 times he missed a cut, he finished in the Top 20 the next event. He missed the cut last week, so we know what that means right? Especially on a course he knows like the back of his hand.