PGA Championship Picks: Finding Potential Winners From All Over Odds Board

Cameron Smith (18-to-1) feels like the perfect player for Southern Hills


May 18, 2022

The PGA Championship might not carry the same allure the rest of golf’s majors have, but it’s hard to argue with the product in recent years.

This week at Southern Hills Country Club should be no different. The restored gem in Tulsa has the players quite excited for what should be four fantastic days of golf.

As always, the golf majors give bettors a plethora of enticing options. We’re no different, and we’ve done our homework, investigated the odds board and have picks for a few different tiers heading into Round 1 on Thursday.

Here are some PGA Championship outright picks with odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.

THE FAVORITES (+1200 to +2000)

Cameron Smith (+1800): Let’s take a second to applaud the guts it takes to roll with Smith in this spot over players like Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm or Justin Thomas. But Smith just feels like the perfect player for a course like Southern Hills. The only better player this season has been Scheffler who outlasted Smith at the Masters in April. Smith might not be the best ball-striker on the PGA Tour, but he’s very good with an iron in his hand, as we saw at The Players. He’s also a tremendous player around the greens which will be huge on the rare instances he misses these tiny greens. Of anyone else at the top of the board, he’s also the most likely to get hot with the putter, and if weather is a factor — there might be some nasty wind gusts all weekend — Smith has the mentality (and the game) to thrive in adverse conditions.

Other considerations: Jordan Spieth (+1400), Hideki Matsuyama (+2000)

THE SECOND TIER (+2200 to +5000)

Shane Lowry (+3500): We know Lowry, the 2019 Champion Golfer of the Year, can win a major. He’s been quite competitive recently, too, having finished 12th or better in two of his last four majors, including a fourth-place finish in the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah. The short game is a bit of an issue, but you’ve gotta hope he makes up for that with supreme ball-striking, which is certainly possible. Even if he doesn’t nestle those chips up to the pin, he’s a top-30 putter within 10 feet. He also ranks 12th in the field tee-to-green in what Fantasy National Golf Club considers “Windy AF” conditions. And since missing the cut at Houston in November, he’s gone second, 13th, 12th, third and third on his Tour stops.

Other considerations: Matthew Fitzpatrick (+5000)

MID-RANGE LONG SHOTS (+5500 to +8000)

Joaquin Niemann (+5500): Hopefully you jumped on Gary Woodland at +11000 when we mentioned that earlier this week; he’s down to 80-1, and for the sake of this exercise, we’ll roll with someone else in this range. That man is Niemann, who not only fits the model but has success on some comparable courses. The biggest example of that second thing is Niemanng going wire-to-wire to win the Genesis Invitational at Rivieria Country Club earlier this year. He’s fantastic around the green, and he’s also one of the longer hitters in the field. Just needs an average putting week, and getting on bentgrass — the surface he has most success on — should help.

Other considerations: Corey Conners (+6000), Sebastian Munoz (+8000)

LONG SHOTS (+10000 to +15000)

Keegan Bradley (+10000): Could Bradley be poised to contend for a second Wanamaker Trophy? The 2011 champion is playing some very good golf right now, finishing 11th or better in four of his last five starts, including three top-10 finishes. Up until the Wells Fargo, he had gained strokes around the green in each of his last five starts, and the putter is actually kind of hot right, which is atypical for Bradley. He bombs it, too, so he should handle the length no problem, and he leads the field in strokes gained tee-to-green in the windiest conditions.

Other considerations: Talor Gooch (+13000), Harold Varner III (+13000)

BOMBS (+20000 and longer)

Marc Leishman (+25000): We’re bookending with the Aussies. On paper, Leishman’s distance seemingly should disqualify him from the conversation. Despite that, though, he has a pretty good record at both the Masters and the Genesis, on the two aforementioned comp courses. He’s also the sort of player who seemingly plays his best on fast-and-firm conditions, which we’re likely to see this week with no rain in the forecast and with winds likely to dry out the course even more. His short game is passable, the putter is always viable, and he’s just another grinder who could hang tough if this becomes a bit of a rock fight.

Other considerations: Matthew Wolff (+25000), Aaron Wise (+25000)

Thumbnail photo via Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports Images

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