- Will Zalatoris leads the PGA Championship by one over Mito Pereira after the second round
- Just seven players are within five shots of top spot including Justin Thomas, who is three back
- See the updated 2022 PGA Championship odds below for Saturday’s third round within the story below
Through 36 holes of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, Will Zalatoris holds the outright lead by one stroke over Mito Pereira. Neither has won on the PGA Tour in their careers, but they have proven major champions behind them in Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy.
Before the tournament, Zalatoris, who has four career top-10’s in majors, was +3500 to claim his first trophy on tour. Leading is a good omen for his chances, at least historically for this venue. In each of the seven times Southern Hills has hosted a major championship, the winner led outright or was co-leader through two rounds.
Tiger Woods, competing for just the second time since the 2020 Masters, fought through pain in his leg on the back nine Friday to grind out a cut. He’ll begin moving day a full 12 strokes behind Zalatoris.
Some big names to miss out on the cut include world number one Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay. Read on to see the updated odds and best value bets.
2022 Updated PGA Championship Odds
Odds as of May 20th at DraftKings Sportsbook.
After posting a rather pedestrian 2-over, 72 on Thursday, Bubba Watson came out gangbusters in the second round, firing a sensational 7-under, 63, to match the lowest score in PGA Championship history.
Can Will Zalatoris Sustain Lead?
As mentioned, the fact that Zalatoris is winning bodes very well for his chances to win his first major – and also first PGA Tour event. However, this week he’s doing something far and away better than he normally does – putting.
For the season, Zalatoris, who is first in strokes gained: approach and second tee-to-green, is 185th in putting. That has changed in a massive way, as he hasn’t missed a putt inside 10 feet through 36 holes.
31 of the last 33 major winners were inside the top-10 through 36 holes.
Morikawa and Harding Park and Molinari at Carnoustie the two exceptions in that span.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) May 20, 2022
That’s led Zalatoris to being the top ranked putter at Southern Hills and third in SG: tee-to-green. He’s had a very solid year, losing in a playoff at Torrey Pines, to go along with a T-5th at the Match Play and T-6th at the Masters.
The issue with running out to lay a sizeable wager on him is his incredible low +210 odds to win outright. Particularly because there are proven major championship winners directly in his rear view mirror in Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy. Realistically he might fall back on his poor putting so placing a wager on him is dicey.
The more likely bet is 2017 champ Justin Thomas, who has fired back-to-back 67’s in the tougher draw. He’s just three back and is third in putting. After the first round, two-time PGA winner Rory McIlroy’s +300 odds to win outright were hard to stomach, but now that it’s at +700, it’s much more palatable.
2022 PGA Championship Best Live Value Picks
- Cameron Smith (+1800): 2022 Players Champion Cameron Smith should always be feared because of his propensity to make birdies in bunches, as he leads the tour in birdie average. He’s also tops in scoring average, fourth in putting and fifth in third round scoring. He’s first through two rounds in strokes gained: approaching the green, with nine total birdies. He’s T-10th, and if his usual trusty putting stroke comes to life on moving day, look out.
- Matt Fitzpatrick (+2000): Though he’s still looking for his first win Stateside, two-time European Ryder-Cupper Matt Fitzpatrick is built for tough championships, excelling when the going gets tougher. He’s been solid, if unspectacular thus far with six birdies against just three bogeys. Sixth in strokes gained around the greens and ninth off tee through 36 holes as he sits tied for eighth.