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2022 PGA Championship Sleepers and Longshot Picks for Southern Hills

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in Golf

May 17, 2022 · 6:35 AM PDT

Hideki Matsuyama
May 14, 2022; McKinney, Texas, USA; Hideki Matsuyama plays his shot from the second tee during the third round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
  • The 2022 PGA Championship from Southern Hills CC begins on Thursday (May 19th)
  • Hideki Matsuyama is an absolute steal in the outright market at 35-1
  • Read below for our favorite sleepers and longshots in the outright, T10 and T20 markets

Golf’s second major is upon us as the best players in the world head to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 2022 PGA Championship.

Southern Hills Country Club will contest the prestigious event and if you’re a fan of low-scoring birdie fests, you might want to sit this one out. This course is long and exceptionally difficult leading most experts to believe we’ll likely see a winning score that resembles a U.S. Open. That’s actually fitting, since Southern Hills CC has actually hosted three U.S. Open’s in the past.

To win here you’ll need a well rounded game, with a heavy emphasis on driving distance and long iron play. Southern Hills CC is expected to play nearly 7,600 yards as a Par-70, so make sure you factor that into your betting decisions.

2022 PGA Championship Odds

Golfer Odds to Win Top-10 Odds Top-20 Odds
Hideki Matsuyama +3500 +350 +150
Will Zalatoris +3500 +350 +150
Gary Woodland +11000 +800 +350
Luke List +15000 +1200 +500

Odds as of May 16th at DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM.

As for our sleepers and longshots betting card we’ve clearly caught oddsmakers napping. 2021 Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama can be had in the outright PGA Championship odds at +3500, which is an auto click given his skillset, recent form, and Major Championship pedigree.

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Matsuyama a Must Bet

One explanation for the favorable price tag could be that up until last week, Matsuyama had been out of sight, out of mind. He struggled with a neck injury in March, but returned for the Masters where he flirted with the first page of the leaderboard before finishing 14th.

We didn’t see him again for over a month while he continued to heal, but he looked back to his old self last week at the Byron Nelson. Matsuyama gained 11.1 strokes ball striking en route to a third place finish. The result was punctuated with a closing round of 62, which tells you everything you need to know about the state of his game.

Matsuyama is a statistical darling, routinely gaining in every key metric aside from putting. He ranks first in the field in proximity from 200 or more yards out, while no player has gained more total strokes on courses longer than 7,400 yards over the past 50 rounds.

He also ranks inside the top-20 in ball striking, strokes gained approach and bogey avoidance over that time frame, and top-30 in around the green play.

Not surprising, given that form, is a great 2021-22 season resume. He’s won twice already during the campaign, with five additional top-14 finishes. As for his major track record, it’s also fantastic. In addition to his Masters victory, he owns seven top-10 results, including two at the PGA Championship.

  • Pick: Hideki Matsuyama to Win (+3500 BetMGM) 

Zalatoris Excels at Majors

Will Zalatoris has played in seven career Majors. He’s finished T8 or better four times. His lone PGA Championship resulted in an eighth place finish and from a stats perspective, few golfers should fit Southern Hills CC better.

Over the past 50 rounds, Zalatoris ranks fifth in ball striking and bogey avoidance in the field, and third in proximity from 200+ yards out. He checks in at number 13 in strokes gained approach, and 14th in driving distance.

Throw out last week’s missed cut. He still gained 3.9 strokes ball striking through two rounds at the Byron Nelson, and was positive or neutral in every key strokes gained metric aside from putting.

The tougher the course, the more likely he is to succeed. Just looking at the 2022 calendar year alone, three of his top four results have come at Torrey Pines, Riviera CC and Augusta National, the three toughest courses he’s played.

  • Pick: Will Zalatoris Top-10 Finish (+350 DraftKings)

Top 20 Value Picks

  1. Gary Woodland (+350): Another hard course specialist, Woodland has the all around game to threaten the first page of the leaderboard this week. The 2019 U.S. Open champ ranks top-18 in driving distance, eighth in proximity over 200 yards and 26th in bogey avoidance. He’s finished T8 or better in two of his past four PGA Championship appearances, while coming inside the top-nine in three of his past eight starts overall.
  2. Luke List (+500): You can’t mention statistical darlings without bringing up List. He ranks seventh in ball striking, ninth in driving distance, 19th on approach and 22nd in proximity from 200+ yards. He won earlier this season at Torrey Pines, and has an additional four top-18 results on his 2021-22 resume.
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