Throughout the course of the past decade and a half, the PGA Championship has seen its fair share of shocking winners. Y.E. Yang stunned the world with his come-from-behind victory over Tiger Woods at Hazeltine National in 2009, and he is not alone when it comes to those who have emerged from obscurity.
Keegan Bradley in 2011, Jimmy Walker in 2016 ... even last year at Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson was hardly on anyone's radar -- and if someone says otherwise, that person is likely lying. The PGA Championship has become a melting pot for difficult but fair conditions as of late, and the phrase "there's no faking it" has become synonymous with the championship's setup.
Kerry Haigh, the PGA of America's chief championships officer, can be credited for the rise of the PGA Championship as it continues to climb the ranks of best majors of the season. This year's venue, Southern Hills Country Club, will play no favorites -- and neither will we as we outline potential candidates to follow in the footsteps of Yang and company.
Here is a look at five sleepers you should consider farther down theboard as offered by Caesars Sportsbook. They may have their flaws -- they are "sleepers" for a reason -- but each possess considerable upside and some have even raised a major championship trophy in the past.
|The PGA Tour rookie is now up to No. 38 in the Official World Golf Rankings. Casual golf fans may not know his name, but they will soon as he continues to contend on a weekly basis. Four podium finishes this season, three of which were runners-up, prove his game can travel to any type of golf course. He's long, he's straight, and he's an absolute menace from tee to green. Historically strong with the putter in hand, Young has run into a speed bump on the greens the last month, but if that club comes around in Tulsa, Young should find his name on the first page of the leaderboard. Odds: 65-1|
|Bradley remains the last player to win in his major championship debut as he proved victorious in a playoff at the Atlantic Athletic Club over Jason Dufner 11 years ago. He finished in a tie for third the following year but has not factored in a major since. Bradley arrives at Southern Hills with four top-10 finishes in his last six starts, including a solo fifth in the strongest field of the year at the Players Championship. He's confident, and the putter is starting to become a friend once again. Odds: 80-1|
|Over the last three months, Woodland ranks inside the top 20 of this PGA Championship field in strokes gained tee to green, strokes gained approach and strokes gained around the green. The 2019 U.S. Open champion is finally healthy after battling injuries the last two years, and his play is indicative of such. He was lurking at Bellerive in 2018 and Bethpage Black in 2019, so I don't see why he can't at Southern Hills in 2022. Odds: 90-1|
|If Southern Hills is going to be a tee to green fest, Henley has to be considered. His statistical profile is awfully similar to that of Bradley, and most forget he shared the 54-hole lead with Louis Oosthuizen and Mackenzie Hughes in last year's U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. He has struggled to seal the deal in recent memory, so he'll likely need to post a low one on Sunday, sit on the clubhouse lead and watch the leaders melt in the heat of battle. Odds: 100-1|
|Noren rounded out his AT&T Byron Nelson effort with an 8-under 64 and quietly added to what has been a fantastic season. Noren thrives on and around the greens, but his ball-striking numbers are finally starting to follow suit. As an added bonus, the Swede played his college golf an hour west in Stillwater for Oklahoma State University, so he should be more than comfortable in this region of the country. Odds: 125-1|
Who will win the PGA Championship, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected PGA Championship leaderboard, all from the model that's nailed eight golf majors, including this year's Masters.