Out of the four annual golf majors, the PGA Championship is arguably the most wild and (sometimes) wonderful. The 2023 edition at Oak Hill Country Club should be no different as this golf course has gone under ansince hosting this championship in 2013.
That week, it was Jason Dufner at 40-1 who raised the Wanamaker Trophy; the surprise winners have since persisted. Jimmy Walker (150-1) won the PGA Championship three years later at Baltusrol Golf Club, a young Justin Thomas (40-1) was nowhere near the favorites the week of his maiden major championship at Quail Hollow, and 50-year-old Phil Mickelson (250-1) had among the longest odds in the field when he became the oldest man to win a major championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in 2021.
The underdogs have continued to stay relevant in this championship, and last year nearly saw another come through. Standing on the 72nd hole at Southern Hills with a one-stroke lead, 200-1 longshot Mito Pereira was minutes away from etching his name into the history books. Instead, he now lives in infamy as his tee shot ultimately found the creek lining the 18th fairway and gave way for Thomas to nab his second Wanamaker.
Here's a look at five sleepers who could potentially follow in the footsteps of Mickelson and Walker with theircourtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
2023 PGA Championship predictions: sleepers
|Clark just won at next year's PGA Championship venue, Quail Hollow Club, and looks to parlay his momentum from Charlotte to Rochester, New York. Early reports from the grounds suggest Oak Hill may play similar to Winged Foot or Bethpage Black, meaning distance off the tee will be vital. Clark ranks 22nd in terms of driving distance over the last three months as well as 10th in total strokes gained and 13th in strokes gained approach. He has the perfect statistical profile for this type of major championship test and has proven capable of taking down big fields. Odds: 70-1|
|Fowler is nearly a decade removed from the 2014 season, one in which he notched top-five finishes in each of the major championships, but make no mistake Fowler is playing in a similar fashion this year. If the season was to end today, it would mark Fowler's third best from a strokes-gained perspective and his best ever in terms of approach play. Over the last three months, he ranks 11th in this field in total strokes gained ahead of players such as Thomas, Cameron Young, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland. The resurgence is real, and Fowler looks keen on cashing in in a major way. Odds: 75-1|
|There is not a ton of data out there on Niemann since his move to LIV Golf, but by all accounts, he is acquitting himself nicely. The young Chilean finished T16 at the Masters last month where he ranked fifth in strokes gained off the tee and eighth in strokes gained putting. He has since put together respectable top-10 finishes at LIV Singapore and LIV Tulsa. Odds: 80-1|
|There are few striking the ball better at the moment than the 2019 U.S Open champion. Woodland ranks seventh in strokes gained ball striking over the last three months averaging +0.82 strokes gained off the tee and +1.06 strokes gained approach per round. This is good enough to see him above names like Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele in this category. The problem for Woodland has been his short game, but he has flashed some form in the Northeast before. He finished T10 at the U.S. Open at the Country Club in 2022 and T8 at the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Crazier things have happened. Odds: 90-1|
|The 34-year-old hasn't played since the RBC Heritage and will be forgotten by some. Henley is riding four straight top-20 finishes into the second major championship of the year highlighted by a T4 effort at the Masters. He is consistently posting positive metrics in each strokes-gained category and is averaging +2.69 strokes gained per round during this stretch. While he was never really in with a chance to don the green jacket, Henley does have some recent major championship experience as he held the 54-hole lead at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Odds: 125-1|
Who will win the PGA Championship, and which longshots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine to see the projected PGA Championship leaderboard, all from the model that's nailed nine golf majors, including this year's Masters.