The PGA Championship returns to Valhalla Golf Club for the first time in a decade. Back in 2014, it was Rory McIlroy who raised his second Wanamaker Trophy in a race both against the dark and the likes of Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler. While McIlroy was the favorite to take home the title at the onset of the week, the man who he played alongside in the final pairing on Sunday, Bernd Wiesberger, was a bit of an unknown.

Unknowns, long shots, sleepers -- whatever you want to call them -- they have made contending at the PGA Championship somewhat of a habit over the years. Some have even proven to be victorious. While Brooks Koepka was hardly a sleeper in 2023, Mito Pereira was the definition of one at Southern Hills. Standing on the tee on the 72nd hole with a one-stroke lead, the Chilean looked primed to cash a 200-1 ticket for his faithful backers. Instead, heartbreak ensued.

That type of emotion can only stem from the underdogs; just ask Phil Mickelson. At age 50, Mickleson became the oldest player to win a major championship with his unlikely triumph at the Ocean Course in 2021. Getting the better of Koepka on Kiawah Island, Mickelson cashed his sixth major victory and a hefty 250-1 price tag for his fans.

Here's a look at some players who may follow in the footsteps of Wiesberger and Pereira as potential contenders this week at Valhalla. Perhaps one will take the path of Mickelson straight into the winner's circle at the 2024 PGA Championship. You can also check out a full slate of PGA Championship picks and expert predictions ahead of the year's second major.

2024 PGA Championship predictions: Sleepers

There's a case to be made that Theegala is playing like a top-10 golfer in the world, but the price does not reflect that. The Californian has yet to contend in a major, but Theegala has yet to enter one with the form he currently possesses. Theegala ranks sixth in total strokes gained, 20th in driving distance and 12th in strokes gained putting over the last three months. He has also posted career-best numbers off the tee, on approach and on the greens so far this season. Odds: 75-1
Kim might be the most underrated player in the world at the moment. He came into the Wells Fargo Championship ranked first in driving accuracy, ninth in total strokes gained, fourth in strokes gained tee to green and second in strokes gained off the tee. He has made every cut so far this season highlighted by a T6 finish at the Players Championship. The major championship results have yet to add up, but Kim is showing he is too good a player for that to last much longer. Odds: 120-1
The course fit isn't ideal, but Henley's game is capable of overcoming that obstacle. He's accurate off tee, lethal with his approach play (especially over the last month) and can roll the rock with the best of them in 2024. Henley has notched three top-five finishes this year, including at a long, difficult golf course in Bay Hill. He's been sneaky at majors in the past with quality Masters results and a 54-hole leader ribbon in the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Odds: 120-1
The PGA Championship marks Reed's 41st straight major appearance. Highlighted by his win at the 2018 Masters, Reed's major efforts seems to get more impressive by the year. He's now made nine straight such cuts with solid starts at the last two Masters and last year's PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Reed will need to drive the ball well for his standards in order to contend at Valhalla, but he's done it before and remains capable of doing it again. Odds: 150-1
Many would be surprised to see McCarthy's name inside Data Golf's top 20, but not I. The putting maestro has his greatest strength humming at the moment and, while not the longest, he's fared well on long, difficult golf courses. McCarthy was a par on the 72nd hole away from claiming the Memorial last year on another Jack Nicklaus design, and he has played well at Quail Hollow, which boasts a fair share of similarities. He'll need a great week from tee to green in order to contend, but at this price, it is worth risking he will do just that. Odds: 170-1

Who will win the 2024 PGA Championship, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine to see the projected PGA Championship leaderboard, all from the model that has nailed 11 golf majors, including the last three Masters.