All eyes will be on a dream group on Thursday when the 2022 PGA Championship tees off at Southern Hills Country Club. Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, who have a combined 22 major championships, will play together for the first two rounds. Spieth has three titles and needs to win the PGA Championship 2022 to join Woods and four other players who have completed the career grand slam. McIlroy has four major championships, while Woods has 15. Caesars Sportsbook lists Scheffler, the world's No. 1 golfer and Masters champion, as the 11-1 co-favorite with Jon Rahm in its 2022 PGA Championship odds. Woods made the cut at the Masters and has gained strength since then, but he is a 50-1 long shot as his stamina remains in question. Before you make any 2022 PGA Championship picks, you need to see what proven golf insider Sal Johnson has to say.
The esteemed golf insider has been around the game for many years and knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour, and he is tuned in to the major championships.
In his last set of predictions for SportsLine, he nailed the Masters for the third time in four years. Johnson backed Scheffler, who has just been playing too well to be ignored. "Scheffler is on a run where he has been hard to beat, and I see it rolling on at Augusta National," he said before the 25-year-old got his fourth victory of the season. He also called Woods' unlikely victory at Augusta in 2019 and Dustin Johnson's 2020 win, when he shot a tournament-record 20-under 268.
At the PGA Championship, the past two winners were surprises, with 50-year-old Mickelson winning last year and Collin Morikawa taking the 2020 title in his second major start. But Johnson backed the winner the previous two years, as Koepka won in 2018 then joined Woods as the only back-to-back PGA winners the following year. "This is a course he can attack and play well on," Johnson said of Koepka before the 2019 event. Koepka took a seven-shot lead into the final round and held on in the raging wind at Bethpage for his fourth major title.
Now, Johnson, the first producer of "Inside the PGA Tour" and longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, has released his highly confident 2022 PGA Championship picks. The picks from the founder of GOLFstats, the world's top golf statistics database, will surprise you. You can see them here.
Top 2022 PGA Championship expert picks
One shocking choice from Johnson: The expert is fading Cameron Smith, even though he has two victories this season and was in contention at the Masters. The 28-year-old hasn't been quite the same since his triple-bogey on the 12th hole at Augusta that took him out of contention. He missed the cut in his last stroke play event, the RBC Heritage, and tied for 21st at the Zurich Classic along with Marc Leishman. Southern Hills is a ball-striker's course, and Smith hasn't fared well at venues like it. "I just don't think Southern Hills will suit his eye," Johnson told SportsLine.
At the same time, Johnson isn't concerned at all about Scheffler slowing down. His game has been too strong, and his win in Phoenix gave him the confidence he needed to start dominating. He won three of the next seven events, including a three-stroke victory at the Masters. He has been hitting greens and making putts as well as anyone and his driver is more than adequate. He tied for 15th last week, shooting in the 60s in all four rounds but saving the bulk of his mental and emotional energy for this week's major.
The expert also knows Rahm's last tournament produced a victory at the Mexico Open, and if the 2021 U.S. Open champion can putt, he can win again. He was 18th in the field in strokes gained putting in his victory, far better than his 108 ranking for the season. If he can start putting consistently, he'll have a shot at the win because he is arguably the best tee-to-green player in the game. He is first on tour in greens in regulation (73.83 percent) and total driving (fifth in distance, 42nd in accuracy).
How to make 2022 PGA Championship picks, bets
Johnson also is high on a massive long shot at Southern Hills who comes in around 100-1. His excellent tee-to-green game should fit Southern Hills like a glove. You can only see who it is at SportsLine.
Who wins the PGA Championship 2022 at Southern Hills? And which epic long shot is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Sal Johnson's full leaderboard, picks and analysis for the 2022 PGA Championship, all from the insider who is tuned in to what it takes to win a major championship.