The best in the world will come together again when the 108th edition of the PGA Championship is played this month. The first round will begin on May 18 from the historic Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY.
Considered one of the most prestigious events in the world, the PGA Championship is the second of four Grand Slam tournaments this season. With its beginnings in 1916, the PGA holds a special place in the hearts of golf enthusiasts around the world.
Picturesque Oak Hill Country Club is no stranger to the majors, having hosted three US Open and three PGA Championships. In addition, he has held a Ryder Cup, US Amateur and two senior PGA championships.
Choosing this year’s champion is no easy task given the number of world-class players on the field and their recent solid play. Several LIV players will be in Oak Hill, while Tiger Woods will likely be absent due to ankle surgery. We take a look at some of the favorites for this year’s tournament.
As we gear up for the 2023 PGA Championship betting season, several top contenders are likely to attract the attention of sports bettors and fans alike:
Rahm is coming off his second major championship, winning The Masters in April. The world No. 1 golfer already has four wins this season and is coming off a second-place finish in his most recent start in Mexico. Rahm is the only player who can win the calendar Grand Slam in 2023.
Scheffler has already won twice this year and is the second ranked player in the world. He won this year’s “fifth major,” The Players Championship, and is seeking his second Grand Slam title and return to the top of the world rankings.
A former world No. 1, McIlroy is a four-time major winner and two-time PGA champion. He continues to be recognized as one of the most talented players in the world and has had a strong 2023, including a CJ Cup win and a second at Bay Hill. The TOUR champion is hungry to win his fifth Grand Slam, enduring a nine-year drought since his last Grand Slam title.
Koepka already has four major championships to his name, including back-to-back PGA victories in 2018 and 2019. He also finished second to Rahm at the Masters and was victorious on the LIV Tour in April. He has indicated that he is 100% healthy and, as a result, is playing the best golf of his career in recent months.
The defending PGA champion defeated Will Zalatoris in a playoff at Southern Hills last year. He, too, lifted the trophy in 2017 at Quail Hollow. Thomas missed the cut at the Masters, but posted back-to-back strong finishes at the RBC Heritage (8th) and the Wells Fargo Championship (T14).
The long-haired youngster is most notorious for chasing Rory McIlroy to win the Open Championship at St. Andrew’s last July. Smith was one of the best golfers in the world before joining the LIV Tour. Since then, he has slipped down the world ranking table. However, as his resume suggests, he plays better at big events.
Schauffele, along with the man just below our list, has the “best player without a major championship” designation. But he has been knocking on the door. Schauffele has two runners-up and six top-5 finishes in Grand Slam events. He, too, has won seven times on the PGA Tour since his rookie season of 2017. He is coming to the PGA in excellent shape, finishing second at Wells Fargo.
Like Schauffele, Cantlay is one of the best players to never break through to a major. He has eight wins on the PGA Tour and ranks in the top 5 in the world. Cantlay is considered one of the favorites for next month’s US Open near his Los Angeles home, but he would like to take that first Grand Slam title a month early.
Spieth is one of the biggest stories in the championship as he attempts to become the sixth player in the game’s history to complete a career Grand Slam. The three-time Major champion enters the PGA in fine form, finishing in the top 6 in five of his last nine starts, including a second-place finish at the RBC Heritage. Spieth is currently ranked number 10 in the world.
If you are looking for good value for money, this is it. The New York native was born not far from Oak Hill, so there will be a bit of “field advantage.” Having won the 2021-22 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Young is a solid major championship player, finishing T-3 at last year’s PGA and second at The Open Championship. He also competed in The Masters this year before dropping late and finishing T-7.
Phil Mickelson: Don’t be fooled by his age. At 52, Mickelson is coming off a second-place finish at the Masters and won the PGA Championship just two years ago, the oldest-oldest winner of all time.
Tony Finau: Winner of the Mexican Open in late April, Finau has performed well in major championships, finishing in the top 10 eight times. He is currently ranked number 11 in the world.
Matt Fitzpatrick: The defending US Open champion has moved up to world No. 7 and is coming off a victory in April at the RBC Heritage. He competed in the PGA last year, finishing T-5.
Collin Morikawa: He’s usually one of the favorites, but lately he hasn’t played exceptionally well. Even so, a two-time Major champion, Morikawa is always a threat in any tournament he enters. His first Grand Slam title came on the PGA three years ago at Harding Park.
The PGA Championship is known for producing big-name winners. The last four PGA champions have a combined eight major championships between them. In fact, you have to go back to 2009 and YE Yang to find the last PGA champion who really came out of nowhere. So choosing an experienced favorite is a good bet. Oak Hill is traditionally a difficult course, with high, rough and fast greens, so whoever wins will have to drive the ball straight, constantly up and down and fight for pars. Given the way Rahm and Scheffler have dominated the PGA Tour this season, no one should be surprised if one of those two has the Wanamaker Trophy when all is said and done.
Tags: Golf, New York, Oak Hill Country Club, PGA, Rochester