When Phil Mickelson tapped in his final putt in last year’s PGA Championship, the then-50-year-old carrying +25000 odds to win with some USA betting sites became the biggest long shot in nearly two decades to claim a major golf title. And he was just the latest unlikely champion in an event that’s also seen the likes of Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley and Y.E. Yang hoist the Wanamaker Trophy.
Indeed, anything can happen in the PGA Championship, long the most unpredictable of golf’s four majors. For bettors, the tournament offers all kind of options, from the typical favorites to potential long-odds contenders, all on a course that’s expected to be difficult but not quite punitive. The field of 156 players will tee it up beginning Thursday at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
While the field includes 20 club professionals, it’s otherwise very deep. The 2022 rundown includes all former PGA champions willing to compete, winners of the past five Masters, U.S. Opens and Open Championships, winners of the last three Players Championships, members of the most recent Ryder Cup teams, winners of certain PGA Tour events and the top 70 in the rankings. This year’s field includes 34 major champions—and lots of players capable of winning their first.
Jordan Spieth (+1800): The three-time major champion looked like his old self in a gutsy performance on a very tough course at Hilton Head, continuing a long climb back to contention that included a runner-up finish at Pebble Beach. If he can convert more short putts, he can be in the mix—just as he was in his runner-up finish at the Open Championship last year.
Cameron Smith (+2500): Great value on one of the game’s best players, whose MC at Hilton Head was likely due to a letdown after letting a green jacket get away from him a week earlier at the Masters. No, his PGA record isn’t great. But we’re betting that’s an aberration given how solid the Australian is almost everywhere else.
Betting odds for the PGA Championship vary depending on how likely players are to win—favorites carry shorter odds and the potential for smaller payouts, while long shots bring more favorable odds and the potential for big bucks with the best golf betting sites. At the same time, odds on a player can vary depending on the book, so it behooves bettors to shop around and find the most favorable odds for the wager they’re looking to make. Taking odds of +1000 versus +800 can mean an extra $200 in profit should the wager pay off.
Here are the top contenders in this year’s Masters, featuring their odds to win. Odds correct at the time of writing:
Scottie Scheffler (+1100): The world No. 1 has played just once since his victory in The Masters, his fourth triumph in six starts. He finished tied for eighth at last year’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
Jon Rahm (+1100): The odds co-favorite and world No. 2 is coming off his first victory of the season in a PGA Tour event in Mexico. He’s twice finished top 10 in the PGA, most recently a T4 in 2018 at Bellerive.
Rory McIlroy (+1400): Always a favorite among bettors, McIlroy carried the momentum from his Masters final round and runner-up finish into the Wells Fargo last week, where he placed fifth. The two-time PGA champ has gone T33 and T49 in the event over the past two seasons.
Justin Thomas (+1400): Thomas’ eighth-place result at Augusta is one of six top-10s this season for the 2017 PGA champion. He’s gone T6, T37 and MC in three appearances since his victory at Quail Hollow.
Collin Morikawa (+1600): The 2020 PGA champion and world No. 3 has three top-five results this season, a fifth at the Masters among them. Morikawa’s strong PGA Championship resume also includes a T8 last year.
Jordan Spieth (+1800): Spieth followed his first career MC at Augusta with a victory at Hilton Head, just his second triumph since his most recent major in 2017. He followed that up with a second place finish at the Byron Nelson this past weekend. He’s finished second and third at the PGA, but T30 has been his best the past two years.
Patrick Cantlay (+2000): Cantlay’s playoff loss to Spieth in Hilton Head was the second runner-up result of the season for the world No. 5. He was T39 at Augusta, while his PGA record consists of a T3 and four finishes worse than 23rd.
Xander Schauffele (+2200): It’s been a rough stretch for the X-Man, who took MCs at the Players and Augusta, and hadn’t finished better than 12th since February before a T5 in the Byron Nelson at the weekend. His best PGA finish is a T10 at Harding Park in 2020.
Dustin Johnson (+2200): Johnson posted consecutive runner-up finishes at the PGA in 2018 and ’19, before missing the cut the following season. The former world No. 1 finished T12 at Augusta, and continues to search for the form that has previously won him two major titles.
Cameron Smith (+2500): His MC in Hilton Head was a rare speed bump for the world No. 4, who won the Players Championship and was in contention at the Masters before finishing T3. His PGA record is rough: six appearances, and a best result of T25.
Viktor Hovland (+2500): Hovland has cooled somewhat since his early spring run that produced a win in Dubai and a runner-up finish at Bay Hill. He was T27 at the Masters, and his best finish in two PGA appearances is a T30.
Brooks Koepka (+3500): Koepka is historically very good at the PGA, where he’s won twice and finished second behind Mickelson last year. But he missed the cut at both the Masters and Players, and hasn’t won in over a year.
Tiger Woods (+5000): The four-time PGA champion is in the field after finishing 47th at the Masters, which was his first competitive start after sustaining serious leg injuries in a February 2021 car crash. Wood has missed the cut in three of his last five PGAs, though he did finish second in 2018, and he won at Southern Hills in 2007.
Mickelson’s unexpected victory last season at Kiawah Island, which made the 51-year-old the oldest player ever to win a major title, encapsulates the anything-can-happen nature of the PGA Championship, which has been on display repeatedly over the years. The first player ever to knock off Woods on the Sunday of a major? That would be Yang, whose chip-in at No. 14 in 2009 at Hazeltine produced a stunning upset of the GOAT.
It was a similar story in 1986 at Inverness, when Bob Tway holed out from the sand to force a playoff, where he beat Greg Norman. There was also 1978, when John Mahaffey rallied from seven shots down to beat Tom Watson at Oakmont. There was 2002 at Hazeltine, when Rich Beem somehow upset Woods by a stroke. And who can forget 1991 at Crooked Stick, when an alternate named John Daly came out of nowhere to stun the golf world.
Of course, the heavyweights prevail sometimes. Woods canned a pressure-packed six-foot putt on the final hole at Valhalla in 2000 to force a playoff where he defeated Bob May. Davis Love III earned his lone major title with a victory at Winged Foot in 1997. Jack Nicklaus overcame triple-digit temperatures (back when the PGA was held in August) to win a battle of attrition at Southern Hills in 1963. And in 2012 at Kiawah, McIlroy destroyed the field to win by a record eight shots.
ESPN and CBS will share television broadcast duties in the United States. Thursday and Friday ESPN will air the PGA Championship from 14:00-20:00 ET, with earlier coverage available on the paid streaming service ESPN+. Saturday and Sunday, ESPN will broadcast from 10:00-13:00 ET, with CBS picking up from 13:00-19:00. Early-morning coverage will also be available on ESPN+.
In Europe, Sky Sports will offer coverage of all four days on its Sky Sports Golf channel. Television and online coverage in Australia will be available with a FOXTEL Sports Pack subscription, while coverage in Canada will be available through channels TSN4 and TSN5 on television as well as the TSN website and mobile app.
While live streams not associated with broadcast partners can be hard to find for major golf events like the PGA Championship, always check your favorite betting sites or streaming services to see what might be offered.
Like other big events, the PGA Championship provides lots of incentives for those new to sports betting. Among them are deposit match bonus offers, in which an online sportsbook or mobile app will match a percentage of your initial deposit up to a certain amount (such as 100% up to $250, or 20% up to $1,000). Deposit matches are a great way for bettors to increase their available bankroll.
Other sportsbooks may offer betting promo codes, either for new bettors or those wagering specifically on an event like the PGA Championship. Bookmakers.com showcases the most trusted golf betting sites that require a promo code. The codes, when inputted, can present an array of benefits such as a deposit match or free bet up to a certain dollar amount.
Much like a promo code, betting bonus codes can help a player receive more favorable odds on a wager, or potentially receive more in profit. In any case, these “boosts” can mean a greater return on a sports bettor’s investment, and they’re often available on big events like the PGA Championship.
Welcome offers are specifically designed for players who are new to sports betting or new to a specific sportsbook. Also known as sign-up offers, they can provide an array of benefits such as free bets, deposit matches or bet boosts to help a player start strong.
What’s better than playing with house money? That’s the beauty of the free bet no deposit, where a sportsbook places a designated amount in a player’s account upon start-up, so they can begin wagering without having to deposit funds first.
There are also free bets, in which players will receive a certain amount of money to wager with once they’ve made a deposit. While that extra cash can’t be immediately withdrawn, it automatically increases the size of your wagering bankroll.
In a sport like golf with worldwide appeal, every major championship generates a plethora of wagering markets for bettors to choose from. That’s certainly the case for the PGA Championship, where the spectrum of options begins with the most straightforward: backing one player to win. While the potential payoff can be big, choosing a winner out of such a large starting field is hardly a simple task.
Thankfully, there are options that enhance a bettor’s chances of cashing in. In golf majors, bettors can also back players to finish in the top five, top 10, top 20 or just to make or miss the cut following the tournament’s second round. While the potential payoff may drop as the scope of the wager gets larger, your chances of winning increase as well.
Major championships like the PGA also offer group sports betting options, in which you back a player to finish with the best score in a group of four or five players, either for the round or for the tournament. There are also “two-ball” and “three-ball” options, where bettors can pick someone to finish with the lowest score among a group of two or three players. The more players involved in the group bet, the better the potential payoff, and scores relative to the other players in the group are all that matter.
Also be on the lookout for markets based on age, country of origin or some other similar factor, which are commonly offered by sportsbooks during majors. It could be highest-finishing player from the United States, Great Britain, Spain or some other nation. It could be highest-finishing player over 50, or highest-finishing past champion. Just don’t look for best amateur—this is the lone major event reserved solely for professionals.
And then expect to find fun prop bets that have little to do with the tournament at large, such as whether the winner will come from the final group on Sunday, and whether there will be a playoff (which last occurred at the PGA in 2011). There will also likely be props specific to the course: will there be a hole-in-one on Southern Hill’s 173-yard par-3 11th hole, a hole-in-one in the tournament at all, or a double-eagle at one of the layout’s par 5s? Those are the types of wagers usually only found during golf’s biggest events.
Once you’ve determined the type of wager you want to make and the player you’d like to back, the rest is easy. Bookmakers.com scours the globe for the best legal and licensed online sports betting sites, most of which offer a wealth of wagering options on big events like the PGA Championship. Betting is as simple as checking out the various online platforms available, signing up, taking advantage of bonus offers and placing your bets.
Bets placed in the days prior to the tournament are known as “futures,” and in some cases can provide more favorable odds depending on the player. Once the PGA Championship begins, most sites offer in-play or live betting, in which the odds change based on the action unfolding on the course. Golf, with its long lag time between shots, is ideal for in-play betting, giving bettors several minutes to scrutinize odds changes and make smart bets.