Golf

PGA Championship 2022 Prediction: The Stats

The 2022 PGA Championship will be the 104th edition, this year being held at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s the second major championship of the year following the Masters in April.

It will be the eighth men’s major to have taken place at the course, although it’s the first since the course was slightly redesigned in 2017. Just two par-five holes are in use this weekend, although the course will play about 300 yards longer than it did in 2007 when Tiger Woods took the crown – something that will produce a unique challenge for some of the world’s best golfers. 

Using our AI-powered FRACAS modeling, we’re able to project who’s most likely to win the title, who’s in great shape to finish in the top 10 and which golfers are suited to the course to make the cut. 
 
The 2021 tournament saw Phil Mickelson pick up his second PGA Championship title after his 2005 success, finishing two shots ahead of fellow American Brooks Koepka and South African Louis Oosthuizen at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. Of course, Mickelson won’t be defending his title this week, and he’ll become just the third reigning champ not to defend his title in the last 75 years after Tiger Woods in 2008 and Ben Hogan in 1949.

Our FRACAS model has Jon Rahm as the favorite with a 7.4% chance of winning at Southern Hills. His only previous major victory came in last year’s U.S. Open, but he’s previously had two top-eight finishes at the PGA Championship – tied for fourth in 2018 and tied for eighth in 2021. 

Justin Thomas (5.9% win probability), Rory McIlroy (4.8%) and Patrick Cantlay (4.7%) follow Rahm in the FRACAS winner projections. Just three of the last 11 PGA Championships have been won by non-Americans, and two of those were by Northern Ireland’s McIlroy (2012 and 2014). 

Max Homa arrives at the PGA Championship as a champion – winning last week’s Wells Fargo Championship in Maryland by two strokes. FRACAS only gives him a 0.5% chance of victory here, however. 

The Masters 2022 winner Scottie Scheffler is among the favorites based on the FRACAS projections (2.7%), while the rest of the top 10 is made up by Viktor Hovland (3.8%), Collin Morikawa (3.5%), Hideki Matsuyama (3.5%), Daniel Berger (2.8%) and Cameron Smith (2.7%). 

FRACAS had three of the top-four finishers at the Masters 2022 in our top-nine picks for the victory back in April, with Scheffler the seventh favorite before teeing off (3.6%). 

Here’s The Analyst’s Graham Bell chatting to our FRACAS creator Kyle Cunningham-Rhoads about how he thinks this week will play out at the PGA Championship.